Studley Campus, Dalhousie University, 1915

Dalhousie College Studley campus [after 1915]

I was surprised to learn that although Dalhousie University was founded in 1818,1 it was still relatively small at the time my grandmother Velma Jane Moore attended (1915-1918). The total number of students enrolled in 1918 was 339: 188 in Arts & Science, 30 in Law, 67 in Medicine, 18 in Dentistry, 28 in Engineering, and 8 in Music.2 The teaching staff comprised 80 professors, assistant professors, lecturers, and demonstrators.3

When Velma arrived at Dalhousie in the fall of 1915 to begin her studies in Arts and Science, the University had just moved to a new campus:

The new home of the University [the Studley campus] contains more than 40 acres and is beautifully situated on a partly wooded eminence overlooking the North West Arm. The corner stone of the first of the new buildings, the Science Building, was laid . . . on Aug. 15th, 1912. The Science Building and the Macdonald Memorial Library were opened for occupancy in the fall of 1915, and the work of the Faculty of Arts and Science is now carried on in these buildings.4

Digging into the Dalhousie University digital archives, I was able to find several photographs of the Studley Campus from that time to get a feel for what Velma’s walks to class would have been like:

Science Building, Studley Campus

Macdonald Memorial Library, Studley Campus

Macdonald Memorial Library, Studley Campus

And of course the reading room of the library, where Velma would have spent a great deal of her time:

Macdonald Library Reading Room

Here is a picture of Velma (l.) on her way to or from class with her friend Christine. Note their heavy fur-trimmed coats and the fur muff Velma carried. It was a very cold day on the Studley campus!


1A. E. Southall, ed., Imperial Year Book for Dominion of Canada 1917-1918 (Ottawa: Mortimer Co. Limited, 1917), 3: 387.

2Southall, Imperial Year Book, 3: 387.

3Southall, Imperial Year Book, 3: 387.

4Dalhousie University, “Introduction: Historical Sketch,” Calendar of Dalhousie University: Halifax – Nova Scotia, nos. 1916-1917 (1916): 3-4.

Photograph of Dalhousie College Studley campus, [after 1915], PC1, Box 38, Folder 52, Dalhousie University Archives, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Photograph of Science Building, Studley Campus, 1916, PC1, Box 46, Folder 1, Item 23 , Dalhousie University Archives, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Photograph of Macdonald Memorial Library, Studley Campus, PC1, Box 46, Folder 1, Item 25, Dalhousie University Archives, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Photograph of Macdonald Memorial Library, Studley Campus, 1916, PC1, Box 46, Folder 1, Item 24, Dalhousie University Archives, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Photograph of Macdonald library reading room, February 1916, PC1, Box 31, Folder 11, Item 1, Dalhousie University Archives, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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