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Library and Archives Canada Acquires the First Bible Printed in Canada

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 01/17/13 -- Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is now home to the first complete and authorized version of the Bible to be printed in Canada.

This Bible consists of two volumes and was published around 1832 or 1833 by John Henry White in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. LAC held no copies of this item before, and only five copies are known to exist in library collections: three of these are in Canada, while the other two are in the United States.

LAC was initially contacted with a selling offer in November 2012, and acted quickly to conclude a purchase agreement that was finalized early December. This important piece of Canada's published heritage was finally repatriated from the United States on December 20.

"This is an exciting acquisition. The publication of the John Henry White Bible is a watershed moment for the Canadian publishing industry, as very few bibles were produced in Canada before 1840", said Daniel J. Caron, Deputy Head and Librarian and Archivist of Canada. "I would also like to acknowledge that this acquisition was made possible by a generous gift from the Friends of Library and Archives Canada, a non-profit organization that supports LAC and its work."

"Our Government is committed to ensuring that more Canadians have access to our history," said the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages. "I am pleased that this unique heritage item will now be preserved by Library and Archives Canada, for the benefit of current and future generations of Canadians."

"The Friends are delighted to be able to provide the necessary funds for the acquisition of this very interesting item of published Canadiana", said Marianne Scott, President of the Friends.

This acquisition by LAC will be a valuable addition to the institution's existing rich collection of pre-Confederation materials that document the very beginnings of Canadian society.

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About Library and Archives Canada

The mandate of Library and Archives Canada is to preserve the documentary heritage of Canada for the benefit of present and future generations, and to be a source of enduring knowledge accessible to all, thereby contributing to the cultural, social and economic advancement of Canada. Library and Archives Canada also facilitates co-operation among communities involved in the acquisition, preservation and diffusion of knowledge, and serves as the continuing memory of the Government of Canada and its institutions.

About the Friends of Library and Archives Canada

The Friends of Library and Archives Canada is a non-profit organization that supports LAC in a number of ways, including fundraising for the acquisition of rare and valuable archival and library materials.

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