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Description found in Archives

Official and personal correspondence and despatches of the 8th Earl of Elgin [textual record (microform)] 

Date(s)

1819-1858 (predominantly 1847-1854)

Place of creation

Various places

6 microfilm reels.

Scope and content

The sub-series consists of bundles of records chosen to be microfilmed in 1958 present a narrower focus on the Canada-related records of the 8th Earl of Elgin than does the original material acquired in 2010. Criteria used in selecting the correspondence for filming emphasized the Earl's political and diplomatic responsibilities during his tenure as Governor-in-Chief administering the Province of Canada, 1847-1854, and concurrently as Governor General promoting co-operation amongst the provinces of British North America, as well as his service as Plenipotentiary negotiator of the Reciprocity Treaty on behalf of those colonies. Those criteria consciously excluded materials considered to duplicate records then available at the Public Archives of Canada (notably Elgin's drafts of Private Letters to Lord Grey), and included only one major sequence of personal correspondence, the letters to his wife. Microfilm reels A-396 to A-401. While the sequence of filming in 9 "bundles" obscures the original arrangement created by or for Lord Elgin, close analysis will reveal its essential framework - notably its segregation into series (tied in bundles for storage) of diplomatic correspondence with the British Minister at Washington and the Foreign Secretary; of correspondence with fellow governors across British North America, the Commanders of the Forces, and senior officials within the province he governed; and of the official Despatches and the Private Letters exchanged with the Colonial Secretary. Within bundles, incoming and outgoing correspondence generally form separate chronological sequences. Most confidential prints remained with the covering letters, but a number were gathered to form the artificial Bundle 7. A brief statement of content prefaced each bundle, but the absence of running heads or page numbers has made tracing from the finding aid to the documents challenging.

Textual records: microform
Microfilm reel A-401
90: Open
Textual records: microform
Microfilm reel A-400
90: Open
Textual records: microform
Microfilm reel A-398
90: Open
Textual records: microform
Microfilm reel A-396
90: Open
Textual records: microform
Microfilm reel A-397
90: Open
Textual records: microform
Microfilm reel A-399
90: Open
Textual records: microform
90: Open
Microfilm reel
from A-396 to A-401
90: Open
Archival reference no.
Former archival reference no.

MSS Finding Aid 129 (part 1) provides an item-level description of author, recipient, date and subject for the documents in the order of their appearance on reels A-396 to A-400, but only the outside dates for the bundle of letters on reel A-401. Nor does it identify links to the correspondence of the 3rd Earl Grey (MG 24, A 10), records of the Governor's office (RG 7) or of the Colonial Office (MG 11, CO 42 and 43). MSS FA0129 99 (Paper)

Additional information

Custodial history
Microfilmed for the Public Archives of Canada in 1958 from the original records preserved in the Bruce family archives at Broomhall, Dumfermline, Fifeshire, through the National Library of Scotland. All originals, except the three letters in Bundle 9, were acquired in 2010.

Private