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Bruce Braden Peel was born on a homestead near Ferland, Saskatchewan on November 11, 1916. He began teaching school in rural Saskatchewan in 1937 and later taught in Saskatoon. Peel obtained Bachelor (1944) and Master of Arts degrees in History from the University of Saskatchewan and a Bachelor of Library Science degree from the University of Toronto. He was appointed curator of the Adam Shortt Collection of Canadiana at the University of Saskatchewan in 1946. In 1951, Peel moved to Edmonton, Alberta to work at the University of Alberta Library, where he held positions as chief cataloguer, deputy librarian and chief librarian. He retired from the University of Alberta Library in 1982 and died in 1998.
Peel served as president of the Library Association of Alberta, the Canadian Library Association and the Canadian Association of Research Libraries. He was the author of numerous books and articles, including the landmark work, "The Bibliography of the Prairie Provinces to 1953".
Peel and his wife, Margaret Fullerton, had two children: Alison and Brian.