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History of Acadians at Mount Allison: Special Collections

A virtual exhibit on the history of Acadians at Mount Allison University and in Sackville, New Brunswick.

Special Collections

A large portion of the literature on Acadian history and culture available in the Ralph Pickard Bell Library are held in the Winthrop Pickard Bell Collection of Acadiana, a special collection that concentrates on the land area of historic Acadie. It includes material on the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, and on eastern Maine to the Penobscot and Kennebec rivers with a focus on the history preceeding 1945. The Collection was established in 1967 with a gift of the private research library of Winthrop Pickard Bell, who graduated form Mount Allison in 1904 with a degree in mathematics. The W.P. Bell Collection presently has over 14,000 volumes in all languages and in all formats. An active acquisitions programme is maintained through support from the endowment for the W.P. Bell Chair in Maritime Studies. It is housed in the Rare Book Room on the Main floor of the University Library. In conjunction with this collection, the Mount Allison Libraries and Archives support and maintain the Chignecto Isthmus Database, which provides access to historical material on the people and places of the Tantramar region held by the Ralph Pickard Bell Library. Materials indexed include: books, pamphlets, maps, newspapers, journal articles, government publications and images, with a focus on the settlements of Sackville and area, Point de Bute, Port Elgin, Cape Tormentine, the great Tantramar Marsh and Forts Beausejour and Lawrence.

Other materials related to Acadians can be found in the Mary Mellish Archibald Memorial Library of Folklore, a collection of folk-music, folklore, ballad literature, folk-life, art song and college songs started by Dr. Raymond Claire Archibald in 1905 in honour of his mother, Mary Mellish Archibald, who had been the Preceptress (Principal of the Ladies College) at Mount Allison, as well as the Edgar and Dorothy Davidson Collection of Canadiana, a collection of early imprints on Canadian history and culture, which is housed in the Davidson Room on the third floor of the University library. This collection, the personal library of Dr. Davidson, was given to the University over a period of years. A catalogue of the collection available online.


Featured books from the Mount Allison Libraries' Special Collections

Jeremiah Bancroft at Fort Beauséjour and Grand-Pré

By Jonathan Fowler and Earle Lockerby

In 1755, Jeremiah Bancroft enlisted to fight against the French Empire in North America. Embarking from Boston that April with 2,000 of his countrymen, his attention was focused on the objective of capturing Fort Beauséjour at Chignecto, located on the present-day border between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Bancroft could not have predicted the fort's rapid surrender, nor his New England force's redeployment against the civilian population of Acadia. His journal preserves an eyewitness account of the deportation of the Acadians in the Grand-Pré area, offering readers a day-by-day account of one of the most dramatic events in Canadian history. Edited, introduced and annotated by Jonathan Fowler and Earle Lockerby, and supported with maps and illustrations, this publication marks the first appearance of Bancroft's diary in book form. It also launches "Diaries of the Acadian Deportations," a new series of history books aimed at attentive readers of Canadian history.

Call number: Bell Acadiana, FC 2041 .F69 2013

An historical journal of the campaigns in North America for the years 1757, 1758, 1759, and 1760

By John Knox

Knox’s work holds special importance as a record of the military transactions connected with the English conquest of French Canada. Knox did not witness the siege of Louisburg (June-July 1758), but he was present on the Plains of Abraham for Wolfe’s defeat of Montcalm (September 13, 1759), at the Battle of Ste-Foy (April 28, 1760), and the capitulation of Montreal (September 8, 1760). The operation orders and other official documents he included in his Historical Journal, published in 1769, complement his personal observations. Volume I covers events between February 2, 1757, and July 31, 1759.

Call number: FC 15 .C45 v.8-10

Atlas of the Acadian settlement of the Beaubassin 1660 to 1755 : the great marsh, Tintamarre and Le Lac

By Paul Surette

Author/Researcher Paul Surette's 204-page atlas is a momentous work of geography, which is also deeply rooted in genealogy. The book presents a detailed chronology of events leading to the settling of villages and maps the locales of families who founded these new settlements along the edge of the Tantramar Marsh at the head of the Bay of Fundy. The atlas can actually be used as a road map to visiting these historic locations and will be a great interest to all readers interested in Tantramar's early settlement history, particularly during the period 1660-1755.

Call number: Bell Acadiana, G 1132 .B4 S973 2005

Acadian redemption : from Beausoleil Broussard to the queen's royal proclamation

By Warren A. Perrin

Acadian Redemption, the first biography of an Acadian exile, defines the 18th century society of Acadia into which Joseph dit Beausoleil Broussard was born in 1702. The book explains his early life events and militant struggles with the British who had, for years, wanted to lay claim to the Acadians' rich lands. The book discusses the repercussions of Beausoleil's life that resulted in the evolution of the Acadian culture into what is now called the Cajun culture. More than 50 vintage photographs, maps, and documents are included.

Call number: Bell Acadiana, F 380 .A2 P485 2005

La mi-carême en Acadie

By Georges Arsenault

Les souvenirs de l'ancienne fête de la Mi-Carême demeurent très vivants dans bien des coins de l'Acadie. Pour de nombreuses personnes, il s'agit de souvenirs de leur enfance ou de leur jeunesse, alors que pour d'autres, ce sont des traditions vivantes qui se perpétuent dans leur propre village. En fait, les mi-carêmes n'ont cessé de faire leurs visites annuelles à Chéticamp et à Saint-Joseph-du-Moine en Nouvelle-Écosse, À Fatima aux îles de la Madeleine, Natashquan et à Pointe-Parent sur la Côte-Nord québécoise et dans la région de Tignish à l'île-du-Prince-Édouard.

Les traditions de la Mi-Carême étaient riches et diversifiées en Acadie, et très bien ancrées dans les moeurs. Ainsi, il y avait la mascarade de la Mi-Carême qui se pratiquait généralement en groupe, il y avait la Mi-Carême qui distribuait des friandises aux petits enfants, il y avait celle qui apportait les bébés et les animaux naissants et, bien sûr, pour beaucoup d'enfants, il y avait la Mi-Carême, personnage menaçant qui pouvait venir les chercher s'ils étaient désobéissants.

Call number: Bell Acadiana, GT 4503.15 .A77 2007

Acadian Christmas traditions

By Georges Arsenault

Based on written sources and interviews with Acadians throughout the Maritimes, Acadian Christmas Traditions offers a fascinating look at the evolution of Christmas. This very readable book shows how customs, both spiritual and secular, take hold in families, in villages, and in a culture as a whole. Georges Arsenault, the well-known historian and folklorist, examines all the aspects of the feast of Christmas, from midnight mass to holiday foods. As he chronicles the cultural changes that have taken place over the centuries, he proves that Acadian Christmas today is the result of a wonderful blending of old, new, and borrowed traditions.

Bell Acadiana, GT 4987 .I5 A7713 2007

Louis J. Robichaud : a not so quiet revolution / Une révolution si peu tranquille

By Michel Cormier

Louis Robichaud n’en était peut-être pas encore conscient, mais avec la sortie fracassante de K.C. Irving, c’est toute la nature du débat sur son programme d’égalité sociale qui venait de changer. Lorsqu’il rentra à Fredericton, quelques jours plus tard, le premier ministre allait se retrouver devant une nouvelle géographie politique.

Jusque-là, l’opposition aux réformes de Robichaud était vague et latente, comme si la population, devant l’ampleur et la complexité même de ce qu’elles représentaient, attendait un quelconque signe pour en saisir le sens. K.C. Irving, tel un sage, était descendu de la montagne et il avait interprété les oracles du changement. Son verdict était désormais gravé dans la pierre : ce que proposait Robichaud était sinistre. Le peuple pouvait préparer les effigies et y mettre le feu.

Le génie d’Irving aura été de ne se prononcer qu’une fois sur le programme d’égalité sociale. S’il avait continué à faire des discours et à donner des interviews sur le sujet, ses arguments auraient fini par être contestés, il se serait éventuellement contredit. Robichaud, comme un boxeur réduit à combattre son ombre, se retrouvait donc soudainement devant un adversaire qui refusait l’affrontement. Ce n’était pas que Irving refusait d’engager le combat, c’est qu’il avait décidé de le faire par d’autres moyens. C’était grâce à son conglomérat de médias qu’il avait l’intention de venir à bout de Robichaud.

Call Number: French edition availble FC 2475.1 .R62 L685 2004. English translation available Bell Acadiana,FC 2475.1 .R62 C6713 2004

La cuisine traditionnelle en Acadie / A Taste of Acadie

By Marielle Boudreau

For A Taste of Acadie, Melvin Gallant and Marielle Cormier-Boudreau travelled all over Acadia, from the Gaspé Peninsula to Cape Breton, from the tip of Prince Edward Island to the Magdalen Islands, and around northern New Brunswick and southern Nova Scotia. They gathered the culinary secrets of traditional Acadian cooks while there was still time, and then they adapted more than 150 recipes for today's kitchens. First published in 1991, A Taste of Acadie, the popular English translation of the best-selling Cuisine traditionalle en Acadie, is available once again. The indigenous cuisine of Acadia is a distant relative of French home cooking, born of necessity and created from what was naturally available. Roast porcupine or seal-fat cookies may not be to every modern diner's taste, but the few recipes of this nature in A Taste of Acadiehint at the ingenuity of women who fed their families with what the land provided. Most of the recipes, however, use ingredients beloved of today's cooks. Here you'll find fricot, a wonder of the Acadian imagination, pot en pot, a traditional Sunday dinner sometimes called grosse soupe, and dozens of meat pies. For those with a sweet tooth, Gallant and Cormier-Boudreau include recipes that use maple syrup and fresh wild berries. A Taste of Acadieis traditional cooking at its best, suffusing contemporary kitchens with country aromas and down-home flavours. Decorated with evocative woodcuts by Michiel Oudemans, it is a pleasure to look at and a charming addition in its own right to contemporary country-style kitchens.

Call Number: Bell Acadiana, TX 715 .B7 1975 (French) / TX 715 .B713 1991 (English)

The Acadian Diaspora

By Christopher Hodson

Late in 1755, an army of British regulars and Massachusetts volunteers completed one of the cruelest, most successful military campaigns in North American history, capturing and deporting seven thousand French-speaking Catholic Acadians from the province of Nova Scotia, and chasing an equalnumber into the wilderness of eastern Canada. Thousands of Acadians endured three decades of forced migrations and failed settlements that shuttled them to the coasts of South America, the plantations of the Caribbean, the frigid islands of the South Atlantic, the swamps of Louisiana, and thecountryside of central France.The Acadian Diaspora tells their extraordinary story in full for the first time, illuminating a long-forgotten world of imperial desperation, experimental colonies, and naked brutality. Using documents culled from archives in France, Great Britain, Canada, and the United States, Christopher Hodsonreconstructs the lives of Acadian exiles as they traversed oceans and continents, pushed along by empires eager to populate new frontiers with inexpensive, pliable white farmers. Hodson's compelling narrative situates the Acadian diaspora within the dramatic geopolitical changes triggered by theSeven Years' War. Faced with redrawn boundaries and staggering national debts, imperial architects across Europe used the Acadians to realize radical plans: tropical settlements without slaves, expeditions to the unknown southern continent, and, perhaps strangest of all, agricultural colonies withinold regime France itself. In response, Acadians embraced their status as human commodities, using intimidation and even violence to tailor their communities to the superheated Atlantic market for cheap, mobile labor.Through vivid, intimate stories of Acadian exiles and the diverse, transnational cast of characters that surrounded them, The Acadian Diaspora presents the eighteenth-century Atlantic world from a new angle, challenging old assumptions about uprooted peoples and the very nature of early modern empire.

Call Number: Bell Acadiana, E 184 .A2 H64 2012

Les Acadiennes de l'Ile-du-Prince-Édouard : trois siècles d'action / Acadian women of Prince Edward Island : three centuries of action

By Jacinthe Laforest

From the time of their arrival on Isle Saint-Jean in the early 1700s, Acadian women played a major role in the survival of the colony. Over the generations, they have been active in the home and in the community. They have nursed, taught, worked, sung, prayed, and served. Integrated into a well-documented text with numerous photographs, their testimonies provide a history of the Acadie of Prince Edward Island. This book relates how that history was lived by Acadian women and influenced by their action and determination.

Call Number: Bell Acadiana, HQ 1459 .P75 L34 2011 (French) / FC 2650.5 .L3213 2016 (English)