17 January 2013

Friends organization funds LAC acquisition of first Bible printed in Canada

After a continuing moratorium on purchases to add to the Library and Archives Canada collection I was surprised to see a press release announcing an acquisition:

Gatineau, Quebec, ​January 17, 2013 – Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is now home to the first complete and authorized version of the Bible to be printed in Canada. This Bible consists of two volumes and was published around 1832 or 1833 by John Henry White in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. LAC held no copies of this item before, and only five copies are known to exist in library collections: three of these are in Canada, while the other two are in the United States.   LAC was initially contacted with a selling offer in November 2012, and acted quickly to conclude a purchase agreement that was finalized early December. This important piece of Canada's published heritage was finally repatriated from the United States on December 20. “This is an exciting acquisition. The publication of the John Henry White Bible is a watershed moment for the Canadian publishing industry, as very few bibles were produced in Canada before 1840”, said Daniel J. Caron, Deputy Head and Librarian and Archivist of Canada. “I would also like to acknowledge that this acquisition was made possible by a generous gift from the Friends of Library and Archives Canada, a non-profit organization that supports LAC and its work.”
LAC is declining to make any acquisitions with its own funds, but at least the management can no longer claim such acquisitions are not part of LAC's mandate.



Cecil Turcotte said...

My only comment would be the clear absence of a declaration that this piece will remain with the LAC and not be resold to finance political alterations to the Heritage budget.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Dr. Caron and the brain trust at LAC HQ will likely expect the Friends group digitize this treasured Bible as well because they are so severely cut back in this operational area as well.

As for LAC's collecting mandate -- it is developed "on the go" ....