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Voices Vessels and Vellum

Special Collections: More Than Just a Room

the Saint John Free Public Library was established by Provincial Legislation in 1883 and during its lengthy history has actively collected and received bequests of archival material which are housed in the library's Special Collection Room.  The focus of this collection is on scarce or rare New Brunsiwckana, Canadiana and local Saint john historical material in addition to selected works related to the history of the Atlantic Seaboard region. 


The Voices, Vessels and Vellum Project (VVV)

VVV was a joint project between the University of New Brunswick Libraries' Electronic Text Centre and the Saint John Free Public Library.  On this site can be found scans of the library's collection of two hundred and fifty original documents dating from the 18th century.


The Collection

This collection evolved through gifts and bequests from various residents of the City of Saint John including authors, local historians and members of the business community. The content of this collection represents the social, legal and business history of the Saint John area. There are numerous documents related to the commercial transactions of pre-Loyalist business pioneers Simonds, Hazen and White, and accounts and correspondence of Colonel Abraham dePeyster who died insolvent and whose affairs were settled by a series of decrees by the Executive Council of the Province of New Brunswick. Subsequent to the arrival of the Loyalists, many of the papers relate to land transactions and legal disputes about the disposition of land. There are letters discussing a scrutiny of voting, itemized accounts of court costs, plans to build a church, a statement of the amount owing for pew rent and an invoice for 55 barrels of herring. An order for the Appearance in Court of one of history's most famous or infamous turncoats, Benedict Arnold is one of the treasures of this era along with a few very rare political pamphlets. The collection is eclectic and intriguing in its diversity.


Project Staff:

Darryl Whetter
Esther Brewer
Greta Rogers
Steve Sloan

Sarah Gladwell

Barb Malcolm

Diane Buhay
Lisa Charlong
Alan Burk

Stefan Guimond

Matt Gallagher

Peter Conley

Morgan Gagnon

Keith MacKinnon