Oct. 15, 2019

New Glenbow Western Research Centre buoyed by Taylor Family Foundation Gift

Generous donor support helps increase access to valuable historical archives for students, researchers and the community
Donors in front of GWRC
Donors in front of GWRC

Devoted supporters make the world go ’round — and, in this case, ensure its unique history is preserved and shared with vision and purpose. The University of Calgary’s new Glenbow Western Research Centre (GWRC), which opens today, is built on the generosity of community members whose support has fueled this historic initiative and the creation of its extraordinary new home — and will continue to do so for many years. 

In addition to the founding support of Bill Siebens, O.C.,  and his family, whose early involvement was integral to the creation of the centre, the Taylor Family Foundation has committed $10 million to the Glenbow Western Research Centre at the University of Calgary.  

  • Photo above, from left: Philanthropists Don and Ruth Taylor, and Bill and Sharon Siebens, with UCalgary President Ed McCauley and Libraries and Cultural Resources Vice-Provost Mary-Jo Romaniuk. Photo by Dave Brown, Libraries and Cultural Resources

“The generosity of these donors, and others, is transformative for Glenbow Western Research Centre at UCalgary,” explains Mary-Jo Romaniuk, vice-provost for Libraries and Cultural Resources. “They are visionaries and community leaders, and we are so grateful that, together, they are making it possible for us to preserve and celebrate this rich history.”

The Taylor Family Foundation gift supports the relocation of Glenbow Library and Archives to its new home in the Taylor Family Digital Library, which opened in 2011, and is tremendous proof of the family’s enduring interest in the innovative care and sharing of Alberta’s historical record. Much of the collection will be stored at the High Density Library, a state-of-the-art facility in northwest Calgary the university has renamed the Taylor Family High Density Library in recognition of this new gift. The Taylor Family Digital Library and the Taylor Family High Density Library will be known collectively as the Taylor Family Libraries.

Since 1981, Don Taylor, OC, and the Taylor Family Foundation have contributed more than $83 million to UCalgary, including to several health research initiatives across campus.

“Philanthropy is a two-way street,” says Don Taylor. “A true donor gets as much joy as the recipient.”


The donor plaque records the important role of philanthropy at the new research centre.

Dave Brown, Libraries and Cultural Resources

The collection will now be stewarded by experts in Libraries and Culture Resources at UCalgary. Within GWRC, researchers and students can explore texts and artifacts of local history, political science, ranching, immigration, business, women’s studies and the North-West North-West/Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The university is also thankful for a generous gift from Hon. Col. (Ret’d) Fred P. Mannix, OC, AOE, CD, to Glenbow Western Research Centre, which is helping bring a unique and valuable collection of military artifacts and documents to the University of Calgary.

Together, this incredible support for GWRC from the Siebens Family, the Taylor Family and Fred Mannix has propelled the $1.3-billion Energize campaign past 97 per cent of its goal. Special thanks also to the Government of Alberta for its integral support of GWRC.  

Don Taylor and Mary-Jo Romaniuk

Donor Don Taylor and Vice-Provost Mary-Jo Romaniuk.