McLennan, Isabella Christine

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McLennan, Isabella Christine

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Isabella Christine McLennan (30 Nov. 1870-5 Apr. 1960) was born in Montreal, the thirteenth child of Hugh McLennan and Isabella Stewart McLennan. Isabella McLennan attended Meadowbrook, a finishing school in Boston, from 1888 to 1989. She was a great philanthropist, her favorite cause being McGill University, particularly its library. In 1911, she helped to establish the Hugh McLennan Fund for the McLennan Travelling Libraries, which were started by her father in 1899, and later donated to the Libraries on a semi-annual basis and occasionally by special request. This included paying the salary of its first director, Elizabeth G. Hall, and donating money for its first bookmobile in 1950 and a second bookmobile in 1956. For almost two-thirds of her life, she kept the Travelling Libraries running almost single-handedly through her donations. She also established the Isabella McLennan Prize in the School of Architecture, the Isabella McLennan Scholarship Fund in Library Science, the Elizabeth G. Hall Memorial Scholarship Endowment, the Gould Lecture Fund, and donated generously to the Friends of the Library Fund. Among her other philanthropic interests were the Montreal General Hospital, the Royal Victoria Hospital, and the Royal Victoria College. McLennan also belonged to several different Montreal clubs between 1899 and 1930, including the St. Andrew's Society, the Ladies' Morning Musical Club, and the Women's Canadian Club. McLennan died at the Royal Victoria Hospital and was buried in Mount Royal Cemetery. Her bequest to McGill University funded the McLennan Library, which was officially inaugurated on 6 June 1969.


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