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May 26, 2013

Huge cache of Canadian history hits U.K. auction block - How Will LAC Respond?

Huge cache of Canadian history hits U.K. auction block - How Will LAC Respond? Photo
A treasure trove of Canadian History is going on the auction block in England very soon. More than 200 years old, these historical documents have been stored in wooden chests owned by Sir John Sherbrooke.

An extensive collection of letters, maps and other original artifacts left to posterity by Sherbrooke,the Nova Scotia governor who conquered Maine during the War of 1812 and later served as Canada’s governor general, is to be sold on June 19, 2013 in a major Bonhams auction of rare books and manuscripts.

There is no question of the importance of these documents. The question is what will Library and Archives Canada (LAC) do now? LAC has been plagued by unrest, budget cuts and yes, even scandal. Chief Archivist Daniel Caron resigned suddenly after his exhorbitant personal expenditures on LAC money (including Spanish lessons) were discovered.

According to  "The estimated value of the Sherbrooke papers is between $160,000 and $230,000 — coincidentally close to the $170,000 spent by LAC’s recently resigned national archivist, Daniel Caron, in travel and other expenses over the past two years."

Caron is gone, LAC is in turmoil with staff cuts, budget cuts and pressure to find a new Archives head. Will they be able to step up to the plate and purchase this rare and important part of Canadian history? 

Read the story at


Pam Beveridge said...

I'm aghast! Especially with the 200th commemoration of the British invasion of Maine of 1814 coming up.

Crowdsourcing, anyone? I'll participate!

Celia Lewis said...

Oh my - this is soooo important! Scary to think LAC might not have the guts to tackle the PM's office to get a special grant to buy this!

Mariann Regan said...

Very suspenseful. These papers should be treasured. I'm learning for the first time that a Nova Scotia governor conquered Maine during the War of 1812. Genealogy is teaching me history.