Doris St-Jacques, Library and Archives Canada
In June of 2013, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) acquiredthe largest and most complete collection of War of 1812 documentation, including books, maps, manuscript reports and correspondence, among other unique items. This acquisition was made possible through a partnership between Library and Archives Canada and the future Canadian Museum of History, and with the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Friends of Library and Archives Canada.
The collection once belonged to Sir John Coape Sherbrooke, former Governor of Nova Scotia from 1811 to 1816 and Governor in Chief of British North America until 1818. As both a statesman and a military leader during the War of 1812, Sherbrooke had a profound influence on the formation of Canada during the pre-Confederation period. These itemsfrom the War of 1812 era, have remained in the Sherbrooke family exclusively for the last 200 years and are considered an important addition to LAC’s collection.
The efforts of a multidisciplinary team at LAC have been essential throughout the Sherbrooke project. This approach has allowed the materials to be acquired, assessed, receive conservation treatment, be described, re-housed, digitized, placed in optimal storage conditions and made available to Canadians online, all within a tight timeframe. This paper will provide a brief overview of the project with particular focus on the Conservation treatment, digitization, and the many challenges presented by the collection.