Author Archives: Claire Halstead

Top Tips for Research Trips: Making the Most of Your Visit to the Archives

Stacey N. Gilkinson Classes have finished, exams are over and it’s finally summer, which means it is now time for many researchers to embark on trips to the archives! To the novice academic or researcher, archival institutions can be uncharted territory. You might be wondering how you should approach an institution, what to bring with you or how to navigate… Read more »

From Wanting In to Opting Out: Home Sewing and Fashion Then and Now

Cayley Bower I’m a third generation home sewist.[i] My grandmother lived through the Great Depression and the Second World War—the height of the make do and mend movement—and made clothes for herself and her family with such skill that they were indistinguishable from store-bought items yet came at a fraction of the cost. My mother started sewing in 1970 at… Read more »

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 »

The Great Christmas Bake-Off: Kitschy Americana vs. Canadian Victoriana

During the holidays, the food we eat is often as loaded with meaning as it is butter and sugar, which is good news for those of us looking to eat as many cookies and candies as possible in the coming weeks: it’s not over consumption, you see. It’s research. Holiday cooking is part of a web of meaning, tradition, and… Read more »

Local Tragedy or National Disaster? Commemorating the Halifax Explosion Centenary

By Claire L. Halstead Canada’s sesquicentennial has been contentious. Both historians and the broader public have discussed and debated the commemoration and celebration of the “birth of the nation”. Although less feted and expectantly less controversial, this year also marks the centenary of the Halifax Explosion. With our senses heightened from tuning into (or out of) Canada’s sesquicentennial, the 100th… Read more »