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Queen's University

Queen's Encyclopedia

Mitchell, James

Mitchell was the founder of Queen's library collection. He was a graduate of the University of Aberdeen who immigrated to the Niagara region of Upper Canada in about 1800 as a tutor to the family of John Hamilton, who would become a founding Trustee of Queen's.

In 1840, then a judge near London, Ontario, Mitchell heard that a new Scottish-Presbyterian college was to be founded in the province and sent six books "to any authorized agent for managing the affairs of Queen's College; Toronto or Kingston." Evidently he did not know that Kingston had been chosen as the college's location in 1839.

Judge Mitchell's gift consisted of: a Latin Bible (1592), a Greek New Testament (1760), and a French New Testament (1664), as well as a Greek lexicon (1821) and a copy of Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1760) in two volumes. They were the first books owned by Queen's libraries and are known collectively as the Mitchell Gift.

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000