Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society Community Support Grants

The Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society is pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications for our 2024 Community Support Grants. The Society will award two grants of $250 respectively to stimulate heritage initiatives and historical research and dissemination at the community, organization, and/or individual level. Applications are due no later than 8 January 2024. Eligible applicants include Nova Scotia community, heritage, or historical organizations and societies, graduate and undergraduate students who are not already well supported by funding agencies, or independent scholars who are conducting historical research on a Nova Scotia topic. For more information on how to apply and award conditions, please see the attached PDF file. If you have any questions, please direct your inquiries to

RNSHS Grant Program – Advertisement 2023

Dr. Brian Cuthbertson

The Society is deeply saddened given the recent passing of Dr. Brian Cuthbertson on 15 July 2023. Dr. Cuthbertson was a long time volunteer editor of the Journal of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society, in which he dedicated an incredible 19 years in the role.

More details of Dr. Cuthbertson’s life and work are available online via Saltwire. Tributes to the family can be made via the Cruikshank’s dedication and donations in Dr. Cuthbertson’s memory can be made to his daughter Lucy’s Memorial Fund to help young Halifax Lancer riders access the sport. 

Dr. Philip Bagnell

It is with sadness that the Society has learned of the recent passing of Council member Dr. Philip Bagnell on 15 July 2023. Dr. Bagnell’s obituary is now online via Saltwire and tributes can be made via the JA Snow dedication. Donations in Dr. Bagnell’s memory can be made to the Salvation Army of Canada or the Molly Appeal with Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Medicine.  

2023 Annual General Meeting

The Society’s AGM is always held in conjunction with the May lecture meeting, and was announced accordingly in April. There are time constraints at the Halifax Central Library, however, and so in order to accommodate the AGM and its agenda properly, we have postponed it to Wednesday 24 May 2023 at 7:00 p.m. online via Zoom. Agenda and reports are now posted to the website. We look forward to sharing the year’s activities with you then and looking ahead to 2023-24.


Consultation with Members on ‘The Way Forward’ Recommendations

April 2023

 On Saturday 1 April 2023, RNSHS Councillors met with General Members to discuss and vote upon fifteen draft recommendations regarding how the Society could look back, refresh, and move forward in the coming months. The consultation was held in person and online, with a clear quorum. Discussion was brisk, engaged and positive. Wording was adjusted for certain recommendations, and a new one was introduced. In the end, sixteen recommendations were approved by a majority vote and are presented here. Councillors will now develop a timeline which we hope to have ready for the May AGM, regarding gradual implementation of the recommendations. Meanwhile, we thank all members who attended and contributed, as well as those who sent email comments in advance. Together, we have all begun to explore the way ahead.   

Lois K. Yorke
President, RNSHS      

Reminder of Upcoming Consultation

March 29, 2023

Don’t forget our consultation with members this coming Saturday April 1, 2023, in the Akins Room at the NS Archives, 6016 University Avenue, Halifax, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (Atlantic), also available via Zoom (click here to join). For the Agenda, click here, and for a list of the Recommendations under discussion, click here. More information is available under Community Events. Members and observers are all welcome, refreshments and a light lunch will be available.  

Dr. Julian Gwyn

The Society was saddened recently to learn of the death on 18 March 2023 of Dr. Julian R.D.J. Gwyn – a guest lecturer on various occasions, with subsequent articles appearing in the Journal, the most recent being “The Private Life of Jessie MacCallum, Diarist of Windsor & St. George, 1901-1910” (Vol. 20, 2017). 

Dr. Gwyn was a graduate of Loyola College (BA), McGill University (MA), Balliol College, Oxford (MLitt and DPhil). His academic life was spent at the University of Ottawa (Professor of History, 1961-96; professor emeritus, 1997), but his research interests focused on Nova Scotia and colonial New York. For many years he was an annual summer visitor to archives and libraries throughout the province, where he will be warmly remembered for his generosity, friendship, and interest in helping others. After retirement he settled in Berwick, where he farmed while continuing research and writing for another quarter century. A dozen books and sixty scholarly articles or book chapters reflect Dr. Gwyn’s commitment to the practice of history. He will be missed.

For further details, please see 

RNSHS Membership Consultation

March 18, 2023

The Council of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society plans to consult with membership on Saturday 1 April, in the Akins Room at the Nova Scotia Archives, 6016 University Avenue, Halifax, NS from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (Atlantic). The consultation will also be available via Zoom (click here to join) and will focus on the ‘Report and Recommendations for The Way Forward.’ For more information about this, see our Community Events section of the website. Members and interested observers are all welcome, a light lunch and refreshments will be available. We look forward to meeting with YOU!

Season’s Greetings

December 2022

We extend to all our Society members and friends our very best wishes for the holiday season.

As we slowly emerge from the pandemic, the year has been a busy one. In-person monthly meetings have resumed, now held at the Halifax Central Library with continued online viewing options. The Winter 2023 Lecture Series is being finalized and will offer a variety of new topics – more details coming very soon! Likewise, the ink is drying on Volume 25 of the Journal and copies will be mailed out by month’s end. Lastly, work continues on ‘The Way Forward,’ our renewal exercise, with the Working Group’s Report scheduled for release in January – to be followed by a consultation (in-person and via Zoom) with all interested members.

During the coming months we look forward to sharing the results of all these activities, and we trust you will continue to support the Society by renewing your membership or contributing to our mandate by participating with your interest and enthusiasm for Nova Scotia history. We extend to all of you our best wishes for 2023!

On behalf of the RNSHS Executive and Council,

Lois Yorke

Community Grants Return

October 17, 2022

The Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society is pleased to announce the return of its community funding opportunity in the form of two annual grants of $250 each. Applications are open to local Nova Scotia community heritage or history organizations/societies and individuals, including graduate and undergraduate students or independent scholars conducting research on any aspect of Nova Scotia history. The deadline is November 30, 2022. Please click here for detailed grant application guidelines.