New Acquisitions

June 2018


Our Special Collections contain a number of early editions on slavery, abolition, and the Underground Railroad in Canada.  Our newest acquisition to our James Alexander and Ellen Rea Benson Special Collections is a very rare, first edition of “Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb an American Slave, Written by Himself” 1849.  After escaping from Kentucky to Detroit in 1842, and then migrating to Upper Canada after the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, he published his book and then started the first black newspaper in Canada, The Voice of the Fugitive.  You can read more about the life of Henry Bibb in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, and you can visit the Archives and Research Collections Centre at Western University to examine the first edition of his book.

Debbie Meert-Williston, Special Collections Librarian,