Privy Council Documents: Introduction

In 1907 the then-separate countries of Canada and Newfoundland agreed that the dispute over the location of their common boundary in the Labrador Peninsula should be sent to arbitration. The highest court of appeal in the British Empire was the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London, which agreed to hear the case. The hearing took place in 1926. Each side submitted arguments and counter-arguments, and thousands of documents. The decision was announced in Newfoundland and Labrador's favour on 1 March, 1927.

The result of the case had important ramifications for both Canada and Newfoundland, and the 12 volumes of documents submitted to the court form a valuable historical resource used by students of Labrador history.

In 2003 the Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage Web Site (NLHWS) began placing all 12 volumes on its web site in as close a layout to the original printed version as was reasonably possible. The project was huge totalling over 3300 web files.

In the summer of 2012 the site began upgrading from html 4 to html5 using a faceted design approach, and making the site responsive to mobile devices and tablets. To include the Labrador Boundary Dispute documents in this upgrade would have been prohibitively costly. Instead we decided to convert all 12 volumes into one pdf file. Its size, however, is huge, totaling more than 44 megs.

PDF version of the Privy Council's Labrador Boundary Dispute Documentation.

In the original web documents up to five printed pages were included in one web page, yet with some documents over 60 pages in length, visitors would need to be able to move from one web page to the next within any single document. To achieve this outcome we placed at the bottom of each of these web pages a bar containing hot-linked numbers. Each number corresponds to a web page of the document.

Number bar that appears at the bottom of many document pages.

We retained these links in the pdf file and they still perform the same function.

Visitors can use the Find or Search feature in their browser to search a subject in the pdf file.