MacKenzie-Papineau Battalion collection [textual record, graphic material, cartographic material]

  • Record Information – Brief
    Hierarchical level:
    [ca. 1930-1986].
    Type of material:
    Textual material, Photographs, Art, Maps and cartographic material
    Found in:
    Archives / Collections and Fonds
    Item ID number:
    Link to this page:
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    Context of this record:
    • MacKenzie-Papineau Battalion collection
      MacKenzie-Papineau Battalion collection
  • Collection includes:
    7 lower level description(s)
    View lower level description(s)
    [ca. 1930-1986].
    Place of creation:
    No place, unknown, or undetermined
    1.16 m of textual records.
    855 photographs b&w and col.
    24 prints (postcards, poster).
    3 maps.
    Language of material:
    Scope and content:
    Collection consists of four series of textual records, 1935-1986, pertaining to the MacKenzie-Papineau Battalion's activities during the Spanish Civil War. The first series contains documents compiled by Victor Howard (Hoar); the second series, the papers of Edward Cecil Smith; the third series, the records of the Friends of the MacKenzie-Papineau Battalion; and the fourth series, the papers of Walter E. Dent. These papers, which were compiled by the Veterans of the MacKenzie-Papineau Battalion, contain both historic and contemporary material relating to Battalion members. The material was collected for the Veterans of the MacKenzie-Papineau history project. Collection also contains graphic material including 855 photographs relating to the MacKenzie-Papineau Battalion in the Spanish Civil War and one poster, 1936-1938, entitled ,"Iammistia", depicting La Pasionaria (?) by J.G. Gould, published by the Canadian Committee for a Democratic Spain.
    Biography/Administrative history:
    Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion: During the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), more than 1300 Canadians, primarily recruited by the Communist Party of Canada, volunteered to serve with the Spanish Republican forces in their fight against the combined fascist Nationalist forces of Spain. Initially many of these Canadian combatants served with American units, such as the Abraham Lincoln or George Washington Battalions of the English-speaking XVth Brigade. On 1 July 1937, the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion was formed as a distinct Canadian unit (60th Battalion) of the XVth International Brigade, attached to the 35th Division of the Spanish Republican Army. The Battalion participated in five significant campaigns and many other minor engagements, and earned itself an admirable reputation as a military unit. The Government of Canada had maintained a non-interventionist policy and passed legislation making it illegal for Canadian citizens to participate in the Spanish conflict. Upon returning home, members of the MacKenzie-Papineau Battalion began a protracted campaign to gain official recognition from the Canadian Government for their service in Spain. Instrumental in that cause was the Veterans of the MacKenzie-Papineau Battalion, an organization established in 1946 by a number of battalion survivors. Common usage treats all Canadian volunteers in Spain, whether with the Battalion or not, as "Mac-Paps."
    Finding aid:
    Textual records: (Paper) The finding aid is a descriptive file list. MSS0608 (99 99: Closed pending processing)

    Textual records: (Electronic) Finding aid. MSS0608

    306 photographs, 1936-ca. 1939 (accession 1971-093 NPC), Vol.1-2: (Paper) Alphabetical index by name; FA-069 326 and Photo A&R.

    306 photographs, 1936-ca. 1939 (accession 1971-093 NPC). (Other) FA-177

    Photograph portraits of members of the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion previously attached to file cards containing information on individual members of the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion (accession 1971-093 NPC): (Paper) Photocopies of portraits and file cards arranged alphabetically; photo accession file.

    Additional information:
    Custodial history:
    The first volume of this collection was presented to the National Archives of Canada in 1971 by Victor Howard (Hoar) of East Lansing, Michigan. The materials were compiled in the preparation of his book entitled The MacKenzie-Papineau Battalion.
    Volumes 2-6 of this collection, the Walter E. Dent papers, were presented to the National Archives in 1987, by Walter E. Dent of Toronto. These were originally accessioned as part of MG 30 E 506, but have since been placed in this collection, MG 30 E 173.
    The materials were compiled by the Veterans of the MacKenzie-Papineau Battalion in preparation for their book entitled Canadian volunteers: Spain, 1936-1939.
    Availability of other formats note:
    306 photographs, 1936-ca. 1939 (accession 1971-093 NPC): Copy negatives available: C-74966 to C-74974, C-67460 to C-67469, C-67450 to C-67459, C-67435 to C-67449.
    Associated material note:
    A woven cloth souvenir belt (Spanish republican colours): Transferred to the Canadian War Museum.
    Related material:
    Related material is also in MG 10, K 2, the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion fonds.
    Subject heading:
    Other system control no.:
    Related control no.:
    1971-093 NPC
    1981-148 NPC
    1989-293 DAP
    Former archival reference no.:
  • Conditions of access:
    Terms of use:
    Photographs: No donor restrictions. Various copyrights on items less than 50 years old. Copyright expired on items more than 50 years old. Credit: Name of photographer / National Archives of Canada / Copy negative no.
    Postcards, poster (accession 1989-293 DAP): Copyright: Expired. Credit: National Archives of Canada / Copy negative no.

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