Born and schooled in the St Paul, Alberta district, Trudie McLaren received a BA in history, with distinction, from the University of Alberta and a Master of Librarianship from the University of Washington. In 1974 she joined Jim Parker’s team at the University of Alberta Archives as Assistant University Archivist, retiring in 1994. Throughout her career Trudie was, and still is, involved in several professional organizations. She was one of the founding members of ASA and served in several of the Society’s Executive and committee positions. She was present at the birth of ACA in Edmonton, and was a reporting member of the Women’s Caucus for SAA.
When the Society’s first education program was developed, Trudie taught several workshops, including Conservation of Materials, Appraisal for Archival Values, and Arrangement and Description of Archives. She was awarded membership in the Academy of Certified Archivists (SAA) and currently holds emeritus status.
Trudie has also served as a committee member or board member in associated organizations which include the Edmonton and District Historical Society (Service Award for research, planning and presentation of the annual tours); the Friends of the Geographical Names of Alberta Society (Recognition Award, 2003); the Documentary Heritage Society of Alberta (now Friends of the Provincial Archives), and the Alberta Women’s Archives Association. More recently, she has become a member of the Canadian Society for the Study of Names and the Rupert’s Land Studies Consortium.
Trudie credits her mentors, Dr. L.H. Thomas, Alan Ridge, and Jim Parker for helping develop her career path and fostering and encouraging her interest in archives and love of history.
Although retired, Trudie is active in volunteer projects for the City of Edmonton Archives, the Provincial Archives of Alberta, the Canadian Federation of University Women (Edmonton Club), and the Edmonton Lifelong Learners Association – and maintains her interest in travel and history, especially for walking or study trips.