Daniel J. Caron, the Librarian and Archivist of Canada, led Julie and me on a tour of the Gatineau Preservation Centre. This is the place where the original source documents of Canadian history or stored and preserved.
The Digitization Lab was our first stop. Here we saw what today’s technology is capable of producing from original source material such as ancient maps of Canada or – at least for me, better yet – memorabilia from Jackie Robinson’s tenure with the Montreal Royals and Hockey Night in Canada … (“He Shoots, He Scores!!!”)
We saw the manuscript versions of the 1867 British North America Act, a famous photo profile of Jack and Jackie Kennedy taken by Yousuf Karsh, photos of the first exchange of American and Canadian Ambassadors in 1927, and photos of Charles Lindberg’s visit to Ottawa after his Trans-Atlantic flight.
A real highlight was the original of the “1982 Proclamation of the Constitution” complete with its raindrop smudges resulting from the outdoor signing ceremony. Also of note was a collection of very early trading cards. It turns out that in addition to baseball players, there were cards of politicians. Who’d have thought!
I was given a leather bound copy of the earliest hockey book ever written entitled ‘Hockey: Canada’s Royal Winter Game.’ It begins with words that are current more than 100 years later:
“Hockey! Fast, furious, brilliant, it is our popular winter sport. Verily it is the game of games…. Hockey is, among our many, varied games, the most fascinating, the most exciting, the most scientific.”
Take that, Don Cherry!!!