May 17, 2022

University of Alberta: Coutts Library Digitizing Old Alberta Textbooks Thanks To Donation

From The Gateway (Students Newspaper at U. of Alberta):

The H. T. Coutts Education Library will be digitizing old Alberta textbooks, some of which are over 130 years old, to help improve their accessibility.

The library will be digitizing the first phase of their collection of books that were used in Alberta schools from 1885 to 1985 thanks to a $310,000 donation. This will allow the collection, currently housed in a locked room in the basement of the library, to be accessible to students online, instead of the current on-site physical copies.


The donation was made in 2011 by the estate of Marie Wiedrick, a teacher and wife of Laurence “Laurie” Wiedrick, who was an advocate for teacher librarians and was involved with the elementary education department and the School of Library and Information Studies. [Kim] Frail [a public services librarian at the library] added the donation was special because it did not stipulate a use for the money.


Frail said the next step for the digitized collection will be to incorporate the digital copies into the library website catalogue, making them easier to find. They are currently only on the Internet Archive website and linked on the library guides. However, Frail said searching for them can be complicated.

Direct to Wiedrick Historical Education Curriculum Collection – Textbooks (via Internet Archive)

See Also: University of Alberta Libraries is Digitizing More Than 14,000 Master’s and PhD Thesis (in Partnership with Internet Archive) (March 26, 2019)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.