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Description found in Archives

George Robert Parkin fonds [textual record, graphic material, object]. 



Place of creation


10.85 m of textual records.
14 prints engravings, lithographs.
11 photographs.
7 drawings pencil, pen and ink.
5 watercolours.
2 medals.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of textual records, graphic material, and medals that document the life and work of author, educator, and political activist Sir George R. Parkin. The greater part of the textual records comprises Parkin's family, personal, and professional correspondence, 1865-1922. But there are also diaries dating between 1872 and 1922, subject files, newspaper clippings, and miscellaneous manuscripts. His wife Annie Connell Parkin's correspondence and manuscripts, 1879-1932, constitute a significant series in their own right. The graphic material in the fonds dates from 1860 to 1939 and includes prints, engravings, and watercolours of notable personalities like Sir Charles G. D. Roberts, Queen Mary, the Governors-General and their wives; sketches drawn or collected by Annie Connell Parkin of persons and outdoor views of Quebec; and photographs relating to Cecil Rhodes. There are also two medals commemorating the University of Padua's 700th Anniversary.

Graphic (photo)
90: Open
90: Open
Graphic (art)
90: Open
Textual records
90: Open
from 1 to 51
from 53 to 148
90: Open
Archival reference no.
Former archival reference no.

Terms of use

Art: No restrictions. Copyright expired. Credit: Library and Archives Canada.
Photographs: No restrictions. Copyright expired. Credit: Name of photographer / Library and Archives Canada / Copy negative no.
Medals: No restrictions. Copyright expired. Credit Library and Archives Canada.
Textual records: No restrictions. Copyright expired.

Textual records The finding aid includes (a) a general description of the fonds, (b) a detailed file list, and (c) an author index for the Correspondence series. The general description (on pages 7 to 21 of the PDF, or pp. vii to xxi) lists the contents of the fonds by the new volume numbers. The file list (on pages 22 to 35 of the PDF, or pp. i to xiv) provides more detail, but uses the old volume numbers. There is a conversion list for the old and new volume numbers on page 4 of the PDF (p. iv). Volumes 1 to 60 were not changed and so are not included in the conversion list. The author index for the correspondence series (found in volumes 1 to 56) is listed alphabetically on pages 36 to 368 of the PDF. It also includes the subjects and dates of the letters. It does not include the volume numbers but instead the page numbers for each letter. There is a conversion list on page 24 of the PDF to convert the page references in the author index to the present volume numbers. Subject and name card indexes to the Diaries series and the Annie Parkin series have been added to the fonds as volumes 139 to 148. See the description of the Index Cards series for more information about these indexes. MSS0185 90 (Electronic)

Medals Online item-level description. 90 (Electronic)

Medals Medal inventory numbers 2854, 2855. 90 (Paper)

Biography / Administrative history

George Robert Parkin was born 8 February 1846 at Salisbury, New Brunswick, the son of John Parkin and Elizabeth McLean. He graduated from the University of New Brunswick with a Bachelor of Arts in 1867 and a Master of Arts in 1872. He was the headmaster of the Bathurst Grammar School from 1868 to 1872, and the headmaster of Fredericton Collegiate School from 1872 to 1889. He married Annie Connell Fisher on 9 July 1878 in Fredericton. They had six daughters and one son.

During the 1880s, Parkin became one of the leading figures in the Imperial Federation Movement through his writings and public lecturing. He wrote three popular books on related subjects, "Imperial Federation: The Problem of National Unity", "Round the Empire", and "The Great Dominion: Studies of Canada". He left Fredericton Collegiate School in 1889 on a two-year speaking tour on behalf of the Imperial Federation Movement, visiting all of the major colonies of the British Empire to promote closer ties between Great Britain and the dominions. On his return, he became a special correspondent for the "Times of London" and received an honorary Doctorate of Laws in 1894 from the University of New Brunswick. Parkin became Principal of Upper Canada College in Toronto in 1895, filling this post until 1902 when he left for England to become the first head of the Rhodes Scholarship Trust. He was knighted for his service to the Empire in 1920, and resigned his position with the Rhodes Scholarship Trust that same year.

Among his other books were "The Life and Letters of Edward Thring" (1898), and "The Life of Sir John A. Macdonald" (1908). Sir George R. Parkin died 25 June 1922 in London, England and was buried at Goring-on-Thames.

Additional information

Due to reboxing of the fonds, the volume numbers do not necessarily each correspond with a single physical container. Below is a brief guide to the containerization: Vols. 1-6 share one container (20 cm box) Vols. 7-12 share one container (20 cm box) Vols. 13-18 share one container (20 cm box) Vols. 19-24 share one container (20 cm box) Vols. 25-30 share one container (20 cm box) Vols. 31-36 share one container (20 cm box) Vols. 37-42 share one container (20 cm box) Vols. 43-48 share one container (20 cm box) Vols. 49-54 share one container (20 cm box) Vols. 55-60 share one container (20 cm box) Vols. 61-80 are in separate containers (10 cm boxes) Vols. 81-85 share one container (20 cm box) Vols. 86-90 share one container (20 cm box) Vols. 91-95 share one container (20 cm box) Vols. 96-100 share one container (20 cm box) Vols. 101-105 share one container (20 cm box) Vols. 106-110 share one container (20 cm box) Vols. 111-113 share one container (20 cm box) Vols. 114-135 are in separate containers (this includes Vol. 114A and 118A; most of the boxes are 20 cm except Vol. 114A which is a 10 cm box) Vols. 136-138 are folders in oversize horizontal storage Vols. 139-148 are Index Card boxes Vol. 149 holds a scrapbook that was removed from vol. 129 for separate storage.

Custodial history
The material was received at various times between 1952 and 1968 from G. Raleigh Parkin of Montreal and Maude Grant of Toronto. Additional material was received in 1972 from Mrs. Shaw of Burford, Que.; additional correspondence was received from Hart Massey of Port Hope, Ont., and transferred in 1973 from the Massey family fonds, MG 32, A 1.

Related materials
Further material relating to George R. Parkin can be found in the fonds of his son G. Raleigh Parkin (MG 30, D 77); the fonds of his daughter Maude Grant and son-in-law William Lawson Grant (MG 30, D 59); and the Rhodes Scholarship Trust fonds (MG 28, I 58).

Subject heading

1. Shaw, G. E., Mrs.
2. Genealogy. Parkin (family)
3. Degrees, Academic.
4. Biography. Parkin, George R. (George Robert), 1846-1922
5. Saint Andrew's Society (Saint John, N.B.)
6. Education Canada .
7. Éducation Canada .
8. Anglican Church of Canada.
9. Église épiscopale du Canada.
10. Authors, Canadian .
11. Écrivains canadiens .
12. Telegraph, Wireless.
13. Buck, Mario.
14. British Empire History.
15. Beith, Margaret.
16. Thring, Edward.
17. Erskine, Caroline.
18. Parkin, Alice.
19. Boult, Adrian, 1889-1983.
20. Teachers Canada.
21. Enseignants Canada .
22. Canadian diaries (English) .
23. Journaux intimes canadiens-anglais .
24. Bartholomew, John, 1890-1962.
25. Rhodes scholarships .
26. Bourses Rhodes .
27. Willison, John, Sir, 1856-1927.
28. Speeches, addresses, etc., Canadian (English)
29. Discours canadiens-anglais .
30. Medley, Margaret.
31. Scrapbooks.
32. Memorials.
33. Macdonnell, J. M.
34. Grant, W. L. (William Lawson), 1872-1935.
35. Titles of honor and nobility .
36. Titres honorifiques et nobiliaires.
37. Wimperis, H.
38. Description and travel. Canada
39. Descriptions et voyages. Canada
40. Généologie. Parkin (famille)


Other system control no.

Related control no.

1. 1962-120 PIC
2. 1964-039 NPC
3. 1976-028 MED
4. 1983-137 PIC