A while ago, The Canadian Canoe Museum was fortunate in acquiring a hugely significant collection of archival materials related to the industry of canoe manufacturing in Canada. This collection, made up of original documents, publications and images is largely concerned with the development, manufacture and marketing of canoes from 1870s to 1970s. The collection came to us contained within 28 assorted boxes,
This collection represents about 25 years of effort by writer (and gifted storyteller) Roger MacGregor: a friend of the museum who is an authority on the subject of canoe manufacturing in Canada and who published a major work on the history of Fredericton’s venerable Chestnut Canoe Company. (NOTE: get your own copy of his book from the museum’s own store Tumblehome here: https://shop.canoemuseum.ca/xcart/product.php?productid=75
Among the many highlights of the collection are the original patents, printed catalogues, circulars and other ephemera from the earliest days of industrial canoe manufacturing. These advertising materials are supported by company correspondence, factory ledgers, advertising and promotional photographs, memorabilia and also smaller artifacts such as award medals, corporate seals, builders’ plates and display items.
This summer, The Canadian Canoe Museum will open an exhibit that explores the subject of canoe manufacturing and a number of artifacts from this collection will be included in the installation. On the whole, this collection is also proving to be a goldmine for exhibit research and content and also for photographs and imagery for the exhibit panels.
We are very pleased that Don Willcock has joined us from Trent Valley Archives to tackle the project of arranging this collection – a process that will likely take until the fall of 2016. As well, Basia Baklinski/The Conservation Clinic (http://www.theconservationclinic.com) will be providing treatment and conservation services as needed throughout the process. All the while, the museum’s own Evan Holt will assist with documenting the collection for digital storage and accessibility.
The museum offers its heartfelt appreciation to Roger MacGregor for the donation of a major portion of his collection. It would also like to recognize the generous support from Wendy M. Cecil (a member of the museum’s Board of Directors and ardent champion of archival collections!), for her generous support towards acquiring the remainder of the important collection. Lastly, the museum would like to thank another of its long-standing donors, Terry Richmond and Doug Ward, for his generous contribution towards the processing, arranging, conservation treatment and documentation of the collection in anticipation of future researchers.