Wednesday, 19 June 2019

LAC Co-Lab Update

Here's an update on Co-Lab projects since last month.

Legendary Train Robber and Prison Escapee Bill Miner is 98% complete (92% last month).
War Diaries of the First World War: 1st Canadian Division is 94% complete (92% last month).
Rosemary Gilliat (Eaton)’s Arctic diary and photographs is 39% complete (38% last month).
The Call to Duty: Canada's Nursing Sisters is 85% complete (77% last month).

New France and First Nations Relations is 39% complete.
Japanese-Canadians: Second World War is 61% complete.

The Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918–1919.
Correspondence between Sir Robert Borden and Sir Sam Hughes.
Letters from Wilfrid Laurier to Zoé Lafontaine/Laurier.

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

News Release: Library and Archives Canada’s new preservation centre: a unique Canadian environmental project

Library and Archives Canada’s new preservation centre: a unique Canadian environmental project
Tuesday, June 18, 2019 – Gatineau, Quebec – Library and Archives Canada
Today, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and the Plenary Properties Gatineau (PPG) consortium, which is responsible for constructing a second preservation centre in Gatineau, Quebec, revealed the design of the building that will be located directly behind the current Preservation Centre.
In many ways, the new building will set a global standard, following the example of the existing Preservation Centre, which is Canada’s pride and the envy of other memory institutions at home and abroad.
The new preservation centre will be the first “net-zero carbon” facility dedicated to archival preservation in the Americas, and the first federal building constructed to the requirements of Canada’s Greening Government Strategy. The main features of a net-zero carbon building are:
·       minimal carbon emissions from energy consumption, achieved through building design and efficiency measures;
·       energy needs met through carbon-free fuel sources; and
·       minimal embodied carbon in building materials.
It will also be the world’s largest preservation facility equipped with a high-tech automated archive storage and retrieval system. This means that our precious national collections will be kept under optimal preservation conditions.
The PPG proposal was selected for this public-private partnership because it meets all of the required technical criteria and can be implemented at the best possible cost to taxpayers. The consortium will:
·       design, build and finance the new building;
·       optimize storage space in the current Preservation Centre; and
·       operate and maintain both facilities.
The ultra-modern facility will increase LAC’s capacity to store Canadian archives and resolve the critical shortage of space expected in the very near future. Construction will begin in 2019 and lead to the creation of hundreds of new jobs, with the opening expected in 2022. 

This new, state-of-the-art preservation facility in the National Capital Region will help Canada remain a leader in the preservation and promotion of our invaluable documentary heritage. Our government is confident that this preservation centre will solidify Library and Archives Canada’s place at the forefront of preservation throughout the world, for the benefit of present and future generations.”
-          The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism
“Our government is proud to be a part of this important infrastructure project. The new Library and Archives Canada preservation centre project will create good middle-class jobs, foster innovation and protect the environment, all while improving services for Canadians and creating an iconic new building in the Gatineau landscape.”
-          Steven MacKinnon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility
“This new flagship building, which will accompany the award-winning and world-class Preservation Centre in Gatineau, is yet another testament to Library and Archives Canada being able to set itself apart in opting for a green and sustainable infrastructure. Once built, this new state-of-the-art facility will ensure the preservation and accessibility of our rich collection of treasures for centuries and for generations to come.”
-          Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Library and Archives Canada and to preserve the heritage of our country in what will be a state-of-the-art, iconic facility, and the first Net Zero Carbon archival centre in the Americas. We look forward to working with our partners to deliver this project, and supporting the Government of Canada in its commitment to sustainable infrastructure and the preservation of our documented history.”
-        Brian Clark, Project Director, on behalf of Plenary Properties Gatineau, a partnership combining the strengths of Plenary Group, PCL and ENGIE Services

Quick facts
·       By pursuing a sustainable, green approach, LAC has significantly reduced its environmental footprint since 2011. It has cut its number of preservation spaces from 22 to 5, while shrinking their total area from 237,000 to 124,000 square metres and maximizing the space used.
·       Construction of the new preservation facility, optimization of the current Preservation Centre vaults, and project funding will cost approximately $330 million. This amount does not include the operating and maintenance costs of the two facilities over 30 years.
·       Although LAC is adding new, essential space to meet its current and future needs for the storage and preservation of analogue documentary heritage (including official federal government records, for which it is the continuing memory), it continues to make significant strides in digitizing its collection to achieve greater accessibility.
The public will be able to consult LAC’s collections while this work progresses, apart from a few brief service interruptions.

LAC Planning a Newspaper Summit

Librarian and Archivist of Canada Guy Berthiaume informed me during an interview last week that LAC is planning a newspaper summit in the Fall. The newspaper collection and need for a Canada-wide approach to digitization is something I've been advocating as a LAC role for years, with little success, even though LAC did hold a similar summit in October 2002 (pdf).

Maybe there's something in the air. Chris Paton's blog reports that The National Library of Scotland ( is currently holding an online survey concerning its digital newspaper collections, which will run until Friday July 26th. Here's the NLS announcement:

Reader Survey of Digital Newspaper Collections

The National Library of Scotland is carrying out research into the accessibility and use of Scotland’s newspapers as they are to be found online. The National Library provides access routes to newspaper eResources to registered Library members. Other digital newspaper collections exist elsewhere either providing online open access to view digital newspapers or closed access behind paywalls. 

We will be very grateful to you for taking 3-5 minutes to complete 10 survey questions about your experience of using online newspaper collections and how they might be improved. The information you supply will be used to consider how to enhance access routes to newspapers of interest to Scottish audiences.

Any personal information you supply through this survey will be held and used by the National Library of Scotland for the purposes of handling your feedback. For full information about how we will hold and use your personal information, see our privacy page, in particular our fundraising privacy notice and our feedback and complaints notice.

Thank you.

The National Library of Scotland
June 2019

To take part in the survey visit

Will LAC conduct a similar survey to obtain input from those not at the summit?

I expect to post the audio of my interview with Guy Berthiaume in the next few days.

Charlotte Grey publishing a new book

A gold mine. A millionaire. An island paradise. An unsolved murder. A missing fortune.

Charlotte Grey's new book, to be published in September, has all the elements of a winner — as if the author's name alone was not enough to recommend it.

Get a preview in this podcast from Canadian Geographic where Charlotte is interviewed by David McGuffin.

Perth & District Historical Society June Meeting

On Thursday, 20 June at 7:30pm PDHS turns to visual arts of paintings and sculptures - and the Canadian side of Frederic Remington’s work.

Frederic Sackrider Remington (1861-1909) is well-known as an artist of the American West.  He explored the frontier between civilisation and the wilderness, in a body of work that includes over 3400 flat works, 22 subjects in bronze and 8 books.  Remington placed an emphasis on the “types” who shaped, and were shaped by, the frontier experience: cowboys, soldiers, mountain men, explorers, coureurs de bois, voyageurs, and peoples of the First Nations. 

It is not well known that Canada was an integral part of Remington’s vision of the frontier experience.  From his earliest work in magazine illustration to the masterful oil paintings created at the end of his career, Canada was central to his basic concept of North America.  For him, the frontier was a region of international scope.  As an historical and cultural backdrop, the Canadian stage was equal to that of the U.S., and for some of his purposes, superior.  And, throughout his life and career, Remington was deeply tied to the culture and landscape of the eastern woods and waters, with Quebec, Ontario and northern New York a persistent focus of his work. 

Laura Desmond, Education Specialist at the Frederic Remington Art Museum in nearby Ogdensburg NY, will present an overview of Remington’s Canadian subjects, illustrating her presentation with a wide range of Remington’s paintings and drawings.  She will also explore how his Canadian-themed works are both typical and distinct from those depicting his U.S. subjects. 

Desmond has worked at the Remington Museum for two years, creating educational programmes that expand and deepen an understanding of Frederic Remington’s work, and of art and art-making more generally.  She also assists the Museum Curator in the design, research, installation and presentation of exhibits at the Museum.  Laura Desmond's previous museum experience includes collections, exhibitions and programme delivery at the Potsdam Public Museum and at the Richard F. Brush Art Gallery in Canton NY. 

The meeting is at Perth's Royal Canadian Legion, 26 Beckwith Street E., Perth, (Toonie Donation).

Monday, 17 June 2019

How Do I Digitize and Share a Ton of Old Family Photos?

From Lifehacker. You likely already know.

The Future for OGS

To ratify the Actions of the Board of Directors for the period through June 21, 2019.

It's an agenda item for the Annual General Meeting of The Ontario Genealogical Society, something  I've not seen before.

The world has changed substantially reflected in reduced society memberships at a time when one might expect retiring baby boomers to swell the ranks. That's not just in OGS, not just in family history societies.

This precipitated the Society launch of a brand, Ontario Ancestors, legally registered as a business name for use by The Ontario Genealogical Society.

It's not unusual for businesses to have a variety of brands. Cheerios, Häagen-Dazs, Yoplait, Nature Valley, Pillsbury and Betty Crocker are General Mills brands.

But in the case of Ontario Ancestors, it's not a product under the company umbrella, it's the whole organization and so appears as a re-brand replacing The Ontario Genealogical Society. The Board of Directors denies this — "a re-brand was not the intention."

What was the intention? Ontario Ancestors distinguishes the Society from US Societies that also use OGS — Ohio, Oregon and Oklahoma. The hope is the brand will sell better in the large US market and bring in new members.

The new brand surely won't be successful as just a cosmetic change. How will the organization evolve to serve the more distributed membership as well as the existing membership and society at large?

OGS has not been static. Province-wide or rather more than province-wide services like the eWeekly Update and webinars are examples of services recently introduced. There is a growing social media presence. Is that enough?

At the heart of the society are Ontario-based volunteers, and volunteer fatigue is a major issue. OGS Branches have closed, or struggle along with the same people in leadership roles. There's a hollowing out. Attend any meeting and you'll hear a plea for people to fill vacant positions, often to an audience many of whom have already done their time.

That's despite the established finding that volunteering provides benefits like better health, living longer, emotional support, less social isolation and, feeling of contributing to a greater good.

The move to market the Society in the US is unlikely to bring in volunteers at the branch level. Is the future of OGS as a stronger centralized organization with weaker branches?

Pro or con Ontario Ancestors I encourage you to attend the OGS Annual General Meeting to be held on Saturday, June 22nd at 10:00 am at the London Convention Centre, London, Ontario. Express your views, politely — Directors are volunteers too — but firmly.

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Victorian convicts in Milbank, Parkhurst and Pentonville prison records

TheGenealogist has released over 100,000 individuals into their expanding Court & Criminal Records collection. With this release, researchers can find the details of ancestors that had broken the law and were incarcerated in the harsh conditions of early Victorian convict prisons - including some that were only children!

The new data will allow the family history researcher to discover:

Over 100,000 individuals in records covering the years 1838 to 1875
Registers of prisoners inside Millbank, Parkhurst and Pentonville prisons.
Each prisoner's age on conviction
The marital status and whether the prisoner can read or write
The convict’s former trade
When and where they were convicted, their crime, sentence, where and whence received, previous offences, when removed and to where.

These fully searchable records are from the HO24 Home Office: Prison Registers and Returns 1838-1875 for Millbank, Parkhurst and Pentonville.
Read TheGenealogist’s article “Criminal records can reveal ancestors locked up in convict prisons” at:

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

Essex's medieval history
A blog post summary of a meeting held on 18 May looking at Essex as a county on the Edge of England, London and rebellion. Thanks to Brenda Turner for the tip.

Old Photos of  Essex Kent & London
A Facebook page. Thanks to Ann Burns for the tip. Also from Ann, a map of London from 1572.

Kin support and the English poor: evidence from Lancashire, c.1620–1710

Advance Notice: Kitchener Public Library Genealogy Fair 
KPL is organizing its seventh annual Genealogy Fair on Saturday, November 2, 2019. The event will run from 9:30 am to 4 pm at the Central Library — open to the public with no admission charge.

The Strangers’ Guide To London
From Spitalfields Life — RootsTech London attendees beware!

Happiness may be a choice – except that it’s constrained by vested economic interests
Mentions the Canadian Index of Wellbeing.

Cars of the future that will help fight climate change
"EVs have great potential to reduce emissions, they won’t as long as they’re charged using electricity generated from the same old dirty fossil fuels."

The newly released BP Statistical Review of World Energy shows that fossil fuels continue to account for the major part of primary energy production, and world carbon emissions grew by 2.0% in 2018.

Carbon Capture and Sequestering is a Sham
Best Carbon Capture Facility In World Emits 25 Times More CO2 Than Sequestered is the title of an article in CleanTechnica showing there’s no green in air carbon capture the way that Carbon Engineering is doing it, but that there are small niches where much wiser solutions like Global Thermostat‘s make sense. Carbon capture is a distraction designed by fossil fuel interests to direct attention and money away from renewable technologies and conservation.

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Local Library Developments

How's your library service? How is it changing? Is the Ottawa Public Library typical?

Some items in a draft OPL Strategic Plan 2020-23 caught my attention:

  • The proportion of seniors is expected to almost double from 12.4 percent in 2001 to 20.3 percent in 2031.
  • “Holds” account for 1/3 of all circulation at OPL, a proportion that is trending upward. 
  • Cultural trends are not confined to those associated with reading, education, and the arts but should also include access to sports and recreation as opportunities for adding value and increasing the library’s market base of active card-holders. 
  • The continued preference for paper books despite an increase in digital reading.
  • Borrow-ship – Traditional models of ownership are changing resulting in a rethinking of the value of ownership and seeking out of more collaborative models of use. (Comment: Maybe à la Marie Kondo a book only sparks joy for the time it takes to read it.)

There's a lot more in the document. 

The proposed strategic plan is, by 2023, to increase the number of active cardholders by 25 percent by improving OPL’s community relevance by:

1. Redesign the Library Experience
- Conduct a programming review
- Define the ideal experience across physical and virtual channels
- Create the destination experience for the OPL component of the Ottawa Public Library - Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility. (Comment: Imagine zip lines and climbing walls in the new joint facility).
- Assess the impact of barriers to service
- Develop the physical space experience.

2. Build Organizational Capacity
- Redesign the employee experience
- Renew leadership accountability
- Develop data-driven decision-making.

3. Promote OPL’s value
- Develop and implement a brand strategy
- Develop and implement a fundraising plan
- Strengthen stakeholder relationships and advocacy
- Strengthen the Intellectual Freedom program.

Another item on libraries that came to my inbox is Dick Eastman's blog post Libraries without Librarians on the trend for open libraries giving patrons access to books, computers and other resources by themselves at times when the library isn’t staffed. It appealed to me as I live in a library desert — no community library. This might be an affordable way to provide more equitable library service.

British Postcard Images Free

The Newberry (Library) has launched a digital archive of over 26,000 high-quality images of picture postcards produced by pioneering British company Raphael Tuck & Sons during the first half of the 20th century.

With that many images, there's bound to be something relevant to your family history. The images are not only British. There are 91 labelled Australia and 169 Canada including several of Ottawa. This image is less than one kilometre from my Norfolk childhood home.

Friday, 14 June 2019

Findmypast additions this week

Kent Baptisms
New transcript records covering two new parishes, Fawkham St Mary (1,501 records) and Northfleet St Botolph (18,125 records), have been added to the collection of Kent parish baptisms.

Kent Marriages and Banns
The parish of Northfleet St Botolph with 8,952 transcript records has been added to the collection.

Kent Burials
Over 14,000 new transcript records from the parishes of Fawkham, St Mary (947 records) and Northfleet, St Botolph (13,537 records) are now available to search.

England, Phillimore Marriage Registers, 1531-1913
A new, fully searchable collection of Phillimore Marriage Registers containing approximately 2.3 million names and record marriages is now available at Findmypast from more than 1,500 parishes in
Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Cornwall, Cumberland, Derbyshire, Devon,
Dorset, Essex, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Kent, Leicestershire,
Lincolnshire, London, Middlesex, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Somerset, Suffolk, Warwickshire, Wiltshire, Worcestershire, Yorkshire West Riding.
Search to view a transcript or an image of the original published page.

Scotland, Scottish Peerages
Explore this comprehensive history of the Scottish peerage between 1716 and 1914. The collection includes nine volumes of The Scots Peerage along with six other titles including a single-volume Jacobite peerage, all pdfs.

International Records Update – Denmark
More than 6.9 million baptisms, marriages and burials in three new Danish indexes spanning the years 1635 to 1917 are now available to search and will generate hints against your Findmypast family tree.

Quinte Branch OGS June Meeting

On Saturday, 15 June "Doing research from a distance using the Archives of Ontario's website" is the topic for the Branch meeting at Quinte West Public Library, 7 Creswell Dr, Trenton 1-3 pm.

Speaker Danielle Manning's presentation will be of particular interest to researchers unable or unwilling to travel to Toronto to visit the Archives of Ontario in person. Learn how to use the Archives of Ontario’s website and Microfilm Inter Loan Program to access collections – particularly records that are helpful for genealogical research.

Thursday, 13 June 2019

FreeBMD June Update

The FreeBMD Database was updated on Wednesday 5 June 2019 to contain 270,304,784 unique records (269,939,666 at previous update).

Years with major additions, greater than 5,000 records, are: for births 1964, 1978, 1982, 1984-86; for marriages 1965,1980, 1984-86; for deaths 1984-86.

Normandy 75th Anniversary Fields of Fire Tour

An interesting series of blog posts by Sara Karn, a student and teacher of history who has just completed a tour guide experience to the battlefields in France.

The eleven-day trip included visits to both First and Second World War sites, including the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, Hill 70, Pegasus Bridge, as well as the Normandy landing beaches.

Sara and tour partner Alex Souchen took part in two ceremonies, one on 6 June at the Juno Beach Centre to commemorate the D-Day landings and another a few days later to dedicate the Canadian Gunner Memorial.

Find the series of blog posts at You may well get some tips if a battlefields tour is on your bucket list.

Thanks to Jane Down for the tip.

BC Archives Additions

The British Columbia Archives now offers online access to births (1854-1903), marriages (1872-1943), deaths (1872-1998), colonial marriages (1859-1872) and baptisms (1836-1888). The recent additions are 1943 marriages and 1998 deaths with 1904 births to be added soon.

Many but not all have images of the original registration. and it's free!

OGS Conference and RootsTech London

Two of the speakers at the Ontario Genealogical Society (Ontario Ancestors) conference in London, starting on Friday next week, are also scheduled speakers at RootsTech London in October. Yes, both conferences are in London — but on opposite sides of the Atlantic.

David Allen Lambert from the New England Historic Genealogical Society (American Ancestors) will present a Friday 21 June workshop Virtual Family Reunions: Embrace Social Media to Reunite Your Distant Cousins, the that evening Charity Begins in Our Home and two presentations during the regular sessions Before They Were Loyalists: Researching Colonial New England and New York Ancestors and Researching Canadian and American World War I Veterans. At RootsTech he is presenting Online Family Reunions – using Social Media to locate cousins to share and preserve Family History.

John Boeren will present How to Start Your Research in the Netherlands on Sunday 23 June. Sadly it's in the same timeslot as the presentation I'm giving with Glenn Wright. In October his RootsTech talk is Tracing Your Ancestors in the Netherlands.

Not to be overlooked at the OGS conference are the FastTrax sessions (pdf), 30-minute mini-information presentations, offered on Saturday and Sunday exclusively by exhibitors in the Marketplace hall.

Ottawa Branch OGS June Meeting

This Saturday, 15 June at the City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Nepean

10:30: Genealogy: Back to Basics - Genome Mate Pro Workshop
Presenter: Jason Porteous
Helps you to use Genome Mate Pro and new tools from Borland Genetics which allow you to partially/fully phase your DNA test results (ie. separate maternal from paternal chromosomes to create a "mono" DNA kit that on GEDmatch will return matches to one parent while also greatly reducing false matches). He's also open to discussing chromosome mapping as well. Bring your laptops or tablets and your DNA data (downloaded from your test company) to Room 226.

13:00: Presentation: Newspaper Digitizing Project of the Arnprior & McNab/Braeside Archives
Presenters: Irene Robillard and Emma Carey.
As of June 2018, the AMBA complete collection of local area newspapers dating from 1863 to 1937 became available online and free to the public. Over 700 issues of local newspapers were digitized, the bulk from the Arnprior Chronicle. They are searchable, browse-able and downloadable. In February 2019, a project that links indexes of birth, marriage and death notices to the digitized issue of the newspapers that they originally appeared in. Ottawa branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society provided a grant that made this project possible.

15:00: Computer Special Interest Group

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Legacy Webinar with Cyndi Ingle

Tracking Your Digital Breadcrumbs: Bookmarks, Toolbars, Notes, and Other Applications is a free-to-view live webinar at 8 pm EDT today, Wednesday 12 June 2019.

"Clicking links means you can start off on a web site for one specific topic and end up dozens of web sites away on many different topics. It’s easy to get lost and lose focus on what you were trying to find in the first place. And with so many web sites to use in your research, how do you keep track of them all? How do you organize what you use regularly? How can you get back to a site at some point in the future? We have several ways to help you gain control of your digital bread crumbs."

Cyndi Ingle is the creator, owner and "webmaster" of the award-winning web site Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet. Come to the BIFHSGO conference in September where Cyndi will present a pre-conference workshop and four talks.

Book Review: Tracing Your Docker Ancestors

This April 2019 publication is another in the more than 50-book "Tracing Your ..." series from publisher Pen and Sword. They range alphabetically from "Air Force" to "Yorkshire".
This volume on Dockers is fairly typical of those where specific occupational records are scarce. The first chapter: Getting Started: Basic Family History Documents covers sources like civil registration, census, newspapers, and directories. The following chapters treat aspects of life on the docks: The Origins of the Dock Labour Force, Daily Life on the Docks, Tools and Equipment, Trade Unions, Beyond the Dock Wall: Dockside Communities, Docks and Dockers During the World Wars, The National Dock Labour Scheme, Dock Strikes and the Decline of the Dockers 1967-1989. 
There are extensive references on where to find resources which are mainly administrative. Unless an ancestor was involved in that administration, such as being a union official or for some other reason stood out from his peers, you won't find much personal information. A very few, such as the archive of the National Amalgamated Stevedores and Dockers' Union, 1880-1982, do include individual's names. A few others that include names are closed.
The book concludes with a ten-page glossary of types of docker and two-page index.

Tracing Your Docker Ancestors (Paperback)
A Guide for Family Historians
By Dr. Alex Ombler
Imprint: Pen & Sword Family History
Series: Tracing Your Ancestors
Pages: 150
ISBN: 9781526744043
Published: 25th April 2019

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Who Do You Think You Are? 2019 Celebrities Announced

The spotlight for this summer season of BBC Who Do You Think You Are? is on Kate Winslet and Daniel Radcliffe. See the announcement here.

A Canadian featured in the series is comedian Katherine Ryan who grew up in Sarnia, Ontario. Her father, Finbar was born in Ireland. On WDYTYA?, she discovers her ancestral links to the Newfoundland cod trade.

YouTube: Making the Most of your Autosomal DNA Test

A further talk is online from the Family Tree Live event at Alexandra Place, this one by Scottish genetic genealogist Michelle Leonard.
Michelle will be making two presentations at RootsTech London in October: DNA Is Dynamite - How To Ignite Your Ancestral Research, and DNA Segment Data & Advanced Autosomal DNA Techniques as well as participating in a panel discussion.

Monday, 10 June 2019

RootsTech London Announces Schedule of Presentations

What do Colin Chapman, Else Churchill, Janet Few, Maurice Gleeson, Celia Heritage, Debbie Kennett and, Diahan Southard have in common?

Presenters at RootsTech London in October — they've all previously been speakers at a BIFHSGO annual conference. Almost all have placed in the top five in the Rockstar Genealogist poll.

Like previous RootsTechs each of the three days has lots of choices — six sessions each day with typically ten choices in each timeslot, except for the headliner daily11 am celebrity session.

The word cloud composed from the titles of all the talks shows there's a DNA event within the schedule — genetic genealogy presentations in almost every time-slot, and sometimes more than one.

Find the schedule of presentations, except for 19 sponsored talks TBA, posted here.

The Digital Irish Famine Archive

Makes accessible eyewitness accounts of the Irish famine migration to Canada in 1847-1848 that would otherwise be unknown. It also pays tribute to those who cared for Irish famine emigrants.

The archive contains the digitized, transcribed, and translated French language annals of the Grey Nuns of Montreal, or Sisters of Charity, who first tended to Irish famine emigrants, especially widows and orphans, in the city’s fever sheds in 1847 and 1848. It also includes annals from the Sisters of Providence and correspondence from Father Patrick Dowd, who worked alongside the Grey Nuns in the fever sheds, as well as testimonies from Irish famine orphans, like Patrick and Thomas Quinn, Daniel and Catherine Tighe, and Robert Walsh, who were adopted by French-Canadian families.

Online database of 2,500 fatalities in Nova Scotia coal mines

We are nearing the anniversary of the death of William Davis, a coal miner born in Gloucestershire shot and killed at New Waterford, NS during a 1925 strike action calling for improved working conditions.

Today, 10 June the Museum of Industry in Stellarton is launching a database with names of those who died between the Drummond Mine explosion in Westville, 1873 and the 1992 explosion at Westray.

Read more about this initiative in this article by Brendan Ahern.