Trevor Lloyd (1906-1995)

  • J. Brian Bird
Keywords: Arctic Institute of North America. Library, Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies, Biographies, Geography, Libraries, Lloyd, Henry Trevor, 1906-1995, Arctic regions


Trevor Lloyd died in Ottawa on 6 February 1995, at the age of 88. For more than half a century he had been one of Canada's foremost geographers. He had gained an international reputation for his social science studies of the circumpolar world and particularly for his contributions in northern economic and political geography. Henry Trevor Lloyd was born in London, England on 4 May 1906. His Quaker parents had come from Wales, and as a young boy he returned with them when they made their home in the Rhondda valley. Before he left school the valley had become the most economically and socially depressed part of the South Wales coal field, and his deep, lifelong concern for social justice in society clearly dated from his personal observations at that time. ... By 1942 he was attracted to university teaching and was increasingly interested in the North. ... In the last year of the war he went to Greenland to replace Max Dunbar as Canadian consul. He had hardly been back in his Dartmouth department (of which he had become chairman) when in 1947 he returned to Ottawa for a year to be appointed Chief of the recently created Geographical Bureau. In this position, continuing the objectives of his predecessor, Diamond Jenness, he was able to encourage and support young scientists who were developing research in the Canadian Arctic ... these included women as well as men. It was in this period that Trevor Lloyd began his close ties to the newly created Arctic Institute of North America. He edited the first two volumes of Arctic (1948-49) and the editorial standards as well as the format he established were to remain unchanged for the next 25 years. Created a Fellow in 1948, he became a Governor in 1950. His main contribution to the Institute was maintained in the sixties when he was almost continuously a Governor and for 1967-69, Chairman of the Board. His special interest was in encouraging the expansion of the Institute's outstanding research library. ... He left Dartmouth in 1959 to become the first Professor of Human Geography at McGill University; three years later he became chairman of the department, a position he held until the end of 1966. He was fortunate in his period of tenure as McGill departmental chairman, as it coincided with a period of stability and considerable economic prosperity in the university. Under his guidance and driven by his great energy, the department doubled its size and expanded its northern research interests, which until then had been primarily in the physical environment, into social, economic and cultural fields. He revitalized the Stanstead Geography Summer School which specialized in arctic programs. He paid particular attention to the need of schoolteachers specializing in geography and put into effect his plans to improve the quality of geography teaching in McGill's Institute of Education. With external help, he initiated a review of the map resources of the university, a consequence of which today is the large map and airphoto collection, now part of the university's Hitschfeld environmental library. ... When the Arctic Institute left Montreal in 1975, Trevor Lloyd felt he had lost close contact with two first-class northern libraries, the Arctic Institute's and the Baker collection. He worked wholeheartedly to develop McGill's Centre for Northern Studies and Research, and was its director in the last years before he retired in 1977. After retirement he ... returned to Ottawa where he continued to work for the rest of his life on Canadian northern administrative policies. He became deeply committed to founding a national Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies and became its executive director in 1980. ...