The society meets monthly from September to May inclusive to hear and to discuss individual papers about personalities, places and events integral to the history of Nova Scotia at the Public Archives of Nova Scotia. Society lectures are open to the public and are completely free. Lectures are followed by refreshments.
Click here for a downloadable programme brochure.
September 16, 2015
“ ‘To stimulate the acquisition of general knowledge and to promote sociability’: The Young Ladies Club of Baddeck”
Phyllis R Blakeley Memorial Lecture
Dr. Sharon MacDonald, Ph.D.
Research Associate, Gorsebrook Research Institute, Saint Mary’s University
Founded in 1891 by Mabel Bell, the Young Ladies Club of Baddeck (now known as The Bell Club), gave women in a small Nova Scotian village opportunities to study diverse topics and acquire skills that would enhance their own lives and the life of the community. The emergence of women’s clubs in the nineteenth century created a safe learning environment, which inevitably encouraged women to engage more fully in the public sphere. Focussing on the specific history of The Bell Club, this talk will also place the club within the larger context of the women’s club movement .
Click here for a bio of Dr. Sharon MacDonald.
The 28th Annual Phyllis R. Blakeley lecture is named in memory of the late Provincial Archivist of Nova Scotia who was remembered for her contributions to local history, as a writer in her own right, and also as an archivist, a facilitator of research and a mentor, reader and advisor to many historians.
October 21, 2015
“In defense of Mi’kma’ki: Mi’kmaq military power in Northeastern North America (1675-1761)”
Tod Scott, Independent Reseacher
Starting in the last quarter of the seventeenth century until the end of the Seven Years War, the Mi’kmaq successfully defended their land, families and way of life through seven colonial wars against the British. These efforts kept British settlers from migrating into Mi’kma’ki. From the west the Mi’kmaq successfully projected their power along the Kennebec region of present day Maine. In the east they demonstrated they were a power to be reckoned with by frustrating British economic activities and settlements in Newfoundland. When British settlers finally migrated into Mi’kma’ki in 1749, the Mi’kmaq were able to contain them in British fortified enclaves until a peace was established in 1761.
Click here for a bio of Tod Scott.
November 18, 2015
“The Legacy of Gordon Sidney Harrington, 1909 to 1925”
Touted as successor to the Hon. R.B. Bennett as leader of the Federal Conservative Party and considered one of the most progressive premiers of Nova Scotia (1930 to 33), Col. Gordon Sidney Harrington, former legal counsel for the United Mine Workers of America (UMW), was Minister of Public Works and Mines from his election in 1925 and maintained that portfolio while Premier. Harrington dedicated his life (and his health) to Nova Scotians, particularly coal miners and their families, and to Canada as deputy minister of Canadian Forces Overseas in the latter part of the First World War. His life was one of great achievements and profound tragedy.
Click here for a bio of Carole MacDonald.
December 9, 2015
“Material Life and Landscape along the St. Mary’s River in Northeastern Nova Scotia, 1840-1910”
Meghann Jack, PhD Candidate, Department of Folklore, Memorial University of Newfoundland
The nineteenth century Nova Scotia countryside was a dynamic landscape where ideas of improvement, industriousness, and convenience characterized the way farmers patterned and negotiated their material surroundings. This talk analyzes the material motivations of St. Mary’s farmers in relation to the architectural expression of their farmsteads. The focus is both spatial and temporal, showing change in one small region over time. An examination of architectural choice and conceptualization, and the experiential realities of farm life and labour, demonstrates how farmers used their barns and farmhouses––buildings that reflected both economic and cultural concerns.
Click here for a bio of Meghann Jack.