Ormsby, Margaret Anchoretta

Margaret Anchoretta Ormsby, historian, educator (b at Quesnel, BC 7 June 1909; d near Coldstream, BC 2 Nov 1996). Educated at the UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (UBC) and Bryn Mawr in the US, Margaret Ormsby joined the department of history at UBC in 1943 and was head of the department from 1965 to 1974. A pioneer among female academics, her research and teaching made major contributions to the knowledge of the history of her native province. Although always a "British Columbia loyalist," a major theme of her work is the relationship of the province to the larger Confederation.

British Columbia: A History (1958; rev 1971), her most important work, displays a characteristically fine literary style which has helped to make the book popular with the general public. Other well-known works include A Pioneer Gentle Woman in British Columbia: The Recollections of Susan Allison (1976) and Coldstream - Nulli Secundus (1990). Ormsby also contributed a large number of biographies of noted British Columbians to the famed DICTIONARY OF CANADIAN BIOGPRAHY. A member of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (1960-68) and president of the CANADIAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION (1965), she became a member of the ROYAL SOCIETY OF CANADA (1966), the ORDER OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (1990) and the ORDER OF CANADA (1996). She received honorary doctorates from each of the major universities in BC, and she has had scholarships at UBC named in her honour.