Category Archives: History on the Internet

Snapshots of Canada: The Living Archive of the Sisters of Service Photograph Collection

By Claire L. Halstead At first glance, these first three photos seem unrelated. The first shows a woman standing with newly-arrived immigrants at Pier 21 in Halifax in 1935. The second captures two women collecting water by chopping ice in Sinnett, rural Saskatchewan in 1942. The third, from Bonavista Bay, Newfoundland in 1979, shows a woman and two children in… Read more »

Rounding Up the Confederation Debates

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By Daniel Heidt In July 2016, when Canadians were beginning to think about Canada 150, I posted a brief article on about an emerging and largely crowdsourced project – The Confederation Debates – an initiative to digitize and popularize over 9,000 pages of Canada’s founding historical records. I am pleased to say that Canadians were eager to contribute to this important… Read more »

Is Google Home a History Calculator? Artificial Intelligence and the Fate of History

Sean Kheraj In their 2005 article in First Monday, Daniel J. Cohen and Roy Rosenzweig recount the story of a remarkably prescient colleague, Peter Stearns, who “proposed the idea of a history analog to the math calculator, a handheld device that would provide students with names and dates to use on exams—a Cliolator, he called it, a play on the… Read more »

The Value of History in the ‘Age of Fake News’

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Christo Aivalis During the 2016 American presidential election, but especially after the victory of Donald J. Trump, the term fake news became part of the public lexicon. The confluence of social media, digital campaigns, and the monetization of internet ‘clicks’ led to numerous instances of groups outright fabricating news stories, either to serve ideological objectives, or even just to generate… Read more »

The Historical is Personal: Learning and Teaching Traumatic Histories

Andrea Eidinger Learning and teaching history is hard work. The physical, mental, and emotional toll can be high, for both educators and learners. This is especially the case when it comes to traumatic histories. For educators, it is difficult to balance the desire to make an emotional impact on your students without inflicting (further) trauma. For learners, it is difficult to… Read more »

There’s a Historian Born Every Minute

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Alan MacEachern A while back I noticed that Active History had published a post citing a satirical political website as fact. It was an easy mistake to make: the site looked real enough, and its article only mildly ridiculous in the current news climate. I contacted the Active History contributor and editor, and the quote was quickly removed. Case closed…. Read more »

Video in the Classroom: Exploring the CBC Digital Archives

Andrea Eidinger Anyone who has searched the internet for videos to use while teaching Canadian history has run into one big problem: the overwhelming dominance of American media online. Adding “Canadian” or “Canada” to your Google search doesn’t necessarily solve this problem. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t great Canadian videos, soundbites, and films available. You just have to know where… Read more »

A Historian’s Year with a Chromebook

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by Sean Kheraj Could a Chromebook satisfy the computing needs of a historian? Over the past twelve months, I’ve been using one to find out. Google’s low-cost, Web-based operating system, ChromeOS, is one of the most unique developments in computing in recent years. It is a lean computer operating system based almost entirely around the use of Web applications and… Read more »

Join the Confederation Debate Today!

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This is the second of two posts responding to “Debating the Confederation Debates of 1865” a two-week series we ran in partnership with Canada Watch. By Daniel Heidt As the countdown to our country’s 150th  anniversary begins, Canadians are hungry for information about their country’s past and contemplating its future. The Confederation Debates – an online and largely crowd sourced initiative –… Read more »

Digital Outreach and Wikipedia in the GLAM Sector

by Krista McCracken Discussion around the value of contributing to Wikipedia and its use as a resource has been occurring since the establishment of the collaboratively written encyclopedia in 2001. You don’t have to look very far to find someone decrying the crowdsourced material as rubbish or others proclaiming it as the best thing since sliced bread.  In between these… Read more »