2016 Spring Newsletter / In Memoriam

In Memoriam: Dr. Hans Möller, Director 1981-1984

By Peter F. McNally, BLS’65, MLS’66, MA’77
Professor and Director, History of McGill Project


Photo: McGill News

Friends and graduates of the School of Information Studies will be saddened to hear of the death of former School Director Dr. Hans Möller (1918-2015) on September 7, 2015.

Born in Denmark at the end of World War I, Dr. Möller took part in clandestine spiriting of Danish Jews to safety in Sweden during World War II. After receiving his PhD in Danish Literature & Language from the University of Copenhagen in 1945, he began working in the Royal Library (National Library of Denmark), receiving his library diploma in 1950, and serving as Assistant Director from 1952 to 1955.

In 1955, Dr. Möller came to Canada to pursue his passion for film, working as an Executive Director at the National Film Board from 1956 to 1969, and as Vice-president of the Visual Education Centre in Toronto from 1969 to 1974.

Librarianship reclaimed Dr. Möller in 1974, when he became the University of Ottawa’s Chief Librarian. In 1977, he came to McGill as Undergraduate Librarian, and also began teaching the “Audiovisual Materials” course in the Graduate School of Library Science, as the School was then called. From 1981 to 1984—during a vulnerable moment for the School, after it received conditional accreditation—Dr. Möller served as Director providing essential leadership, guiding the School towards a secure future.

From 1984 to 1986, he served as McGill’s Acting Director of Libraries, and thereafter continued serving the Library in various capacities. Among other things, he was founding editor of both Fontanus: from the Collections of McGill University and the Fontanus Monographic series. He also taught Scandinavian Literature and organized several relevant exhibitions.

In the broader community, Dr. Möller served as President of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (1976-1978) and was President of the Canadian-Scandinavian Foundation for many years. Writing an autobiography occupied his later years.

Our sympathies are extended to his widow, Jane Yaple-Möller, his step-son and caregiver, Derek Yaple-Schobert, and to his extended family in Canada, the USA, Denmark, and Norway. Dr. Möller also leaves behind a wide range of friends and admirers. A memorial service was held in Montreal in April, 2016.