A.C. Rutherford Collection

Alexander Cameron Rutherford (1857–1941) was Alberta’s first Premier from 1905 to 1910, also holding the positions of Treasurer and Minister of Education and introducing legislation for the creation of a provincial university (i.e., the University of Alberta). Rutherford was a discriminating collector of Canadiana. In addition to a donation of approximately 500 volumes upon the founding of the university (of which no inventory has been found), an additional 500 volumes (link to a pdf of the inventory here) were acquired by the University of Alberta in 1950 following negotiations with Rutherford's children, Hazel Rutherford McCuaig and Cecil Rutherford. The university’s main library for the humanities and social sciences, Rutherford Library, is named after the Premier in recognition of his legacy. The historic A.C. Rutherford Collection includes many first editions, pamphlets, travel books, and ephemeral items relating to the history of Canada, many focusing on the Canadian Prairies. The collection contains fine examples of Canadian literature, immigrant narratives, and accounts of early voyages undertaken to search for the Northwest Passage by such explorers as Sir John Franklin, Sir William Edward Parry, and Sir John Ross. Many of the items in the collection can be identified by Rutherford’s signature or one of his personal bookplates. The Rutherford Collection is not only a rich source of information about the history of Canada, but is also an important part of the history of the University of Alberta and the founding of the University of Alberta Library. Some of the titles in this collection can be viewed in digital collections such as U of A Library’s Peel’s Prairie Provinces database and CRKN’s Canadiana Online (access through U of A here).

Collection Formats: 19th Century, 20th Century, Books, Ephemera, Limited Edition Books -- click to see other collections with this format