Exhibit 1By Timothy Humphries

Before 2009, the Archives of Ontario had been housed in five different locations. Remarkably, not one of them provided an exhibit space. This became a must-have when a sixth location was sought in 2006. Now onsite exhibits can be created regularly to showcase the Archives’ many rich and varied collections. This requires investing significant amounts of time and thought into the design of each new exhibit. Because when it comes to creating an exhibit, there are no instructions, no templates, no cheat sheets – nothing but a blank canvas awaiting an imprint from the myriad possibilities that the imagination can conceive. This was the case for the World War I exhibit, particularly since it was the first exhibit of archival materials to be curated in-house. [click to continue…]

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by Tina Adcock

On the morning of Tuesday, September 9th, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced some unexpected and astounding news: that the wreckage of one of Sir John Franklin’s ships, either the Erebus or the Terror, had been located via sonar on the bottom of Queen Maud Gulf, which lies southwest of King William Island in Nunavut. In 1845, Franklin, a captain of the Royal Navy, led a crew of 128 in search of the Northwest Passage. All later died in circumstances that remain unclear to this day, despite many British, American, and Canadian searches over the last century and a half for evidence regarding the expedition’s fate. Locating one of the ships was a major triumph for the latest band of searchers, a coalition of public and private agencies led by Parks Canada that had travelled north on a near-yearly basis since 2008.

The Prime Minister declared this “a great historic event… a really important day in mapping together the history of our country.” So-called historic events provide good opportunities for historians to observe how our fellow citizens react to the history in question. I study northern exploration, and so I was more than a little interested in the reception of this particular news. Here I’d like to trace and explain one of the principal responses that emerged on conventional and social media websites that day.

My attention was caught by those who saw the announcement, and shrugged. “Who cares?” they said, in tweets and comments underneath articles. This sentiment was apparent even among groups who might be expected to care, for reasons of profession or location. Some historians and archaeologists, for example, were not particularly enthusiastic about the news:

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Picking Up the Pieces: A Community-School Alternative to First Nations Education Renewal

September 12, 2014

By Paul W. Bennett and Jonathan Anuik The proposed First National Education Act has “had a great fall,” much like Humpty Dumpty in the popular children’s fable. The latest deal, announced with great fanfare by Assembly of First Nations Chief Shawn Atleo and Prime Minister Stephen Harper on February 7, 2014 may have sweetened the […]

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Then and Now: Youth Labour and Tobacco Cultivation

September 11, 2014

By Jonathan McQuarrie Tobacco is in the news again. Outlets from the New York Times to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart have reported how children–primarily Hispanic and as young as twelve–work in the tobacco fields of North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky. The news reports drew on extensive research conducted by the organization Human […]

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Anishnaabeg in the War of 1812: More than Tecumseh and his Indians

September 10, 2014

By Alan Corbiere This post marks the first in a series of essays – posted the second Wednesday of each month – by Alan Corbiere focusing on Anishinaabeg participation in the War of 1812. A modified version of these posts originally appeared in the July 2012 edition of the Ojibway Cultural Foundation newsletter. It is […]

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Fall 2014 History Matters lecture series: Canada’s First World War

September 8, 2014

ActiveHistory.ca, Heritage Toronto and the Toronto Public Library are pleased to announce the Fall 2014 History Matters lecture series. This season’s series focuses on the theme of “Canada’s First World War.” The talks pay specific attention to local responses and how we remember the conflict. The series is also part of “Canada’s First World War: […]

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Techno-Feeling in the Classroom: Technology, Empathy and Learning

September 4, 2014

Beth A. Robertson Technology forms us as much as we, in turn, form technology. This is not a new idea by any means, as many scholars, from Donna Haraway to Don Ihde, have argued much the same. More than apparatuses that are used benignly to perform certain functions, technology infuses our social order, our sense […]

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History Slam Episode Fifty: Growing Up Consumers

September 3, 2014

Podcast: Play in new window | Download By Sean Graham Whenever I go back to my parents’ house, I am confronted with a pile of stuff from my childhood that they want me to go through. From clothes to toys to sports equipment, there’s a lot of things that I had growing up that I […]

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ActiveHistory.ca repost – International Women’s Day (IWD) and Human Rights 2014

August 29, 2014

ActiveHistory.ca is on a two-week hiatus, but we’ll be back with new content in early September. During the hiatus, we’re featuring some of our most popular blog posts from this site over the past five years and some of the editors’ favourite posts from the past year. Thanks as always to our writers and readers […]

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ActiveHistory.ca repost – Indigenous History in the Classroom: Four Principles, Four Questions

August 28, 2014

ActiveHistory.ca is on a two-week hiatus, but we’ll be back with new content in early September. During the hiatus, we’re featuring some of our most popular blog posts from this site over the past five years and some of the editors’ favourite posts from the past year. Thanks as always to our writers and readers […]

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