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- Record Information – Brief
- William Lyon Mackenzie King fonds [multiple media].
- Hierarchical level:
- Fonds / Collection
- MG26-J, R10383-0-6-E.
- Type of material:
- Architectural & technical drawings, Art, Maps & cartographic material, Moving images, Objects (including medals & pins), Photographs, Sound recordings, Textual material
- Found in:
- Archives / Collections and Fonds
- Item ID number:
- Link to this page:
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- Record Information – Details
- Fonds / Collection includes:
157 lower level description(s)View lower level description(s)
- 1641, 1703, 1815-1969.
- Bilingual equivalent:
- Click here
- Place of creation:
- No place, unknown, or undetermined
- 316.01 m of textual records.
1 collage : essay.
176 audio discs (ca. 20 h, 46 min) : some moulds, some silver.
3 film reels (ca. 10 min, 30 s).
ca. 25,455 photographs : b&w.
588 prints : mezzotints, wood engraving, lino engraving, etchings, lithographs, aquatints, photopress prints, photocopies, offset lithographs, photomechanical, photograph, heliogravure, "Tobacco" prints, offset lithograph postcards.
35 drawings : chalk and charcoal, pencil, ink, pen and ink, charcoal.
26 objects : some artworks, some medals.
31 medals : silver, gold, bronze.
41 paintings : oil, oil & pastel.
1 silk embroidery.
1 cut and paste silhouette.
55 architectural drawings
- Language of material:
- Scope and content:
Fonds documents the life of the Rt. Honourable William Lyon Mackenzie King. The King papers constitute a remarkable and detailed collection which chronicles his life, activities and interests. By extension, the fonds provides immense detail on many aspects of Canadian society in the first half of the twentieth century, ranging from Canadian culture to Canada's contribution during the Second World War.
The fonds pertains to King's political career as well as his personal life. It contains extensive correspondence, both official and personal, as well as a vast array of memorabilia, such as detailed documentation on his grandfather, William Lyon Mackenzie and the 1939 Royal Tour. The fonds includes King's personal diaries, financial records and collected family correspondence. There are also records pertaining to the management of King's estate after his death.
In addition, the fonds contains a collage for a proposed commemorative stamp to honour Canadian, American, and British friendship, 1941.
Medallic material documents King's involvement in a variety of activities and includes medals bestowed upon him in recognition of achievements.
The fonds also consists of sound recordings of speeches given by King,1925-1950; as well as moving images of King appearing at various events including the Glengarry Highland Games, Maxville, Ontario, 1940-1948.
King's personal and political life is also documented through photographs. Included are formal portraits; snapshots of family, friends and dignitaries; photos of significant events in King's career such as the 1939 Royal Tour and the Quebec Conference, 1943.
The fonds also consists of original works of art and prints amassed by W.L.M. King throughout his lifetime including portraits, landscapes and city views, genre scenes, caricatures and other artistic subjects, 1800-1955.
Fonds consists of maps relating to training schools, depots and recruting centres establsihed under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan; a map showing proposed Prince Rupert Terrace Road; maps of Southern England relating to King's tour in 1944 and a North American road map; maps relating to Kingsmere; and maps of the National Capital Region.
Fonds also consists of architectural drawings relating to an unidetified log summer house and perspective drawings of a proposed building on Elgin Street in Ottawa; brochures related to greenhouses, sunrooms and thatched roofs; drawings relating to Kingsmere and Laurier House; plans relating to the "Woodside" house in Kitchener, the Supreme Court of Canada Building in Ottawa and the Mackenzie House in Toronto; and a drawing of a proposed commemorative square on the present site of Confederation Square, Ottawa.
Fonds also contains correspondence to William Lyon McKenzie King which was included in the books which were presented to him . These letters accompanied his book collection.
- Creator / Provenance:
- Biography/Administrative history:
William Lyon Mackenzie King, Prime Minister of Canada, a grandson of William Lyon Mackenzie, was born in Kitchener (then Berlin), Ontario, 17 December 1874. He attended the University of Toronto (B.A., LL.B., M.A.), the University of Chicago, and Harvard University (M.A., Ph.D.). His field of study was Political Economy, with labour problems as his special interest. In 1900, he was appointed the first Deputy Minister of Labour and editor of the Labour Gazette. In 1908, he resigned to enter the House of Commons and in 1909 he entered the cabinet as the first Minister of Labour. He left politics after his defeat in the election of 1911 and from 1914 to 1917, he worked for the Rockefeller Foundation investigating industrial relations. He re-entered politics in 1919 after he was chosen leader of the Liberal Party. At the end of 1921, he became Prime Minister and held the post (with the exception of three months in 1926) until his party's defeat in the election of 1930.
He was Leader of the Opposition until October 1935 when the Liberals came back into power. From that time he was Prime Minister until he retired on 15 November 1948. He died 22 July 1950 at his Kingsmere estate.
- Finding aid:
Textual records (Electronic) Each series has its own finding aid identified by series number (ie: MSS0502-J1). Most finding aids are electronic, however some exist only in paper format. Consult the Archivist for any possible finding aids in process. MSS0502 (Restrictions not set) http://data2.archives.ca/pdf/pdf001/p000002053.pdf
Sound recordings and moving images: See MISACS for item level descriptions.
Objects: See ICON database for item level descriptions of medallic material.
Objects: Medal inventory available.
Art: Item level descriptions available in paper and online format.
Textual records (Paper) Each series has its own finding aid identified by series number (ie: MSS0502-J1). Most finding aids are electronic, however some exist only in paper format. Consult the Archivist for any possible finding aids in process. MSS0502
Cartographic material (Other) Please consult lower level descriptions. (90:Open)
Architectural, technical drawings (Other) Please consult lower level descriptions. (90:Open)
- Additional information:
- General Note:
- The William Lyon Mackenzie King Papers were deposited in the Public Archives of Canada by the terms of Mr. King's will. The papers were the property of his literary executors until 22 July 1975 when they became the property of the Crown. The final transfer occurred 30 June 1977.
Some of the moving image material was acquired from Laurier House in 1968.
- Arrangement note:
- The fonds was at one time broadly subdivided into public and personal records. These designations have been removed from the description because they did not adequately reflect the contents of the records. The fundamental arrangement of the records has not changed, nor has any information been lost.
- Availability of other formats note:
- The King diaries (Series J13) have been digitized and are available online. The diaries, with extensive additional information, can be viewed at
- Subject heading:
- Other system control no.:
- Related control no.:
- Ordering and Viewing Options
- Conditions of access:
- Photographs: No restrictions. Item less than 50 years old: Various copyrights. Item more than 50 years old: Copyright expired. Credit: Name of photographer / National Archives of Canada.
Sound recordings and moving images: Reproduction and use in any form requires the written permission of the copyright holders.
Objects: Must be consulted under close supervision for conservation reasons. Copyright: Various copyrights. Credit: National Archives of Canada.
Art: Some restrictions on reproduction. Various copyrights, some unknown. Credit: National Archives of Canada. Art material must be consulted under close supervision for conservation reasons.
Cartographic material: No restrictions. Credit Library and Archives Canada.
Architectural, technical drawings: No restrictions. Credit Library and Archives Canada.