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Collection C0172 - Larry Buchan's collection

Identity area

Reference code



Larry Buchan's collection


  • 1902-2002 (originally created 1884-1998) (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

8 cm of textual records. -- 2 technical drawings

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Larry Buchan, 1949- , was born in Calgary, Alberta. In 1965 he began working for the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) Ogden Shops as a tinsmith apprentice. Except for brief periods in the plumbing and flour milling trades, he worked for the railway for his entire career, as a switchman, brakeman, car retarder operator, yard master, yard foreman, conductor, and locomotive engineer. He retired in 2001 because of disabilities resulting from a traffic accident while on vacation. Buchan was an active member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (BLE). He was a collector of railway memorabilia, railway watches, and clocks, and as a volunteer worked with the restoration and operation of steam locomotives. In his retirement he became the archivist for the BLE, Division 355 (Calgary), and for its International Western Convention. He married Anita Dumais (née Beals), and had two stepsons, Colin and Cory.


Archival history

The materials were acquired by Larry Buchan through the memorabilia collectors’ market.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Gift of Larry Buchan, 2002-2005.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The collection consists of a photocopy of the personal fonds of Elmer Wessell, 1864-ca. 1960, of Oneonta, New York, USA, one of the eight founders of the Brotherhood of Railroad Brakemen, later named the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen; and a series of correspondence concerning construction of a wing of the Banff Springs Hotel in 1902-1903 (correspondents include A. J. McLean, D. McNicoll, and J. W. Leonard). Includes Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) correspondence and drawings about spur lines at Frank and Bellevue, Alberta.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

No restrictions on access.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

The material is in English.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

No finding aid.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

The original papers of Elmer Wessell are in the possession of Larry Buchan.

Existence and location of copies

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Notes area


Title based on contents of records.

Alternative identifier(s)

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Name access points

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Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion




Accession area

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