by Alice Albarda (Project Assistant, Dalhousie University Archives)
For Dalhousie’s 200th anniversary, Alice Albarda and Geoff Brown of the Dalhousie Libraries’ University Archives have created a two-part digital exhibit based on The Lives of Dalhousie, a comprehensive two-volume history of Dalhousie University written by Peter B. Waite. The goal of this project was to supplement the book by showcasing material from the Dalhousie University Archives.
The Lives of Dalhousie University Volume One, 1818-1925: Lord Dalhousie’s College and Volume Two, 1925-1980: The Old College Transformed were written by Peter B. Waite, Dalhousie’s historian, from 1986-1992. The two-volume book chronicles Dalhousie’s history from Lord Dalhousie’s arrival in Nova Scotia in 1816 to the end of Henry Hicks’ presidency in 1980.
The exhibit follows the format of the books, with a section for each chapter. Within each section, Alice and Geoff have selected a handful of topics to highlight. Some of the topics, like Thomas McCulloch or the Dalhousie No. 7 Stationary Hospital, are important parts of Dalhousie’s history that many people are already familiar with. However, the team tried to also select topics that were less well-known and might provide some insight into the everyday lives of Dalhousians throughout the school’s history.
Each topic in the exhibit is illustrated with items from the Archives, which have been fully digitized and are also available through the Archives catalogue or DalSpace. Throughout the course of the six month project, Alice scanned material as needed and uploaded them to both the exhibit and the Archives catalogue. The material includes historical photographs, articles from the Dalhousie Gazette, academic documents, and personal mementos.
- Roy Atwood, who operated the campus canteen for over 30 years. Roy’s canteen was one of the few places where students could hang out on Studley Campus and Roy was a fixture of campus life
- The Diary of Sam Peeps, a gossip and humour column that was published in the Gazette in the 1940’s and ruffled quite a few administrative feathers
- A collection of group portraits of Dalhousie athletes from the 1920’s and earlier
- James De Mille, one of Dalhousie’s first professors, who was also a popular author in the late 19th century
- A collection of postcards sent to a young Haligonian by his uncle, who was a member of the Dalhousie University No.7 Stationary Hospital during WWI
- Dixie Pelluet, an outspoken advocate for equal gender treatment in academics, due to unfair treatment that she received at the hands of Dalhousie’s administration
- George Vibert Douglas, a Dalhousie geology professor who also joined Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1921 Antarctic expedition
- The sheet music for Dalhousie songs and cheers, which were sung by the Dalhousie Glee and Dramatic Club
The full text of The Lives of Dalhousie has been published on GitBook and is linked throughout the exhibit, so viewers can read more about Dalhousie’s history if they so desire.
As a further celebration of Dalhousie’s 200th anniversary, the Dal Libraries has put together a timeline for each day of 2018 that includes many of the images found in our Lives of Dalhousie University exhibit. The timeline is our way of connecting Dalhousie to the broader community by featuring an event, historical photograph or other material for each day of 2018. With such a rich history, we had plenty of material to choose from. The timelines are being posted on a monthly basis and offer a fun, informative and sometimes whimsical view of Dalhousie’s past.
Lives of Dalhousie University (digital edition, downloadable versions on DalSpace): https://dalspace.library.dal.ca/handle/10222/73583
Online versions on Gitbook
- Volume One https://www.gitbook.com/book/dalhousie-libraries-ebooks/the-lives-of-dalhousie-university-volume-one-1818/details
- Volume Two https://www.gitbook.com/book/dalhousie-libraries-ebooks/the-lives-of-dalhousie-university-volume-two-1925/details
Dalhousie 200th Anniversary Timeline https://libraries.dal.ca/find/university-archives/dal-200th.html