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Queen's University Library

John Buchan: His Life, His Library, His Legacy

Library and Archives Exhibit, October 2004

[John Buchan photograph from cover of biography by Andrew Lownie]

John Buchan (1875-1940)
1st Baron, Lord Tweedsmuir of Elsfield,
Governor General of Canada, 1935-1940

 

An Exhibition presented on the occasion of the visit of the John Buchan Society (UK), October 2004

Featuring Buchan's Private Library and Papers held by the Library and Archives of Queen's University at Kingston

On display in the Jordan and Stauffer Libraries and in the University Archives (Kathleen Ryan Hall) throughout the month of October 2004

 

At left: Cover of John Buchan: The Presbyterian Cavalier by Andrew Lownie (London: Constable, 1995).

 

John Buchan, Lord Tweedsmuir, was Governor General of Canada from 1935 until his death in 1940. A man of action and prodigious energy with a great sense of adventure, he was equally a man of contemplation and imagination. Buchan assumed a wide variety of roles throughout his life -- writer, administrator, politician, outdoorsman, traveller and promoter of literature, to name a few.

[John Buchan photograph from cover of biography by Janet Adam Smith]

Smith, Janet Adam. John Buchan and His World (New York: Scribner, c1979)

In addition to all these endeavours, Buchan placed high value on his many relationships with family, friends and acquaintances. As A.S. Rowse said in his reminiscence, "He gave himself away, right and left, with no thought for his own strength, with an inner generosity of spirit .... " (JB by His Wife and Friends, p. 174). Ever a Scotsman, he took on a Canadian identity as he toured our land and promoted the concept of multiculturalism long before it became our national policy.

The private library and papers of John Buchan, along with some personal artifacts, were secured for Queen's University in 1955 through the generosity of Col. & Mrs. R.S. McLaughlin of Oshawa and the good offices of Leonard Brockington, himself one of Buchan's friends.

For more information about John Buchan's private library, view the W.D. Jordan Library's Guide to the John Buchan Collection.

This exhibition, based on the W. D. Jordan Library Special Collections and the University Archives fonds, is created on the occasion of the visit of the John Buchan Society UK to Canada in October 2004. In conjunction with this visit, The 2004 Annual Archives Lecture will be presented by Dr. Peter Henshaw on Wednesday October 20 and a Scholars' Round Table discussion will be held on Thursday October 21. Both events, as well as the exhibitions, are open to the public.

The exhibition is divided into six sections:

  1. Biographical Overview and Chronology
  2. Buchan as Author: Novelist and Historian
  3. Lady Tweedsmuir, Publications and other Activities
  4. Buchan as Governor General of Canada: Political and Literary Events, 1935-1940
  5. Buchan as Adventurer, Traveller, Outdoorsman, Fisherman
  6. Treasures in the Buchan Collections at Queen's, including a Description of the JB Library and Archival Fonds

 

[Lord Tweedsmuir bookplate]

Exhibit Locations:

W.D. Jordan Library (2nd Floor of the Douglas Library Building)

Stauffer Library Ground Floor

University Archives (Kathleen Ryan Hall)

 

The exhibits were curated by Vivien Taylor, Former Head of the W.D. Jordan Special Collections and Music Library.

Last Updated: 02 May 2012

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