In memory of
On April 3, the library and archives community lost a shining light with the passing of Julia Hendry, who died at the age of 46 from cancer. Julia's passion for archives began with a co-op placement in the Rare Books Division of the National Library of Canada (now Library and Archives Canada) while doing her Master of Library and Information Science degree at Western University in London, Ont. This experience inspired her to focus the rest of her studies, and her career, to archives. Upon graduation, she was hired at the University of Illinois at Chicago as an assistant special collection's librarian, where, among many other duties, she worked with the records of Hull-House and the Chicago Urban League. Indeed, she co-authored a book, Images of Hull-House, a pictoral history of Chicago's storied settlement house, which was published in 2004. Working with this type of material was rewarding to Julia who throughout her career and life engaged with issues of social justice and was drawn to documenting people and issues underrepresented in archives. Julia's outward facing work included relationships with donors, the public, students and faculty; reference work; teaching; and mounting exhibits. She was also influential in the behind-the-scenes work of arrangement and description; creating policies and procedures; and preservation and digitization. She completed her Master of Arts in History while at UIC and eventually rose to the position of university archivist and gained a well-deserved reputation. It was also while in Chicago that she met and married Tom Perrin. In 2010, they moved with their growing family to Waterloo, Ont., when Julia accepted the position of head of archives and special collections at Wilfrid Laurier University. There she had a strong working relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, as Laurier is the home of its National and Eastern Synod Archives. She worked tirelessly, expanding the scope of the collection and overhauling the collection management and access systems. She engaged with decolonizing the academy, which she viewed as essential work, and was instrumental in organizing the event: "The Land We Are" exploring local indigenous history. As in Chicago, much of her work was behind the scenes: expanding and ensuring adequate infrastructure, writing policies and procedures and engaging with digital and technological opportunities. Throughout her career, she cherished the time she spent inspiring students and researchers to work with primary sources. She was adept at building strong relationships with students, faculty, donors, and the larger community. Throughout it all, her centre was her family, especially her sons Benjamin and Elliott, and her husband Tom. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
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