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News Release

Documents from Seaborn Collection now part of Library and Archives Canada Rare Book Collection

Ottawa, February 6, 2004  -  Library and Archives Canada has added 27 historical documents to its Rare Book collection, all obtained last week at a well-publicized auction in Montreal.

The acquired documents, among which are two speeches by Louis-Joseph Papineau, belonged to Canadian filmmaker Rosanna Seaborn, who, over a period of 50 years, amassed a collection of rare books and manuscripts relating to the 1837 Rebellion.

"The mandate of the Rare Books Division is to collect at least one example of all the books published in Canada or about Canada before Confederation," explains National Librarian Roch Carrier. "The purchase of these items from the Seaborn collection has allowed Library and Archives Canada to enhance its collection and thus make accessible to the Canadian public a wider spectrum of texts on a variety of subjects."

Some of the other items in this acquisition include two Farmers’ Almanacs, one from 1836 and the other from 1837; brochures intended for potential immigrants to Canada; a Cree prayer book; an 1839 report from the British government on Natives in the provinces; and a medical guide published in Saint John in 1845.

The titles are listed here:

  • Papineau, Louis-Joseph. Aux électeurs du Comté de la ville de Montréal. (Montreal, Quebec), 1827.
  • Hale, J.C. Instructions to Persons Intending to Emigrate. (London, England), 1832.
  • Le Guide du Cultivateur, ou Almanac de la température pour chaque jour de l’année 1836. (Montreal, Quebec), 1836. Original copy.
  • Portions of the Book of Common Prayer According to the Use of the United Church of England and Ireland in the Language of the Cree Indians of the Diocese of Ruppert’s Land. (London, England), 1856.
  • Skinner, Dr. H.B. The Family Doctor, or Guide to Health… (Saint John, New Brunswick), 1845.
  • Great Britain, Colonial Office. Copies or Extracts of Correspondence since 1st April 1835, between the Secretary of State for the Colonies and the Governors of the British North American Provinces, Respecting the Indians in Those Provinces… (London, England), 1839.

The Library and Archives Canada Rare Book Collection, established in 1975, is one of the largest collections of rare Canadiana in the world, and it is constantly growing through purchases, gifts and donations.

Library and Archives Canada is a gathering place both real and virtual for everyone interested in Canada’s heritage. Through an extensive collection, as well as exhibitions, special events, genealogical resources and dynamic Web sites, Library and Archives Canada helps Canadians better understand how individuals, issues and events shape this country.

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Pauline M. Portelance
Media Relations
Library and Archives Canada