About the Journal

In 1998, the Society began publication of the Journal of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society, a successor to both the Collections and the Nova Scotia Historical Review (the NSHR was published by the Nova Scotia Archives). It is normally published once a year, and Society members each receive a copy of the Journal as well as notification of the Society's yearly lecture series and general meetings. To check on your membership status, please contact the Membership Secretary.

Mission Statement

The Journal of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society (RNSHS) has advanced scholarship on the history of Nova Scotia since 1998 and in previous forms (the Collections and the Nova Scotia Historical Review) going back until 1878. Its mission is to make articles on a wide spectrum of important and pertinent subjects available to our members and to the broader community. The content of the Journal includes papers read at the Society’s public meetings, and, on a space-available basis, relevant works on the history of Nova Scotia submitted to the Journal but not read before the Society. This publication grew out of decades of publishing the papers read before the Society; but the Journal has taken a step beyond previous publications by requiring the review and revision of papers to bring them all to a similar scholarly standard. It is delivered once annually to all Society members in good standing.

The Journal’s mission is to foster the publication of excellent works on the history of Nova Scotia from both academic and community historians, including special attention to genealogy. It also serves the membership through a summary president’s message and book reviews. All articles and research notes are subject to independent peer review, and genealogies are reviewed, to ascertain that all works published are sound, appropriately documented, and of value to our membership. The varied authorship of contributions to the Journal, along with the flexibility that the editorial board exercises regarding types of submissions, allows the Journal to make academic works available to the broader regional community, to nurture the scholarship of graduate students, and to encourage community historians to share their work with the Society. Both the discussions at the Society’s meetings and the peer review process contribute to the published articles: providing valuable critiques, new insights, and guidance to sources and questions to help authors to develop their work to the highest standard possible.

Editorial board

Editor:  Anne Marie Lane Jonah, editor@rnshs.ca

Managing Editor:  Mathias Rodorff, editor@rnshs.ca

Genealogy Editor:  Kenneth Paulsen, genealogyeditor@rnshs.ca

Book Review Editor:  Robert Berard, bookrevieweditor@rnshs.ca

Copy Editor:  Elizabeth Eve, info@rnshs.ca

Vice-President Publications:  Bennett McNutt, info@rnshs.ca

Advisory board

Joanne Collins-Gonsalves
Tanja Harrison
Stephen Henderson
Sara Hollett Rimmer
John Reid
Shirley Tillotson
Deborah Trask
Jay White

The journal is available online through ProQuest's CBCA database and EBSCO's America: History and Life.

An index to the Collections and Journal of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society was prepared with the assistance and support of the PATHs program of Canada's National History Society. They generously provided the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society with two grants which underwrote the preparation of an index that included all of the materials the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society has published since its inception in 1878. Click here to download full index pdf.

Back issues of the Journal are available for purchase. Please contact membership@rnshs.ca with your request. For individual article requests please contact info@rnshs.ca with details.

Information about the most recent issue of the Journal appears below.

Black Roots and white roots intertwined in Nova Scotia’s Tree of History

Wednesday, March 20th, 2024, 7:00 pm (Atlantic), in-person at the Halifax Public Library. Here is the Zoom link.

Karen Hudson is a dedicated educator and principal at Auburn Drive High School. She has chaired, co-founded, and participated on boards including the Freedom School, Africentric Learning Institute, Connecting to Africa, and the Indigenous Black and Mi’kmaq committee at Dalhousie Law School. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Nova Scotia Teachers Award, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and the Nova Scotia Family Volunteer Award. She is also featured in John Morrison’s book The IT Factor: Discover and Unleash Your Own Unique Leadership Potential. Karen is an alum of MSVU (2005) and in 2019 she was recognized Nationally as an Outstanding Principal by the Learning Partnership.

Kathrin Winkler is a retired teacher, peace activist, artist, mother, and grandmother. Nova Scotia’s rich and hidden histories reveal critical areas for repair necessary for moving forward to justice. For her, art is a practice and the imagination is the territory that sprouts change. She is a Nova Scotia VOW member; a Thousand Harbours Zen sangha member and she loves swimming in the ocean.

Abstract: Marcus Garvey famously wrote: “A people without knowledge of their past history, origin and
culture is like a tree without roots.” 15 Ships left Halifax harbour on January 15, 1792 and the ripples that caused the conditions leading to this epic journey are evident to this day, yet still not fully known. The #1792Project’s aim to share the history of the 1,196 Black Loyalists by creating unique personal connections, continues in a letter-writing campaign. We will share the perspectives of students and community participants and how we hope to continue keeping the history of the 15 Ships to Sierra Leone alive.

Journal of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society, Vol. 43, 2021


Why Would a Girl Want to be Educated’: The History of Post-Secondary Home Economics Education in Nova Scotia, 1920-1980
Jennifer Brady and Lindsey MacCallum

The Unseeing State: Mi’kmaw Illegibility in Nova Scotia, 1876-1930
Grace McNutt

James Lorimer Ilsley: A Nova Scotia Liberal in National Politics
Barry Cahill

Research Notes

The Paper Remains of a Nova Scotia Family
Laurie Glenn Norris

Charles Samuels: Warrior, Messenger, Adventurer, Maroon
John N. Grant

Colonial Office Records 217, vol. 74: ‘An Account of Maroon Property Embarked with them from Nova Scotia to Sierra Leone’(1800): A Document Analysis
John N. Grant


The Illsleys
Heather Long CG(C)

Book Reviews

Margaret Conrad (2020). At the Ocean’s Edge: A History of Nova Scotia to Confederation. University of Toronto.
Robert Nicholas Berard

T. Joseph Scanlan (2020). Catastrophe: Stories and Lessons from the Halifax Explosion. Wilfred Laurier University.
David A. Sutherland

Gerlad Hallowell (2019). As British as the King: Lunenburg County during the First World War. Nimbus.
Philip L. Harding

Will Langford (2020). The Global Politics of Poverty in Canada: Development Programs and Democracy 1964-1979. McGill-Queens University Press.
Richard Starr

Steven Schwinghamer and Jan Rasks. Pier 21: A History. University of Ottawa Press.
Jay White