Category Archives: Doing History

Staging History

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By Craig Heron Historians have become increasingly attuned to the role of performance in history. Many of us have written about the pomp and pageantry of the powerful, the theatre of the high courts, the processions of urban respectability, the rituals of resistance among the poor and powerless. We have been much more reticent, however, about using theatre to present… Read more »

Dyslexia Awareness Month Advocacy

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By Jim Clifford I’ve spent the past month working with parents of dyslexic kids in Saskatoon to raise awareness about the ongoing struggles students face in the public school system. I’ve used my history with dyslexia to highlight what is possible when public schools provide the students with adequate support and accommodation. I was interviewed by the U of S,… Read more »

Open Access Week and Publishing in the Open

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Krista McCracken October 21st to October 27th, 2019 is International Open Access Week. This global, community-driven week is designed to promote discussions about open access and to inspire broader participation in open access publishing. It is celebrated by institutions, organizations, and individuals all around the work. Open Access to information – free, immediate, online to scholarly research, and the right… Read more »

In Praise of a Nondescript Government Facility (or, The Most Canadian Title Ever)

Alan MacEachern As I drove deeper into a suburb in the small town of Matane on Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula, things got busier instead of quieter. More and more parked cars lined the streets. There were no sidewalks, so the many people walking were all in the street, all of them headed toward the same low-slung, nondescript office building in the… Read more »

Hacking History 3.0: Writing History One Wikipedia Page At A Time

Jessica Knapp and Krista McCracken  For the past two years we have hosted a Canada Wide Wikipedia Edit-a-thon for Canadian history. This national event has encouraged folks from across Canada to join us in editing Canadian history content on Wikipedia. As of 21 August 2013, there were 113,554 articles on Wikipedia relating to Canada, a mere 1.92% of the articles… Read more »

Public Historians at the Playhouse

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Paul Ward On a cold Monday morning in late autumn last year, nearly 30 first-year undergraduate History students from Edge Hill University visited the Playhouse Theatre in Williamson Square, Liverpool, UK. They delivered informal short presentations about major historical events including Napoleon at Waterloo, the rule of Margaret Thatcher, the suffragettes, and other historical figures such as Marie Curie. This… Read more »

Negotiating the Personal: Working with the Diaries of Ida Martin

Bonnie Huskins & Michael Boudreau Ida Martin, a working-class housewife from Saint John, New Brunswick, kept daily entries in a series of five-year diaries from 1945 to 1992. These diaries are the basis of a manuscript for McGill-Queen’s University Press that we are currently revising. They are the focus of the reflections here, which also consider the importance of “life… Read more »

Family archives and research at Assumption College’s French Institute

Leslie Choquette As director of the French Institute at Assumption College, a research center focused on French-Canadian migration to New England, I have worked with three donors of family archival collections, not just to give their materials a good home, but to use them to shape their family stories for different audiences. This experience both convinced me of the usefulness… Read more »

Professional Historians, Personal Histories: A Roundtable on Objectivity, Subjectivity and Family History

Laura Madokoro This week, Active History features a roundtable on history called “Professional Historians, Personal Histories: A Roundtable on Objectivity, Subjectivity and Family History.” As the title suggests, the four contributions from Benjamin Bryce, Leslie Choquette, Bonnie Huskins and Michael Boudreau and Brittany Luby focus, from different perspectives, on the question of the relationship between professional historians, family histories and… Read more »

Seeing What Lies Beneath Paintings

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By Brett Liem and Michael Robertson Last year we published a short article in Active History where we described optical techniques for recovering the contrast from faded documents.  A range of light sources from ultraviolet (UV) to near-infrared (NIR), filters, and a camera adapted to form images with light outside or the normal visible spectrum were used to reveal residual… Read more »