Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

April 17, 2009 10:00 ET

The Government of Canada Helps McMaster University Acquire Important Map Collection

HAMILTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 17, 2009) - On behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, David Sweet, Member of Parliament (Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale), today presented funding to the McMaster University Library.

This funding, which was matched by the Library, will be used to purchase one of the foremost private collections of World War I military maps from Dr. Peter Chasseaud, a military historian and acknowledged expert on First World War mapping and surveying. The Chasseaud Map Collection contains 921 trench maps and "special sheets" of the Western Front between 1914 and 1917.

"Our Government is committed to the preservation of significant examples of our cultural, historic, and scientific heritage," said Minister Moore. "This important part of Canada's military history will be a valuable addition to the university's collection."

"These maps were used by the Canada Corps on the Western Front and were critical in the Battle of Vimy Ridge and subsequent victories at Passchendaele, Cambrai, and Amiens," said Mr. Sweet. "I am proud that our Government is ensuring that they remain in Canada, where they belong."

"These valuable maps will now have a Canadian home and be available in perpetuity," said Carl Spadoni, Director of the William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections at the McMaster University Library. "They are a significant resource for understanding Canada's participation in the Great War."

The McMaster Library has one of the largest collections of World War I maps and aerial photographs in Canada. Eventually, the Chasseaud collection will be digitized and added to McMaster's website on "Peace and War in the Twentieth Century."

The Government of Canada has provided $56,014 in funding under the Movable Cultural Property Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage. This program helps designated institutions repatriate cultural property to Canada or keep in Canada cultural objects of significance and importance that would otherwise be exported.

This news release is available on the Internet at under Media Room.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
    and Official Languages
    Deirdra McCracken
    Director of Communications
    Canadian Heritage
    Media Relations