This is the Joseph Plimsoll Edwards Library of Canadiana, some 15,000 books, pamphlets and serials, primarily historical, political, literary and religious. It is purported to be one of the best collections of early 19th- and 20th-century Canadian literature in the country. Major J.P. Edwards (1859-1930) was an avid book collector even as a boy and later as an accountant in Montréal and Nova Scotia. He was an accountant at the Acadia Mining & Smelting Co. in Londonderry, NS and later worked in Halifax for what is now the Canada Revenue Agency. When he decided to sell his extensive collection of Canadiana in 1917, he offered it to both Dalhousie as well as Acadia, and Acadia president George Cutten snapped it up.
Some of the $10,000 purchase price came from the university, but by far the majority was donated by Senator & Mrs. William Dennis of Halifax, who asked that the collection be named in memory of their son, Captain Eric Dennis, who was killed in World War I at Vimy Ridge. Senator Dennis was at one time the editor of the Chronicle Herald and sat on the Board of Governors of Acadia University. The Dennis House residence is named after him.
Acadia University Library's digital bookplates recognize the many benefactors whose generous gifts enrich our collections for the entire university community.