Fonds RBSC-ARC-1088 - Lawrence Johnstone Burpee fonds

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Lawrence Johnstone Burpee fonds

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9 cm of textual records
1 photograph: b&w

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Biographical history

Lawrence (Laurie) Johnstone Burpee was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia on 5 March 1873. In 1899, he married Maud Hanington and together they had five children: Lawrence, Ruth, Margaret, Edward and Arthur. Burpee is remembered for his contributions to Canadiana as a historian, a librarian, and a writer. He served as chief librarian of the Carnegie Public Library in Ottawa, from 1905 to 1912. During his tenure he strove to improve services, and he was an ardent proponent in the building of the National Library. Burpee was a founding member of both the Canadian Historical Association and the Board of Directors of the Canadian Writers Foundation. He received the Medaille de Vermeil award from the Academie Francaise for his work in Canadian history, as well as the Tyrrel Gold Medal from the Royal Society of Canada. After his tenure as chief librarian, Burpee was appointed Canadian Secretary of the International Joint Commission and held this position until his death in Oxford, England, on 13 October 1947.

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Scope and content

The fonds consist of incoming and outgoing letters mainly to Burpees daughter, Ruth Lowe the wife of Rev. John Lowe, copies of Burpees passports, published and unpublished works by Burpee, and a collection of autographs that Burpee had accumulated during his tenure as Ottawas chief librarian.

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The fonds were donated by Dr. Lawrence E. Lowe.


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Inventory available. A small accrual in the form of one file was made to the fonds in 2019, and the finding aid has been updated accordingly.

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Associated material available at Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa, Victoria University Library Special Collections in Toronto, and Dartmouth College Library in Hanover, New Hampshire.

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Finding aid updated by Claire Williams in January 2019.

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