Richard Bedford Bennett (1870-1947), Viscount Bennett of Mickleham, Calgary, and Hopewell and Vice-President of the Royal Empire Society (1930-1947) was Prime Minister of Canada during the period 1930-1935. His life was strongly influenced by both his Methodist faith, which gave him a strong work ethic, and his love of the British Empire. As Prime Minister he attempted to fight the great depression by expanding trade within the British Empire but the policy had only limited success. His later attempts to introduce a ‘New Deal’ came all too late and as Canadians began to associate his name with the depression he was heavily defeated at the general election of 1935. He retired to England and was elevated to the British House of Lords. He is the only Canadian Prime Minister buried outside Canada.
The Bennett collection is a fairly eclectic one, including expected items such as runs of annual registers, Canadian year books, histories of countries such as England, India and Egypt together with biographies of significant political figures. More surprisingly, however, the collection includes beautifully bound limited edition series on mythology, classical literature, sacred works and early literature of the East, and both German and Italian literature. Of particular note are the bindings of the works of Italian literature. These have been reproduced from facsimiles of originals exhibited among the Treasures of the Vatican and date from the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries.
Online catalogue records for items within the Bennett collection can now be found in the University Library's online catalogue, Newton.http://ul-newton.lib.cam.ac.uk/. They may also be viewed collectively by Classmark search, using the Classmark stem: RCS.Ben.