New Book Review: Kurt Heinrich on John English’s Just Watch Me: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau: 1968-2000

Today we are publishing our fifth review by someone outside of academia of a book written by a professional historian. Public relations consultant and blogger, Kurt Heinrich, reviews English’s second bibliography of Trudeau. Read the full review HERE.

If you would like to review a book for please send us an email: info (at)

Announcing the Mississauga Library System Speakers’ Series

We would like to extend an invitation to join the Mississauga Library System and as we feature a series of engaging history lectures. This is building on last year’s successful History Matters series with the Toronto Public Library and aims to continue and build an ongoing tradition of professional involvement with the broader community.

All talks will be held at the Mississauga Central Library, Classroom 3 on the second floor from 7:30-9 PM on the second Thursday in March, April, and May. The Central Library is located at 301 Burnhamthorpe Rd. W in Mississauga, near the Square One shopping centre and the Civic Centre. Importantly, it’s near the Square One GO Terminal and the Mississauga Transit central terminal.

Below the cut, talk descriptions and abstracts follow. Continue reading

Active History on the Grand: Brantford Up-date

Demolition of forty buildings in Brantford's downtown - courtesy of Kalvin Clark

If you’ve read my previous blogs, you’ll notice that I talk a lot about Brantford, Ontario.  Since completing my PhD in History from McMaster University I’ve been working as the Executive Director of the Canadian Industrial Heritage Centre (CIHC), a not-for-profit organization in Brantford dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Canadian industrial history and the establishment of a museum site in Brantford to do just that.  This experience has expanded my understanding of how local communities understand and experience history, and the challenges of being an active historian. Continue reading

Can We Redeem File-Sharing After the Download Decade?

The term “download decade” is an effective description of the first ten years of this infant century and the first rising chapter of the so-called Information Age.

It accurately distills the blind conspiracy between the exponential availability of high-speed Internet, the gradual decrease in the cost of personal computers, the rise of peer-to-peer file-sharing networks and websites like Napster and its clones (built largely on BitTorrent protocols) and, of course, the generation of youth at the centre of it all.

This evolution in communications has changed consumer habits, challenged traditional media, and kindled still-raging debates about ethical use and legislative reform. Continue reading

How Useful is the Library of Congress’ Twitter Archive?

Library of Congress' Twitter Archive

On Wednesday 14 April, the United States of America’s Library of Congress (LOC) announced a deal with the popular social networking service, Twitter, to archive all public messages on the site right down to the first “tweet” from @jack (Jack Dorsey, Twitter co-founder) on 21 March 2006, at 3:50 PM.

Response to the news can generally be described as positive and set “Library of Congress” as a top trend for the remainder of the week. Considering that the site has evolved into one of the most efficient means of spreading information (even by Internet standards) such enthusiasm is understandable. Continue reading

Want to Write With Us? We’re Looking for More Bloggers!

First posted on April 16th, 2010.

The team is looking for more contributors for our collaborative blog on how history and historians actively engage communities and contribute to current debates.  This blog has a growing readership – last month we had over 2,000 distinct visitors – and it provides potential contributors the opportunity to reach a wider audience. If you’re interested in contributing, please read more to find out what we’re looking for! Continue reading

Book Review Section Launched

Our new book review section launches today with the publication of our first review. John Horn, Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Gumboot, a community blog out of Vancouver, has reviewed Craig Heron’s Booze: A Distilled History. Please check out his fun review.

Our book reviews will have community members and involved citizens reviewing academic works. We hope this will provide a new perspective on history books not regularly found in academic journals. If you’re interested in being added to our database of reviewers (and aren’t a current graduate student or faculty member), please contact info (at)

Please check back frequently, either on the page or via Facebook/Twitter, as we plan on putting up more reviews over the next few weeks and months.

Database Form

I’ve added a database form for people to fill out if they would like to support this project. If you were at our lunch meeting at the CHA you filled out a paper copy of this form already.

We are in the process of creating a database of Active Historians. When completed members of the media and public policy researchers will be able to contact us to find experts on a particular field of history. If you are a historian who is interested in joining this network please fill out the form below or contact



The committee is pleased to announce that we are actively soliciting papers in all areas of historical inquiry, including but not limited to several specific targeted areas. We are looking for short papers on important historical topics that might be of interest to policy makers, the media or the general public. Papers (approximately 2,000 – 4,000 words in length) should engage critical issues facing Canadian society, and must be written for a general audience.

Several issues have emerged in the public eye that may benefit from historical analysis; additionally, we have raised some specific questions. Here are some suggestions, although we welcome papers on any time period or topic:

Continue reading