Brenda Moon stands with a cane in her garden, touching a rose, wearing a floral dress and smiling.

Brenda Elizabeth Moon (11 April 1931 – 7 March 2011) served as the Librarian to the University of Edinburgh from 1980 to 1996, becoming the first female chief of a university library in Scotland and one of the pioneers among female librarian chiefs at major UK research universities. Moon played a significant role in leading Edinburgh University Library into the digital age, making it one of the first major UK university libraries to address automation at a large scale. She was a co-founder of the Consortium of University Research Libraries (now RLUK) and made valuable contributions to the expansion of the library’s collections.

Born in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, Moon received her education in Birmingham and went on to study at St Hilda’s College, Oxford. She completed her professional training at UCL and was recognized for her achievements with accolades such as the Cowley Prize for Bibliography in 1955 and her election as a Fellow of the Library Association in 1958. Moon also served as an Assessor to the Curators of the Bodleian Library and acted as the curator of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Moon’s personal research interests focused on women travelers, resulting in her obtaining an MPhil and a PhD for her work on Marianne North and Amelia B. Edwards, respectively. After her passing, her extensive personal collection of books was shared among the libraries of Edinburgh and Hull universities, and a room in the University of Edinburgh library was initially named in her honor. However, the room was lost during a library remodeling. In 2019, the university commemorated Moon on International Women’s Day by naming the Boardroom in Argyle House after her.


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