W.H. Coverdale collection of Canadiana [multiple media] Manoir Richelieu collection.

  • Record Information – Brief
    Hierarchical level:
    Fonds / Collection
    Type of material:
    Art, Maps & cartographic material, Photographs, Textual material
    Found in:
    Archives / Collections and Fonds
    Item ID number:
    Link to this page:
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    Context of this record:
    • W.H. Coverdale collection of Canadiana
      W.H. Coverdale collection of Canadiana
  • Fonds / Collection includes:
    2118 lower level description(s)
    View lower level description(s)
    ca. 1640-1939.
    Place of creation:
    Various places
    27 paintings : oil & acrylic ; various dimensions.
    335 watercolours : watercolour, gouache ; various dimensions.
    77 drawings : pencil, pen and ink, pastel ; various dimensions.
    1724 prints : etchings, engravings, lithographs, photogravures, offset lithographs mezzotints, serigraphs ; various dimensions.
    244 maps.
    62 reproductions : b&w photographic copies of original artworks ; various dimensions.
    1 mss. of textual records.
    Language of material:
    Scope and content:
    The W.H. Coverdale collection of Canadiana, also known by its variant title as the Manoir Richelieu collection of Canadiana, includes prints, maps, paintings, watercolours and other material which formerly hung on the walls of the Canada Steamship Lines hotel at Murray Bay, Quebec, the Manoir Richelieu. The collection was an endeavour to capture the spirit of Canadian history both through the acquisition of historical works related to Canada, and more broadly, North America, as well as the acquisition of works by contemporary artists who, with a feeling for the past, had succeeded in recreating significant events or historic settings which have been obliterated by the ravages of time. The collection was assembled largely through the personal efforts of William Hugh Coverdale (1871-1949), president of Canada Steamship Lines from 1922 to 1949, who decided that the corridors and rooms of the newly-constructed Manoir Richelieu should be graced with scenes from Canadian history. The first works for the collection were acquired in 1928 and continued to be acquired until 1947 or later. The collection itself covers every aspect of Canadian history from the earliest French settlements right up to the 1920s, including views of places, portraits of individuals directly and indirectly involved in the history of Canada, and records of events and scenes which have specific meaning in the visual history of the country and of North America as a whole. Among the more notable parts of the collection are full sets of Richard Short's 1761 views of Quebec and 1764 views of Halifax; Hervey Smyth's views of Gaspé and Quebec of 1761; the Cockburn Quebec and Niagara views; more than 180 sheets from Audubon's Birds of America and 99 prints from Audubon's Quadrupeds of America, 145 prints from Bartlett's Canadian scenery and American scenery; 121 Indian portrait prints from McKenny & Hall's North American Indians, published in 185-8; 25 prints from George Catlin's North American Indian Portfolio of 1844; 50 watercolours by James Pattison Cockburn; 23 watercolours by Daniel Wilson; 28 drawings by Charles W. Jefferys; 33 watercolours by Augustus Terrick Hamilton; 11 watercolours by James Hope-Wallace; and works by a wide variety of other artists, including James Peachey, George Heriot, William Armstrong, Charles William Jeffreys, Charles Ramus Forrest, Henry Rudyerd, Charles Beauclerk, Henry James Warre, Thomas and Robert Hood.
    Creator / Provenance:
    Additional name(s):
    Biography/Administrative history:
    William Hugh Coverdale was born in Kingston Ontario on January 27, 1871, son of William Miles and Fannie (O'Neill) Coverdale. Educated at Collegiate Institute, Kingston, Ontario; Geneva College, Beaver Falls, Pa. (B.A., 1891; Dr.Sc.1914; Queen's University (LL.D.,1922). Married Harriet E. Hinchliff, daughter of William E. Hinchliff, on June 30 1911. The couple had four children William Hugh, Mary, Hariett and Miles.

    W.H. Coverdale began his career with the engineering department of Pennsylvania Lines West of Pittsburg, where he worked from 1891 to 1900. From 1900 onward, he had an engineering practice in New York City, except for one year when he travelled to Europe. In January 1913, he went into partnership with Walter William Colpitts (1875-1951), a Canadian trained as a consulting engineer, as was Coverdale. The consulting engineering firm of Coverdale and Colpitts was involved in the reorganization and management of railroad and industrial companies, and examining and reporting on properties and projects.

    From 1922 until his death in 1949, Coverdale was the president and managing director of Canada Steamship Lines Ltd. He also held senior executive positions with numerous companies in the United States and Canada.

    Coverdale was a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and American Institute of Consulting Engineers.He was author of "Tadoussac Then and Now: A History and narrative of the Kingdom of the Saguenay " 1942. Public Archives of Canada / Cooke, W. Martha "W.H. Coverdale Collection of Canadiana: Paintings, Water-colours and drawings (Manoir Richelieu Collection),1983.
    Finding aid:
    (Paper) - All art items described at item-level in MINISIS-ICON. A few cartographic items are described in AG Canada. (90 Open)

    (Paper) - Cartographic material listed in Catalogue of the National Map Collection, Public Archives of Canada: Author Catalogue, Volume 13. (90 Open)

    Additional information:
    Source of title:
    Custodial history:
    The original collection consisted of 2,482 works, of which 62 were transferred to the National Gallery of Canada, and 25 pictures, including many paintings, as well as 10 maps were returned to the vendor at the time of sale.

    Arrangement note:
    Arranged according to numbering system created by the curators of the Manoir Richelieu collection. It should be noted that there are a number of duplicate item-numbers used, and many gaps in the continuity due to material being returned to the donor, thefts or losses which occurred before the collection came to NA, and other reasons.
    Reproduction note:
    All items are photographed.
    Related material:
    The National Gallery of Canada owns 62 works, which are described in the National Archives' publication: W.H. Coverdale collection on Canadiana, paintings, water-colours, and drawings (Ottawa, 1984).
  • Conditions of access:
    Terms of use:
    No restrictions on access or on use for reproduction or publication. The Department of the Secretary of State for Canada must be credited in all publications or exhibitions using material from the Coverdale Collection of Canadiana.
    Item R3908-1985

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