A Bridge Built Halfway: A History of Memorial University College 1925-1950, by Malcolm MacLeod

One of the first books I picked up while engaged in research for That Forgetful Shore was A Bridge Built Halfway, simply because I have a chapter that’s set at Memorial University  College in 1931-32 and I didn’t know very much about what Memorial was like in the early days, long before it was a full-fledged university. Malcolm MacLeod’s very thorough and readable history of Memorial in its early era is well-researched and informative. I learned a lot of useful tidbits, like the fact that S.J. Carew, after whom the Engineering building is named, was a one-man Engineering faculty in the early days and taught an exhausting schedule of everything students needed to know to be prepared to complete full-fledged engineering degrees in a Canadian university. Similar situations prevailed in most of the other areas of study, as a handful of dedicated teachers taught the first generation of Newfoundlanders to obtain post-secondary education in their own country.

This book has the advantage of having been written while many graduates of the original College are still alive, and were able to contribute personal remeniscences through interviews, which adds a nice human touch to the more scholarly research about the founding of the College and the state of Newfoundland education and society at the time. It was quite useful for my novel-writing research, but was primarily interesting to me as an alumna of Memorial University; it’s always good to know a bit about the history of your own institution.


Leave a comment

Filed under Canadian author, Nonfiction -- general

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s