Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Becomes Honorary Patron of the Society


The Emblem of the Office of the Lieutenant Governor

The Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society is very pleased to announce that His Honour Brigadier-General The Honourable J.J. Grant, CMM, ONS, CD (Ret’d), Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia has agreed to be named the Honorary Patron of the Society effective 1 January, 2015.

On the recommendation of the Council of the Society, President James Morrison recently extended an invitation to the Lieutenant Governor to become the Society’s Honourary Patron, which His Honour accepted. A native Nova Scotian, His Honour has a long-standing interest in the history of the province and recently attended a monthly lecture offered in the Society’s public lecture series.

His Honour was appointed Nova Scotia’s 32nd Lieutenant Governor  on 16 February,2012, after a distinguished career in Canada’s  Armed Forces. His Honour first joined as a soldier with the Pictou Highlanders Pipes and Drums in 1951 and retired at the rank of Brigadier-General in 1989. He has served on a number of Boards of Directors and has a number of Honourary appointments including most recently Honourary Colonel, 1st Battalion, The Nova Scotia Highlanders [North] and 2nd Battalion, The Nova Scotia Highlanders [Cape Breton], 2004-2009. He has received the Order of Military Merit (OMM), Commander of the Order of Military Merit (CMM), the Canadian Forces Decoration with 3 clasps (CD) and the Order of Nova Scotia (ONS).

The Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society was founded as a historical society in 1878 and is the second oldest such society in Canada. It is a voluntary organization whose monthly meetings feature a guest lecture on Nova Scotia history. Many of these contributions have appeared in the yearly JOURNAL of the Society. The two major goals of the Society are to preserve and promote the history of the province.

The Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society is honoured to have as its Patron the Viceregal representative in Nova Scotia of the Canadian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. It is a position that has deep roots in our province  stretching back to Confederation and the Society is pleased to have a new relationship with this important long standing link with the Crown in Nova Scotia.

Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society Presents Brief to Expert Panel on the Status and Future of Libraries and Archives

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The Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society presented a brief to the Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel on the Status and Future of Libraries and Archives on Friday, 8 November 2013. Bertrum MacDonald (President) and Ross Langley (Member of Council) presented the brief, which led to an hour-long discussion with the members of the Panel.

The brief outlined several anxieties and concerns about the status of Canadian archives and libraries as well as opportunities prompted by rapid changes in today’s digital and highly networked society that have been pursued in Nova Scotia. Through this brief, the Society presented five recommendations for the Expert Panel’s consideration:

(1) The fate of information should not be politicized. Discarding library and archival collections or allowing information to be lost should not occur due to political expediency or ideology.

(2) The benefits of collaboration among libraries and archives as well as other cultural heritage institutions should be emphasized. Financial pressures alone warrant further attention be given to this point. Greater rationalization of efforts and synergies of collaborative ventures will be a primary outcome. Collaboration requires leadership and, at a national level, Libraries and Archives Canada should be empowered to provide pan-Canadian leadership.

(3) Continued emphasis should be placed on digitization of historical records. Today, amateur as well as professional historians wish and expect digital access to the holdings of our repositories. The value of the original holdings must not be misunderstood, though. Digitization does not provide a license to discard the originals. Experience with previous inadequate digitization has proven that originals need to be retained.

(4) Technological innovations need to be encouraged and supported to overcome the problem of loss of historical evidence due to technological obsolescence. This matter is a societal problem of considerable urgency.

(5) Greater effort be placed on increasing awareness of Canadians about the resources available to them through libraries and archives.

The Royal Society of Canada established the Expert Panel, chaired by Dr. Patricia Demers, FRSC, University of Alberta, in response to nation-wide concerns about the status of Canadian libraries and archives given the immensely important role they fulfill in society. The Panel is conducting public consultations across Canada seeking input from Canadians “about the value they place on libraries and archives, the services they receive and expect from these institutions, and the ways digital technology is transforming our knowledge universe.” The Panel will publish a major report on its findings for wide distribution in 2014.

In addition, to the chair, Dr. Demers, the panel includes Dr. Guylaine Beaudry, Concordia University; Pam Bjornson, National Research Council; Michael Carroll, American University Washington College of Law; Prof. Carol Couture, Université de Montréal; Charlotte Gray, FRSC, Carleton University; Judith Hare, recently CEO of Halifax Public Libraries; Ernie Ingles, FRSC, University of Alberta; Prof. Eric Ketelaar, University of Amsterdam; Gerald McMaster, Art Gallery of Ontario; and Ken Roberts, Hamilton Public Library.

Further details about the mandate of the Panel can be found at

Click here to download the full-text copy of the RNSHS brief to the Royal Society.