The Dalhousie University Archives and Special Collections Reference Desk is changing their hours effective July 2, and will begin opening at 11 a.m. Reference Services will still be available from 9 – 11 a.m, but by appointment only.
Happy International Archives Day!
The International Council on Archives (ICA) established International Archives Day in 2007 and selected 9 June to commemorate the founding of the ICA on 9 June 1948. The ICA is an international organization of archivists and archival institutions (the University Archives is a member).
Archivists around the world unite their voices to help the public understand why it is important to support archives and the work of archivists.
Why do we have an International Archives Day? As the ICA notes:
One might think that we have got a full calendar of international days to celebrate. However the public’s image of the archives is foggy: often confused with libraries, archives continue to be perceived as documents for internal use only, which are difficult to access and are of interest only to historians. The perception of records and archives by the public and the organizations that create them is not clear. This troubled image has an impact on the financial and human resources that responsible managers and administrators dedicate to records and archives operations and/or institutions.
International Archives Day recognizes that “archives constitute a major cultural heritage and information resource. The archival heritage is a valuable testimony about the economical, political and social development of humanity. The diversity of archival sources and formats is considerable.”
To celebrate, the ICA is collecting documents and images from Archives all over the word and posting them on the International Archives Day website. Dalhousie submitted Jack London’s resignation letter from the Socialist Party, found in the Roscoe Alfred Fillmore fonds (MS-10-1, Box 2, Folder 9).
The letter was written from his ranch in Glen Ellen, California and reveals his dissatisfaction with the trends of socialism in the United States. It also announces the resignation of London’s wife, Charmian K. London.
Next week, we’ll post a Bike Week Photo of the Day to our Facebook Page to show how it used to be common for individuals and families to have portraits made with their bicycles. Just “Like” our page to see which images we’ve selected!
Check out the Bike Week Schedule of Events for information on events at Dal and around town. Happy cycling!
We are currently experiencing problems with our Archives catalogue and online collections. We are working to restore functionality as soon as possible.
Films On Demand, a service of Films Media Group, is a web-based digital video service that allows you to view streaming videos anytime, anywhere.
Choose from thousands of high-quality educational titles in dozens of subject areas. You can also organize and bookmark clips, create and share playlists, and personalize folders.
To view the trial portion of these collections, use:
Please send any feedback to Heather MacFadyen (firstname.lastname@example.org) by April 3, 2015.
When: Tuesday, March 10 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Special Collections & Archives Reading Room, fifth floor, Killam Library
Dr. James Raffan is a prolific writer, speaker, geographer and Kickass Canadian (kickasscanadians.ca/james-raffan). Over the years he has produced a number of bestselling books, including his most recent work, Circling the Midnight Sun: Culture and Change in the Invisible Arctic, which he will read from on March 10. Circling the Midnight Sun was a finalist for the 2015 BC National Non-Fiction Book Prize and named a “best book” of 2014 by the Globe and Mail.
He has also written for media outlets including Canadian Geographic, National Geographic, Explore, The Globe and Mail, as well as for CBC Radio and The Discovery Channel.
“To me it’s the most exciting region on the planet, and while we all talk about how it, the Arctic, is being affected by climate changer, how many of us have actually been there to find out first hand? James Raffan has and he takes “being there” very seriously – just look at where he went. Sir John Franklin would envy this voyage! But thanks to the trip, James answers today’s big Arctic questions and you may well be surprised at some of the answers. Circling the Midnight Sun is a fascinating read.”
— Peter Mansbridge, Chief Correspondent and Anchor, CBC News, The National.
“James Raffan has taken an unusual and difficult journey—around the world in Arctic latitudes. In doing so, he has visited a diverse sampling of what Canadian Inuit would call “ukiuqtaqturmiut”—the people of the Arctic, an agglomeration of races, languages and cultures united only by their residence in the globe’s northern-most countries and territories. This wonderful and informative volume has given voice to their stories— human stories— often lost or ignored in a world newly-enamoured of the Arctic but increasingly focused on the physical or economic aspects of climate change.”
— Kenn Harper, author of Give Me My Father’s Body: The Life of Minik, the New York Eskimo and In Those Days: Collected Writings on Arctic History. Volume 1: Inuit Lives.
“By tracing one warm line through a land so wide and savage, James Raffan puts a human face on the circumpolar North.”
— Michael Byers, author of International Law and the Arctic & winner of the 2013 Donner Prize
Don’t miss this opportunity to hear James read and exchange ideas about one of Canada’s most mystical regions.
The Libraries’ University Archives is pleased to announce the release of three new historical map online resources:
Pullen Map Collection (MS-2-756) – This collections contains fourteen historical maps and charts of Eastern Canada and one illustration, produced by cartographers such as Thomas Jeffreys and Jacques-Nicolas Bellin. Nine of the fifteen items have been digitized.
Edward J. Mullaly Map Collection (MS-2-46) – This collection contains twelve historical maps of Eastern Canada, produced by cartographers such as Giovanni Battista Ramusio and Girolamo Ruscelli. Mullaly’s donation also included copies of Kershaw’s “Early Printed Maps of Canada” and “A Monograph of the Evolution of the Boundaries of the Province of New Brunswick” by William F. Ganong. Both volumes were transferred to the Killam Library Special Collections. All twelve maps in this collection have been digitized.
David and Marilyn Janigan Map Collection (2011-006) – This collection contains eighteen historical maps of the Eastern Seaboard and Nova Scotia municipalities, produced by cartographers such as Jacques-Nicolas Bellin and Giacomo Gastaldi. The donation was highlighted in the Dalhousie Magazine (Volume 28, Number 1, Spring 2011). Eight maps have been digitized.
You can read more about our historical maps on the Archives’ website.
Dalhousie Libraries’ University Archives has released a new online research tool that provides information about a trove of historical records, photographs and other archival materials available to the university community and the general public.
In January 2011, the Archives initiated a project to develop an online catalogue hosted by the Dal Libraries. The result, launched officially in January 2015, is a sleek interface that allows researchers to search over 150,000 descriptions of files and items in the collections.
Michael Moosberger, Dalhousie University Archivist and Associate University Librarian for Research and Scholarly Communications, oversees the operations that manage and provide access to the collections. “We’ve come a long way from the paper-based collection listings and static web pages that were the primary way users discovered what was in our holdings. With our new online catalogue a user can type in any subject or keyword and find what records we have related to the topic, regardless of the collection with which the records are associated,” says Moosberger. The Dalhousie Libraries’ University Archives also holds records of Dalhousie University dating back to its earliest days: “Our new catalogue will also provide easier and faster access to the historical records of the University, which will be in greater demand as we get closer to 2018—Dalhousie’s 200th anniversary. The catalogue allows us to link digitized copies of a record, document or publication directly with the descriptive information in the database, providing users with ‘one-stop shopping’ for some of their research queries,” adds Moosberger.
Staff at the Archives still have their work cut out—there are hundreds of thousands of uncatalogued documents, photographs, videos and other materials.
“The catalogue covers less than half of our total holdings. There are thousands of boxes of unprocessed records to sort through and describe before they can be made available to the public,” says Creighton Barrett, Dalhousie Libraries Digital Archivist. Simply cataloguing these materials is no longer enough: “Our users want online access to entire collections. This catalogue is an important step in that direction,” says Barrett.
Uncatalogued collections include the archives of important Nova Scotia businesses such as Robb Engineering and the personal archives of prominent researchers affiliated with Dalhousie, such as world-renowned oceans scientist Ransom Myers and civil engineer George Meyerhof.
The catalogue is built with an open-source program called Access to Memory (AtoM), developed by Artefactual Systems, a Vancouver-based archival software development company. New information will be added to the online catalogue on a regular basis as the Archives acquires new material.
For more information about the Archive’s collections and services, visit the Dalhousie Libraries’ University Archives website (http://dal.ca/archives). The catalogue can be found online at: http://findingaids.library.dal.ca.