John H. Guilfoil Jr.

On July 9, 2016, the library at Fort de Chartres was officially re-opened and dedicated to the memory of John H Guilfoil Jr.  John was born May 20, 1933, and left this world on June 16, 2015.  John was the proprietor of the trading post at Ft de Chartres for many years.  He also portrayed a French priest, was a member of St. Anne’s Militia, and was a member of Les Amis.  John’s great love of history manifested itself in the many hours he spent in the library at the fort.  He also amassed his own historical library over his lifetime and generously donated his private library to the fort.  The quote by Samuel Johnson “Books, life friends, should be few and well chosen” was utilized at his memorial ceremony and was so appropriate to John.

We invite the public to visit the John Guilfoil Memorial Library, which is open during regular fort hours when the site director is available.  The library is not a lending library, so all research/reading is required to be completed on site.  In an effort to facilitate patrons, we have begun the project of preparing a computerized catalogue of the fort’s books.  At this time, we have over 600 of the libraries books catalogued so that patrons may verify the availability of a book prior to driving to the fort.  This is an ongoing project.

From the comfort of your own computer, you may access the website  On the toolbar across the top to the far right, you will click on “LOGIN”.  You will be taken to the login page where you will need to enter an email address and password as provided below.

Email address:

Password: Boisbriand

After signing in, you will be taken to the John Guilfoil Memorial Library website.  You can search for a particular book or author, or view books alphabetically.  The books are also tagged by various applicable categories, so you can view the TAG LIST, go to a category i.e.  fur trade, clothing, firearms, etc.  There you will find books that have been tagged for that type of content.  Whenever possible, the system does pull a copy of the cover of the book, author, publisher, number of pages, ISBN, description, and number of copies.  Under the number of copies is where you will find the call number of the book.  Below is an example.

Kathy Janik, center

We welcome visitors to the library and hope you will find libib to be a useful tool to encourage and enhance your visit.  And, if you, like John, would like to donate books to the library, we welcome those donations which will enhance the reading and research experience for all visitors.  Looking forward to reading with you at the library!

Kathy Janik, Volunteer Librarian