Happy Archives Awareness Week!

It’s Archives Awareness Week in Ontario and we are celebrating!

A small pop-up exhibit called “Documenting Dissent” highlights some of the records from the Lesslie Family fonds. If you are familiar with the Dundas Museum, you know that some of the most intriguing documents we have were created or maintained by the Lesslie Family, who, while distinguished in their own right, are not as well known as their friend William Lyon Mackenzie.

The documents on display all relate to John Lesslie. They include a draft petition William Lyon Mackenzie sent to John in 1831; John Lesslie’s diary; and selections from his political scrapbook. The scrapbook contains a wealth of information about meetings and debates and the political attitude of the time. Posters, clippings, and articles are packed into this book, making their display difficult, but not impossible for a short term exhibit.

This exhibit will complement a talk given on Thursday, April 9 by Archivist Sandra Kiemele called “Using the Durham Banner to tell the Stories of Dundas Families”. John Lesslie’s diary provides evidence of meetings in Dundas to discuss Lord Durham’s report and the names of those participating are included. The stories of some of those named in the diary will be told. The talk is part of the Dundas Valley Historical Society Speaker Series and begins at 7:30pm at the Museum. There is a small admission fee for this talk which benefits the DVHS.

Given the fragile nature of the documents on display, “Documenting Dissent” will conclude on Saturday, April 11, 2015.


This poster issued by Dr. James Hamilton was kept in John Lesslie’s scrapbook. It was issued on July 22, 1839, days before the meeting in Dundas was scheduled. Did the Reformers defy Dr. Hamilton and bring the banner to the meeting anyway?