Category Archives: Doing History

Introducing The Home Archivist

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By Jessica Dunkin This is the first in a series of posts called The Home Archivist, in which a professional historian discusses her experiences with a private collection of 19th-century letters. In the two years leading up to their wedding on June 29th, 1891, Amelia Wilkinson and John MacKendrick exchanged letters almost daily. Unlike most collections of courting letters, this… Read more »

Over the Top: The Archives of Ontario’s WWI Onsite Exhibit

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By 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… Read more »

Digital Approaches to 19th Century Globalization

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By Jim Clifford The map below drew a lot of attention on Twitter when I posted it a few weeks ago in advance of a presentation I gave at an environmental history conference in early July. It was retweeted, not just by friends and fellow environmental historians, but also by Shawn Donnan, a World Trade Editor at the Financial Times. I… Read more »

Marking WWI with a Travelling Exhibit

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By Timothy Humphries As the official guardian of Ontario’s historical record, the Archives of Ontario is keenly aware that it must offer the public easy access to its vast and diverse holdings, and provide widespread opportunities to know more about our province’s rich and storied past. To this end, the Archives has long sought partnerships with museums, libraries, art and… Read more »

A Berks Retrospective: Feminist Mentorship and Inequality in the Ivory Tower

By Beth A. Robertson In anticipation of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, Adele Perry wrote of the ongoing power of women’s history to “challenge and unsettle”. Reflecting on the success of the Berks this past weekend, one cannot fault Perry for being optimistic. I had the opportunity to present at this conference, held in Canada (Toronto) for the first… Read more »

Where We Tell Their Stories: Commemorating Women’s History in Toronto through Plaques and Markers

By Kaitlin Wainwright When British Labour politician Tony Benn passed away this March, attention was drawn to his efforts in the British Houses of Parliament to install plaques that told histories of the suffrage movement in Britain. Among them was one he installed illegally in the broom closet where Emily Wilding Davison, a suffragist, hid on the night of the… Read more »

Women’s History, Active History, and the 2014 Berkshire Conference

By Adele Perry Later this month the University of Toronto’s downtown campus will host the Berkshire Conference on the History of Women. This is a big deal for a number of reasons. It is the first time that this venerable and highly visible conference has met outside of the United States. And there is also the sheer scale of the… Read more »

Feminist Mentorship @ the Berks

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By Jennifer Hough Evans Full disclosure I am very much invested in the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians (Berks). My supervisor at the University of Toronto is Franca Iacovetta, the first Canadian President of the Berks. I am the Administrative Assistant for the Berks, finding answers for conference participants’ questions, inputting changes to the conference program and making sure information… Read more »

I Dig the Past

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By Jay Young  With optimistic thoughts of warm summer days soon approaching, I recently decided to tackle the backyard. We moved into a home in Toronto last year and we had anticipated some outdoor projects ahead.  This included the widening of a backyard walkway and the erection of a few vegetable planter beds there too. Much of the hard work… Read more »

Of History and Headlines: Reflections of an Accidental Public Historian

By Ian Mosby When I first heard Alvin Dixon’s voice I was driving along Dupont Avenue in Toronto with my partner, Laural, and our three-month-old son, Oscar. Dixon was talking to Rick MacInnes-Rae, who was filling in as the co-host of the CBC Radio show As It Happens. The interview was about Dixon’s experience at the Alberni Indian residential school (AIRS)… Read more »