Library and Archives Canada

Library and Archives Canada

January 09, 2015 16:02 ET

Bellevue House National Historic Site and Library and Archives Canada Commemorate Sir John A. Macdonald

GATINEAU, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - Jan. 9, 2015) - To mark the 200th anniversary of Sir John A. Macdonald's birth, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) will display one rare item, from its vast Sir John A. Macdonald related holdings, at Bellevue House, Parks Canada's official historic site dedicated to Macdonald. LAC holds the most comprehensive collection of material related to Sir John A. Macdonald in Canada.

The locket will be on display from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday January 10th. Admission is free. Bellevue House is located at 35 Centre Street in Kingston, Ontario.

The Macdonald locket is one of the rarest and most precious items in LAC's collection. The locket contains the first known photograph of Sir John A. Macdonald, in addition to images of his wife and one of his sons, Hugh John. All three portraits were created using the daguerreotype technique, the first widely used photographic method, introduced in 1839.

The collaboration between Parks Canada and LAC will extend over the summer when LAC will showcase more items from its collection at Bellevue House.

To find out more about Canada's first Prime Minister, consult LAC's podcast, blog post and Flickr album commemorating his 200th anniversary.

Quick Facts

  • A daguerreotype is an image formed through the action of sunlight and mercury vapour on a silver-coated sheet of copper. There is no negative for a daguerreotype as it is created directly on the plate.
  • Daguerreotypes are extremely sensitive to fading from light and can only be exposed to light for short periods.


"LAC is always looking to showcase its collections to different clientele, and this display, of such a unique and personal item, provides the perfect opportunity for members of the public to see an item that was important to Macdonald and his family."

Dr. Guy Berthiaume
Librarian and Archivist of Canada

Associated Links




Bellevue House National Historic Site:

About Library and Archives Canada

The mandate of Library and Archives Canada is to preserve the documentary heritage of Canada for the benefit of present and future generations, and to be a source of enduring knowledge accessible to all, thereby contributing to the cultural, social and economic advancement of Canada. Library and Archives Canada also facilitates co-operation among communities involved in the acquisition, preservation and diffusion of knowledge, and serves as the continuing memory of the Government of Canada and its institutions. Stay connected with Library and Archives Canada on Twitter (@LibraryArchives), Facebook, Flickr and YouTube.

About Parks Canada

Bellevue House in Kingston, Ontario, once the home of Sir John A. Macdonald and his family, is now a national historic site and part of Parks Canada's family of unique places. Sites like Bellevue House enable Canadians to experience their rich history and heritage in a special way. These places will play an important part in the celebrations and commemorations leading to Canada's 150th birthday in 2017.

Contact Information

  • Richard Provencher
    Media Relations
    Library and Archives Canada

    Bruce MacMillan, Acting External Relations Manager,
    Georgian Bay and Ontario East Field Unit
    Parks Canada
    613-923-5261 extension 122