On Archives and Stolen Papers

Researchers using archives are often puzzled as to why we ask them to register, and leave all bags and coats in a locker before they may use the collection.  It is because archives, libraries, and museums have been pillaged in the past of valuable collections, and the job of an archive is to protect these items, whether from the elements or thieves.

What’s a Muster Roll?

The words “muster roll” flow easily off the tongue of a military historian or veteran genealogist.  Some researchers, however, may have some recollection of the term, but are unsure as to its exact nature.

Death on the Sea: The Crew of the Eclipse

At the head of Cape Sable, Nova Scotia, in 1831, the end came for seven sailors belonging to the brig Eclipse like many others employed in this potentially lethal occupation.  The story of the crew of the Eclipse is just one of the dramas that is revealed through common, local county court documents.  The primary documents assembled below demonstrate the very practical concerns surrounding shipwreck deaths and the treatment of its victims.<

Saint John, New Brunswick and the Origins of Canadian Mental Health Care

With open discussions about mental health and mental illness becoming much more prominent and accepted in contemporary culture, it is interesting to track the history of mental health care and responses to mental illness in Canada. In fact, for New Brunswickers, it can be surprising to discover that the roots of Canada’s mental health care can actually be found in our own back yard: loyalist Saint John County.