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First-Ever Display in Canada of Treaty of Paris, Part of Library and Archives Canada Major Exhibition

OTTAWA, May 6, 2008 - Library and Archives Canada, in collaboration with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in the United States, today launched a unique international exhibition at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa, on the occasion of the 225th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Paris. The exhibition entitled 1783: Subject or Citizen? marks the first collaborative educational initiative between the two national institutions.

"The Treaty of Paris changed forever the life of not only one nation, but two," said the Librarian and Archivist of Canada, Ian E. Wilson. "This exhibition tells the story through a unique partnership, one which serves as an elegant metaphor for the special friendship Canada has with the United States."

This exhibition recounts the story of two nations and sheds light on the individuals and their beliefs in the changing world during this period. The Treaty of Paris not only ended the American Revolution, but also provided the foundation for what was to become the Canadian nation. It shaped the political development and social fabric of our country and led to the creation of new international relationships. The Treaty also greatly affected the lives of North Americans including First Peoples, African-Americans, Loyalists, Patriots and French-Canadians in ways which are still felt today.

The evolution of these societies following the Treaty is clearly outlined in the three key themes featured in the exhibition: "Forming New Identities," "New Relationships" and "Lives in the Wake of the Treaty." The curators of the exhibition have provided an introduction to the voices, values and visions that are representative in each unique theme.

1783: Subject or Citizen? contains approximately 60 important documents, half of which were drawn from the Library and Archives Canada collection. Some of the items include maps from 1755, books, paintings, letters and stamps from 1765, a copy of the Loyalist Oath as well as the Quebec Gazette from August 1790. The highlight of the exhibition is the actual Treaty of Paris which has never before been seen in Canada and seldom been displayed even in Washington.

"The National Archives of the United States is delighted to join with Library and Archives Canada in this important exhibition," said Allen Weinstein, Archivist of the United States. "In the capital cities of our two great nations, these important historical records of its citizens have been reunited in this cooperative and creative endeavor."

Through this unique exhibition, Library and Archives Canada explores diverse Canadian perspectives and identities while bringing history to life through the power of original records.

For NARA, this exhibition continues its mission of bringing alive American history and the national archival resources through exhibitions, education programs and other related activities.

After premiering at Library and Archives Canada, the exhibition will then travel to Washington, D.C. to open in October.

1783: Subject or Citizen? Treaty of Paris will be on display starting May 6, 2008, until August 5, 2008, at Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa. Admission is free.

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