Library project receives Digitizing Canadian Collections funding

Post Date:
Oct 16, 2018

Queen's University Library is pleased to announce that our project, Digital John Buchan, first Baron Tweedsmuir, was successful in receiving funds as part of the National Heritage Digitization Strategy.

The project will digitize one of the most frequently consulted private fonds at the archives: the papers of John Buchan, 1st Baron of Tweedsmuir, 15th Governor General of Canada.

The entirety of the Buchan fonds will be digitized in-house with the addition of approximately 50 bound manuscripts of Buchan’s own novels and poetry from the Buchan Library, also held at Queen’s University.

The potential of a digitized Buchan fonds is multifaceted. Buchan’s personal and professional activities, coupled with his access to a wide variety of communities through virtue of his role, makes this material of interest to literary, political, historical and scientific research communities. Buchan was officially engaged in nation-building. He was the first Governor General of Canada to visit the arctic, extending the notion of the nation as being from sea, to sea, to sea. He must also be considered as one of the earliest articulators of the formulation of the Canadian communal doctrine of multiculturalism. Buchan “actively urged Canadians to develop a strong, shared sense of national identity” while, perhaps counter intuitively, preserving “their individual cultural heritage.” Buchan was also the creator of the Governor General’s Literary Awards, a programme with celebrates the best literature in the county.

Opening this material up to further study will allow for new interpretations from a wider audience, further enhancing and combining ideas around the Canadian national narrative, such as: the north as metaphoric and physical space, the celebration of literature as means of articulating and understanding a people, and the principle of multiculturalism. “Thanks to this funding, Canadians will have greater access to stories that reflect the depth and diversity of our country.” Says Martha Whitehead, Vice Provost (Digital Planning) and University Librarian.

For more information on the successful projects, please see the NHDS release.

We will share more as this exciting new project progresses.

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