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Sir John A. Macdonald – Rare and Intriguing Treasures from the Vaults of Library and Archives Canada

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In celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Sir John A. Macdonald, Library and Archives Canada and the Canadian Museum of History are proud to present a small selection of unique artifacts documenting the private life, public face and enduring appeal of Canada’s first Prime Minister.


The display, developed by Library and Archives Canada, features many rarely seen original items, including the earliest known portrait of Sir John A. Macdonald, an exercise book from his school days, receipts for personal purchases ― such as an authentic Scottish kilt ― and a 19th-century trade card featuring Macdonald in the guise of a baseball player.

Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada

Earliest known portrait of Sir John A. Macdonald by an unknown artist, ca. 1842—43, oil on canvas Library and Archives Canada, e010935956