D.C. Mackay fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

D.C. Mackay fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record

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Reference code

MS-2-280, Box 1-58

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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Physical description area

Physical description

10 m of textual records

Publisher's series area

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Archival description area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Donald Cameron Mackay was born in 1906 at Fredericton, New Brunswick, the son of William and Jane. In 1912, the Mackay family moved to Nova Scotia and Mackay began his education at Halifax Academy. After briefly studying at Dalhousie University, he entered the Nova Scotia College of Art, where he graduated in 1928. A year later, Mackay began graduate studies at the Chelsea School of Art in London, England, and also studied in France at the Academie Colorossi in Paris. In 1930, he moved to Toronto, Ontario where he worked as an illustrator and studied at the University of Toronto. Mackay later taught illustration and etching at the Northern Vocational School and at the Art Gallery in Toronto. In 1934, he married Mollie Bell and they returned to Halifax, where Mackay began work as an instructor and later as vice-principal of the Nova Scotia College of Art. In addition to his job at the College, Mackay was also employed as a special lecturer for the Department of Fine Arts at Dalhousie University. In 1939, he joined the Canadian Navy as a lieutenant, and in 1943, he was appointed Official War Artist for the Navy. Mackay retired from the Navy at the end of World War II in 1945, and went back to the Nova Scotia College of Art in the position of principal. He also continued to lecture at Dalhousie University. Following the death of Mackay's first wife Mollie, he later was remarried in 1966 to Margaret MacNeil, and they had one daughter, Margot. Mackay remained principal of the Nova Scotia College of Art until his retirement in 1971. He was the author and illustrator of Master Goldsmiths and Silversmiths of Nova Scotia (co-written with Harry Piers, 1948); and Silversmiths and Related Craftsmen of the Atlantic Provinces (1973). Mackay also was the illustrator of many other books and periodicals besides his own, especially those related to Canadian history. Donald Cameron Mackay died in 1979 at Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Custodial history

Donated by Donald Cameron McKay in 1979.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of correspondence; printed material, including exhibition pamphlets; research and correspondence pertaining to silver, heraldry; manuscripts; family papers; Mackay's own artwork; artist files; and reference materials.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

There are no access restrictions on these materials. All materials are open for research.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Materials do not circulate and must be used in the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room. Materials may be under copyright. Contact departmental staff for guidance on reproduction.

Finding aids

A file/item list is available onsite.

Associated materials

Related materials


No further accruals expected.

General note

Preferred citation: [Identification of item], D.C. Mackay fonds, MS-2-280, Box [box number], Folder [folder number], Dalhousie University Archives and Special Collections, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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Control area


This fonds description comes from the Dalhousie University Archives Catalog. The complete, original description is available there.

Accession area