Fonds MSG 1210 - John Mappin Fonds

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John Mappin Fonds

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  • Textual record
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  • Sound recording

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  • 1733 - 2004 (Creation)
    Mappin, John, 1926-
    Montréal (Québec)

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Physical description

2.4m of textual records and other material, including 3 sound disks (1 x 33 1/3 rpm and 2 x 45 rpm)

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Biographical history

Antiquarian book dealer, author, publisher, and reviewer, John Newton Mappin was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 1926 and died there in 2008. Mappin lived in Montreal with his wife Judith (Judy) Taylor, who had co-founded The Double Hook, a Canadiana bookshop, while she was a student at McGill University. John Mappin took over the family jewelry business, Mappin & Webb Limited, after his father’s death. He sold the business in 1962 and entered the book trade business shortly thereafter. Mappin graduated with a Master of Arts in political science and economics from McGill University in 1968. His thesis was titled The political thought of Francis Maseres, attorney general of Canada, 1766-69.

For over 40 years, Mappin himself was a collector and dealer of antiquarian books in Montreal, as John N. Mappin Rare Books. He operated out of his home office and as thus never had a brick and mortar store, nor did he participate in book fairs. He issued book lists and met privately with his customers, many of which were libraries building their Canadiana collections.

As an author, Mappin is most known for his book Bernard Amtmann 1907-1979: a personal memoir, which has been cited multiple times in scholarly literature. Antmann was a fellow Canadian antiquarian bookseller from Montreal.

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Scope and content

The fonds documents John Mappin’s occupation as an independent antiquarian book seller, his personal interest in the history of print and Canadian politics, and his personal achievements as an author. The wide variety of subject files found in this collection are almost entirely North American based and span from 1733-2004. These records reflect Mappin’s particular focus on Canadian authors and Canadiana in general.

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Finding aid prepared by Ianna Breese, Michael Stewart, Jessica Zimmerman, Cassandra D’Amico-Mazza and Alexane Trepannier-Desbiens as part of McGill’s School of Information Studies course GLIS 641 ; edited by Gordon Burr, December 2018.

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