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 usually followed by refreshments.
Unless otherwise indicated, our meetings are 7:00 p.m. Wednesday evenings at the Public Archives of Nova Scotia, 6016 University Avenue, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Please note that the December lecture is held on the second Wednesday of the month.

Emigration and the Failure of Canadian Elites in the Nineteenth Century: Quebec and Nova Scotia Compared

Wednesday, October 21, 2020, 7:00 pm, via Zoom

Patrick Lacroix, PhD    
Independent Scholar

Abstract: The extent of emigration from Nova Scotia to the United States in the late nineteenth century is little-known and understudied. Canadian historians have been more attentive to the contemporary “demographic hemorrhage” that drained the Quebec countryside. Yet, proportionally, the United States exerted the same magnetic effect on predominantly English-speaking provinces as on Quebec. By comparing Quebec and Nova Scotia, Dr. Lacroix exposes outmigration as a nationwide problem whose local solutions were ultimately few, inconsistent, and ineffective. 

Click here for a bio of Dr. Patrick Lacroix

Somewhere in Flanders: A Nova Scotian at the Front

Wednesday, November 18, 2020, 7:00 pm, via Zoom

Heather McBriarty    

Abstract: In 1914, James W. Johnstone, privileged son of a prominent Nova Scotia family, jumped to enlist in the fledgling Canadian Expeditionary Force. Over 17 months, from Valcartier to Belgium, he wrote nearly 70 letters to his sweetheart in Halifax. Her granddaughter is Heather McBriarty. In her lecture, McBriarty will share selections from the letters with context and comment. 

A bio for Heather McBriarty coming soon

Seven Flags over Shearwater

Wednesday, December 9, 2020, 7:00 pm, via Zoom

Colonel (Ret’d) John L. Orr CD    
Volunteer Researcher, Shearwater Aviation Museum

Abstract: Shearwater, located on the eastern shore of Halifax harbour, has made a major, although largely unrecognized, contribution to aviation in Canada. Since its inception in 1918, the air station has served under a variety of commands and services – hence the ‘Seven Flags’ in the title. 

Click here for a bio of Col, (Ret’d) John L. Orr