Library and Archives Canada and the future Canadian Museum of History acquired the Sherbrooke Collection today, the largest and most complete collection of War of 1812 documentation ever, which has been in the Sherbrooke family exclusively for the last 200 years. The collection of books, maps, manuscripts and images from the War of 1812 era once belonged to Sir John Coape Sherbrooke, former Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia and Governor General of British North America.
“Our Government is proud to have acquired this one-of-a-kind original collection of our documentary heritage on behalf of all Canadians,” said the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages. “Canada would not exist had the American invasion of 1812-1814 not been repelled; for that reason, the War of 1812 was a defining chapter in our history. In 2017, Canada will be celebrating its 150th anniversary, and this is one example of how we are investing in making history more accessible to Canadians so they can learn more about the people and events that have shaped this country.”
All of the material acquired is original documentary heritage. It includes approximately 80 manuscript and printed maps, 37 letterbooks, original correspondence, one portrait and other unique artifacts.
The collection is a remarkable record of the political, economic, and military geography of the region of the Northeast, ranging from the disputed boundaries of Lower Canada, New Brunswick and Maine, to military operations in wartime.
Sir John Coape Sherbrooke was a British army officer and colonial administrator who served as Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia from 1811 to 1816 and as Governor General of British North America from 1816 to 1818. Through his various activities as both a statesman and as a military leader during the War of 1812, Sherbrooke had a profound influence on the formation of Canada during the pre-Confederation period.
The Sir John Coape Sherbrooke collection was acquired for £433,250 or about $690,000 at an auction held in London, England, earlier today. 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.