Welcome to the McGill University Library's Quartex Pilot Project
Doncaster Recipes Collection
This collection purchased from Justin Croft Antiquarian Books in January 2017 and held at McGill University’s Rare Books and Special Collections consists of fifteen books, ten notebooks and approximately 300 loose documents, containing over 1,600 culinary, medical and household handwritten recipes, all of which is now searchable using OCR and Handwritten Text Recognition. These documents originated chiefly from the Doncaster area of South Yorkshire, centred on Hooten Pagnell Hall, and date from roughly the 1780s through the 1850s. The bound volumes include two printed works by female authors, while many of the manuscripts and notes are signed by or addressed to Sarah Anne Warde. Two of these notebooks are attributed to Sarah Anne Warde, and another to Eliza Smithson. Learn more about Smithson’s table setting riddles -- also known as an enigmatical bill of fare -- in The Riddle Project.
Coming Soon: Canadian Fur Trade Collection
This collection is comprised of textual documents relating to the North West Company and the colonial-era fur trade more generally. It includes administrative and other business documents (e.g. contracts of employment, partnership agreements), as well as correspondence (both personal and business), legal documents (e.g. wills and estates, property sales), and travel narratives for areas including the Great Lakes region. The papers include material relating to James McGill, McGill University’s original benefactor, and members of his social circle, including Simon McTavish, for whom McTavish Street, which runs through the centre of the University’s downtown campus, is named, as well as other members of the Beaver Club, an elite dining club created by North West Company shareholders in Montreal.
In the Calls to Action established by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, there is a reference to archivists being responsible for making information that supports a wider understanding of harms perpetuated against Indigenous peoples in Canada freely available. As historians and other experts have noted, the establishment of harmful policies can be traced back, in part, to the correspondence of European fur traders. For this reason, the fur trade papers held by Rare Books and Special Collections are now available without restriction.
The Riddle Project is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Digitization of the Fur Trade materials was made possible by the National Heritage Digitization Strategy.