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The Absolutely Literate blog is for people interested in writing, editing, design, history and family history.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

History is in Colour

I am totally stoked about the soon to be in mailboxes Winter issue of British Columbia History. It has a colour cover.

The photography of author and photographer Matt Whelan graces the cover. 

Read his story about the Warplane in the Woods: nestled in the forest of the Pacific coast lies a graffiti-covered fuselage — an eerie reminder of the Second World War.

For those readers who love maps,  The Lower Mainland’s First Settler Built Trail by John Macdonald is full of maps and includes a colour map on the back cover from 1889.

This issue includes stories about an escaped Washington slave by by Racan Souiedan; logging camp memories by Peggie Law; a different perspective on Surrey by Mary Carlisle; a reprint of a Victor comic from May 1962; a piece on the Salt Spring Island Archives' ambitious digitization project; and a story of a dugout canoe from the Osoyoos & District Museum and Archives.

Look for it in mailboxesx and book stores in early December.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Seven Things

Fashion Plates catalogue
Recently, my friend, co-founder of the Golden Ears Writers and Gothic author, KT Wagner tagged me in her blog. The tag was a challenge to post “7 Thing About Me” and nominate seven people to carry it on.

Here goes: Seven Things About Me

1. When I was growing up I made my own catalogue using Parker Brothers Fashion Plates.

2. I collect silhouette pictures.

3. I am an avid family historian.

4. I have an uncanny ability to identify little known Canadian actors.

5. I have too many hobbies.

6. I am a chocoholic.

7. I met my hubby while doing archery.

Now for my tags.  (I didn’t check with everyone first, so please just ignore me if you don’t have time for this.)

Link back to the person who nominated you.
List 7 Things about yourself. Can be anything you want.
Nominate 7 other people.

I nominate:

Annette Fulford, Canadian War Brides of the First World War

M. Diane Rogers,  CanadaGenealogy, or, 'Jane's Your Aunt'

GT, Progress Developer

Messy Chic

The Fortress of Verisimilitude 

Daily Zen

Darren Durupt, Geek on a Bike .... coming soon

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Shifting Landscape of Publishing

Center for Digital Media
Friday and Saturday I was at Vancouver O'Reilly's Mini TOC (Tools of Change for Publishing) at the brand new Center for Digital Media. My brain is full of new ideas. It was exhilarating to be a room with smart, visionary, and passionate people. There were speakers from the Vancouver area as well as speakers who have frequented the O’Reilly TOC in New York program.
Friday offered workshops in two streams: the "Tech Workshop" and the "Secrets to Ebook Success" day-long workshops. Saturday offered presentations followed by discussions that involved everyone in attendance.
So what were the themes? I heard a lot of discussion about discoverability, curated content, and interactive books.
The main thing I came away with an author was that electronic publishing is in its infancy. Tylor Sherman of Denim & Steel talked about how HTML5 separates content from design and I think this is the key concept that applies to publishing.
Most people seemed to feel that electronic publishing is not going to replace print but instead it will evolve into something different and become a companion to print. We need to remember that we are authors and thus, creators of content. The book, the blog, the article, the app – those are just containers for the content. Right now the technology is driving the creation and it should be the other way around. Just as Griffin and Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence by Nick Bantock pushed the boundaries of print; there will be authors who create content for interactive publications and drive the technology creators to create support their ideas.
Peter Cocking, a Vancouver-based graphic designer and design teacher, talked about keeping the audience in the forefront. If you start adding interactive elements to your book just because you can are you taking away from the reading experience? Should you make a movie instead? There are places where interactive content adds value and there are instances where it detracts. A cook book is great example of where an instructional video can enhance the usability for the reader. A coffee table book delivered electronically loses the design and the smell and the experience. To quote Peter Cocking even gift giving is altered when you give ebooks "I bought you some pixels." "Oh, you really shouldn't have."
There were many other great discussions at Vancouver’s Mini-TOC but I will save those for another post and leave you with a question. Is an interactive book still a book or is it something else?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Copyright Conundrums

We had a great conversation about copyright, among other things, last night at the Golden Ears Writers Lobby Night with an enthusiastic audience and some great questions.

A good resource that I did not put on my handout was the Canadian Copyrights Database. The Canadian Copyrights Database includes all copyrights that have been registered since October 1, 1991. Some copyright registrations prior to 1991 may be included in the database. The website also has a lot of good information about copyright and trademarks.

An audience member asked if I knew of cases where people had been hit with legal action for using images without asking permission. Here are two examples. One is author Roni Loren. She had used images on her blog thinking she could use the images under fair use. She was not thinking of her blog as commercial because she does not directly make money from her site. However, she uses it to promote her work as a writer so in the eyes of the law is not that different from an ad in a newspaper. You can read more about her experience on her blog. Another story making the rounds is the nice cease and desist letter from Jack Daniel’s Properties that author Patrick Wensink received in regards to the cover for his book, Broken Piano For President. His cover art too closely resembled the Jack Daniel’s label and infringed on their trademark.

Another article I ran across was this post on rethinkinglearning regarding Getty Images. Getty Images uses the software PicScout to look for sites that are using any of their images illegally. If they find any of their images they will send a cease and desist letter and demand payment retroactively.

One of the questions asked was what to do when you cannot determine copyright for an image?
I noticed how this problem was handled in 100 Days That Changed Canada published by Canada’s National History Society and HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

“Every effort has been made to contact rightsholders of copyrighted material. In the case of an inadvertent error or commission, please contact the publisher.”

How this would hold up in a court is another question but clearly they have kept track of their efforts to determine who holds the copyright for the images that they have used in the book.

As authors, artists, and so forth we need to protect ourselves and respect the rights of other artists. As a historian I appreciate it when other historians leave me a breadcrumb trail for their sources.

*This post is not intended as legal advice. This is just my experiences working as an author, editor, and designer; when in doubt talk to a copyright lawyer.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Historical Mysteries lead to More Questions

I love a good “who-done-it”. I am a big fan of Murdoch Mysteries. I enjoy how the show melds early forensic techniques, history, and humour into an entertaining hour.

I am also a history geek so I find the show often leaves me with questions. Did Timothy Eaton really hold inventor fairs? When did the Black Hand come to North America? In the case of “Who Killed the Electric Carriage?” I wanted to know how much was fact and how much was fabrication. Did Henry Ford race his combustion engine against an electric car? 

I am not concerned if they played with the historical facts to make a good story but it would enhance my viewing experience to know what was fact, what was extrapolation, and what was fabrication. As a writer, I want to know what was the inspiration for the plot. It would be interesting, for me, to know if the plot was inspired by true events found in an old newspaper or a family story.

I quite often end up doing some research after an episode. I would love it if the creators of the series added a historical references page to their website; links to historical newspapers and online exhibits, etc.

For more thoughts on historical research join me Tuesday, October 16th, 2012 @ 7pm-9pm at the
Golden Ears Writers Lobby Night at the Maple Ridge Arts and Culture Theatre (The ACT).
There is no charge for admission.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Coming to a mail box near you

British Columbia History Fall 2012 Vol. 43.3

The Fall issue of British Columbia History is at the printer and should be heading to mailboxes and bookstores soon.

Jennie Korsnes in Stanley Park, BC. circa 1929.
Jennie’s Journey to British Columbia
by Ingrid Buschmann and Noreen Buschmann Jacky
Nineteen year old Jennie Korsnes travelled alone from Aalesund, Norway to Barnet, British Columbia in 1927. She wrote enthusiastically about her new life in Canada.

Lt. Col. Eric Parker Tibetan Collection at MOA

by Ann Poole
Family mythology created a desire for Ann Poole to know more about her grandfather, Eric Parker, and how his journey is captured at the UBC Museum of Anthropology.

Toil and Trivia — A Newspaper Editor’s Life
by Vern Giesbrecht
Vern Giesbrecht recalls his time as a journalist and editor of a weekly newspaper; the long hours, too much criticism, not enough praise, and relentless deadlines.

The Fringe: 1201–1299 West Georgia
by Bruce Dyck
Each year, the British Columbia Historical Federation offers two W. Kaye Lamb Scholarships for student essays relating to the history of British Columbia. Bruce Dyck is the winner of the $750 prize for a student in 1st or 2nd year  university or college in British Columbia.

Come on, Jayo; We’re Cheering for You
by Ken MacLeod
John Oliver High School, for many years the largest high school west of the Great Lakes, celebrates its 100th Anniversary on September 21 and 22, 2012.

Archives & Archivists
by Shannon Bettles; edited by Sylvia Stopforth
Shannon Bettles, Heritage Records Manager for the Chilliwack Museum and Archives, talks about the archives renovation project that has given many of us facilities envy.

Book Reviews


Cabinets of Curiosities
by Rosemarie Parent
Rosemarie Parent of the Arrow Lakes Historical Society, tells the tale of the Siamese pig in her grandfather in-law’s unique collection.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mr or Mr.; BC or B.C.? abbreviations, acronyms, and initialisms.

I have noticed a trend recently towards writers dropping the period on abbreviations. No longer is it Mr. or Dr. but Mr and Dr; P. D. Smith has become PD Smith and so forth. I have wondered if this is a trend, laziness, or self-correcting software gone mad.

I decided to go to the source — the Chicago Manual of Style.

According to the Chicago Manual of Style:
  • an acronym is a term based on the initial letters and read as a single word (scuba, NASA, AIDS);
  • an initialism refers to terms read as a series of letters (UBC, NHL, HTML);
  • and a contraction (not the apostrophe kind) is an abbreviation that includes the first and last letters of the full word (Mr., amt., Dr.).
So that seems straightforward enough but, of course, there are exceptions. What about XML (extensible markup language), or JPEG, or ©, or FAQ?

According to Grammar Girl:
Finally, there's no strict rule about putting periods after each letter in an acronym or initialism. Some publications put periods after each letter, arguing that because each letter is essentially an abbreviation for a word, periods are necessary. Other publications don't put periods after each letter, arguing that the copy looks cleaner without them, and that because they are made up of all capital letters, the fact that they are abbreviations is implied.
 The Chicago Manual of Style, however, recommends the following:
  1. Dr., a.m., Mr., Ms., vol., rear Adm., Esq. — essentially abbreviations that end in a lowercase letter should have a period.
  2. Given names should use periods: P. D. Smith; unless, and here it comes, it replaces the whole name: JFK.
  3. No periods for abbreviations that appear in full capitals even when there are lowercase letters within the abbreviation. Here are some examples to help clarify things: CEO, BA, US, BC, PhD.
As always, it depends on the style guide of the publication. Traditional publications will use U.S.; the British and French omit the periods on contractions (Dr, Mr). The US military omits periods for the official forms of its ranks but there are variations within branches. SSG for an army staff sergeant; SSgt for the air force and marines.

Are you thoroughly confused now?

There are more rules to do with science and technology, biblical abbreviations, units, business, and so forth.

How do you feel about it all? Is it something that you are diligent about? Are you thwarted in your attempts by your software program indicating you have grammatical errors? Do you think it matters?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Commitment to Caring now available as an e-book

Commitment to Caring: Chilliwack Hospital Auxiliary’s 100 Years, 1911-2011 is now available as an as an ebook for the Kobo reader and for Kindle.

Writer and historian Andrea Lister follows the generations of women who have supported the hospital and the community for 100 years through wars, depressions, and social changes. All proceeds from the sale of this book go towards the purchase of equipment for the Chilliwack General Hospital.

Retail price: $5.99
ISBN: 978-0-9868333-1-1 (electronic edition)

Available at www.kobobooks.com and www.amazon.com.

Commitment to Caring was awarded a 2012 Chilliwack Heritage Award by the Chilliwack Museum and Historical Society.

Andrea Lister was born in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada. As the great-granddaughter of the founding member of the Chilliwack Hospital Auxiliary, Andrea was asked to write their history for their 100th anniversary. Fortunately, tenacity runs in the family. Commitment to Caring reflects Andrea’s belief that history is the ongoing story of ordinary men and women who shape our world.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ebooks and Indexes

My question of the day, does an ebook need an index?

Mrs. T.W. Gregory (LOC)
Some people argue that an ebook has a search feature so an index is unnecessary. However, a good index is more than a list of words. A good index includes alternative terms for the same thing, groups discussions under a single term, and references related terms.

From a user experience though scrolling through pages of terms seems cumbersome when offered a simple search function. An index created in Adobe InDesign for your print book does not convert into a hyperlinked file.You can insert anchors and create cross references and there are other other methods that create an index separately and then import it and so forth, but all of these methods seem overly cumbersome.

When you create online help you can embed key words that are used with the search function. It is a great way to embed alternate terms to improve the user experience. It seems logical to me that the same functionality could be embedded into ebooks, but alas, so far this functionality does not exist. 

Again from the user perspective, as a researcher I quite often flip to the index and look for items of interest before I buy a print book or take it out of the library. With an ebook I will not have that opportunity to assess the book before I commit to its purchase.

If you have created an ebook did you create an index?

As a reader of ebooks do you want an index for your non-fiction books?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Chocolate Wars

Chocolate Wars: The 150-Year Rivalry Between the World's Greatest Chocolate MakersChocolate Wars: The 150-Year Rivalry Between the World's Greatest Chocolate Makers by Deborah Cadbury
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In light of the recent Occupy movement this book's chronicle of the origins of Cadbury and their Quaker motivations to the present day world of globalization was facinating.

Has globalization taken us back to the days of Dickens? Corporations talk about corporate responsibility but the reality is that they see themselves as beholden to the shareholders. Shareholders want a return on their investment and they want it now. There is a disconnent between short term wealth generation and long term growth that is good for shareholders, employees, and consumers.

The Quaker ideals that wealth creation was not for personal gain but for the benefit of society may seem quaint today until you look at some statistics. "In the United States, the ratio of chief executive pay to factory worker pay has risen from 42:1 in 1960 to 344:1 in 2007." (p 308)

Read the book and learn the origins of Dairy Milk, Smarties, and the chocolate industry.

View all my reviews

Monday, June 18, 2012

Should I rename my car the General Brock?

The bicentennial celebrations for the War of 1812 start today.

The war of 1812 was a military conflict between the United States and Great Britain. As a colony of Great Britain, Canada was swept up in the War of 1812 and was invaded a number of times by the Americans. Despite its name, the war lasted into 1814.

It is a defining event in Canadian history because it sowed the seeds of nationalism in Upper and Lower Canada. Washington had expected the largely American population of Upper Canada to join them and throw off the "British yoke".This did not happen. Various events and people have entered into our mythology: Laura Secord and her trek to warn the British; General Isaac Brock, a fallen hero; and of course, the burning of Washington.

The War of 1812 has a personal connection for me as the battle of Chippawa was fought on July 5, 1814 on my ancestor's land. It was a decisive victory for the Americans.

Historians are still debating who won the war and probably will continue to do so for another 200 years. Regardless, take a moment today and learn about the origins of Canadian nationalism. I am not sure that I will rename my car "The General Brock" a la "The General Lee" (I know wrong war) but I will do a little reading. If you are lucky enough to be out East - take part in some of the celebrations that are going on.

External Links

 War of 1812
The Official War of 1812 Bicentennial Website
Red Coats & Grey Jackets: The Battle of Chippawa, 5 July, 1812

Saturday, May 26, 2012

BCHF in [BCMA] Spring 2012 Roundup

BC Museums Association has just posted the Spring 2012 Issue (#251) of Roundup to the homepage: www.museumsassn.bc.ca  

The cover photo, courtesy of the Kamloops Museum and Archives (host of the BCHF 2013 Conference), is of Kamloops in 1905, taken by Mary Spencer, who ran a studio in Kamloops from 1899-1906.

The Spring issue of Roundup includes an article about the 90th Anniversary of the British Columbia Historical Federation. Check it out.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Editing for Audience and Purpose

To follow up Truth and Accuracy I need to talk about editing for purpose and occasion but first I really need to talk about audience. Writing is all about communication and in order to communicate well we need to build a bridge for our reader. Too often when drafting our work we get too inside our own heads and build a wall instead of a bridge.

If you have not done this already define your primary audience. What do you know about them? Education, interests, age? Who is your secondary audience?

For me, as a history writer, I tend to assume that my primary audience are people who are interested in history and have their own area of expertise that may not be the area of expertise of my own work or that of an author with whom I am working. My secondary audience are people who are newer to history; people that we are hoping to engage and encourage.

Then I need to ask the following questions:

  1. Have I considered their needs in the creation of my work? Have I explained jargon and terminology? Do I need maps, a glossary, diagrams?
  2. Does the document reflect the interests of my audience?
  3. Have I created a relationship with your audience?
  4. Is my document organized in such a way that you do not lose your reader?
  5. Are all the facts relevant?
  6. Is the information comprehensive?


What is the purpose of your piece? Is it to persuade? Persuasive writing is all about the audience as there is a call to action. You want your reader to read, understand, and be persuaded. Ask yourself, what does your audience need? What do they fear?

Is your purpose to inform? Informational pieces focus on the subject but as a writer you still need to build the bridge to your reader. The writer needs to ensure they do not assume a higher base knowledge and lose their audience or, alternatively, underestimating their base knowledge and boring or insulting their audience.

Is your writing in response to a request? Again, you need to ask what information your audience needs. You also need to ask why your audience requested the information and how they intend to you the information once received.

Is it for an audience that had not requested information? This tends to be items like press releases, newsletters, and of course, blogs. Ask yourself, why does my audience need this information? How will my audience use this information?

Final Thoughts

Now that you have revisited your audience you are prepared to revise to ensure that it suits their needs. Writing is about communication and thus having a clear picture of our audience is key. If it helps you to cut out faces from magazines to give your audience a face - do it. Use whatever tricks you need to keep your audience in mind as you write and revise.

Let me know your tips.

Advanced Study in Writing for Business and the Professions by Anne Hungerford (course material)
Writing With Power: Techniques for Mastering the Writing Process by Peter Elbow

Monday, April 30, 2012

Truth and Accuracy

I received positive feedback on my Revising, revising, revising post and requests for detail. Rewriting is the key to polishing your work. You need to take a step away from your writing and become a reader of your own work; not an easy task.

The first type of revision I focus on when editing my own work or the work of others is "truth and accuracy".

This stage is more than just checking to see if quotations are correct but also whether quotations are given the correct context. Quotations without proper context can bias the reader by offering them a half truth. It is also an opportunity to check facts, dates, and people's names. It is so easy to transpose numbers or mispell a name.

I find it also a good time to check assumptions. We all enter into writing with our biases so we have to make sure that they have not had an impact on the final product. Did we only look for information to support our point of view?

Checking assumptions is important for both fiction and non-fiction writers. We make assumptins about base knowledge of the reader. I might know, after having been immersed in the research, that "Christmas cheer" in the 1920s meant visiting people and spreading joy and happiness but my readers might think of the more modern definition and assume that my characters are sharing alcoholic beverages. In non-fiction writing you can often clarify things in your footnotes but that can be annoying for the reader. The trick is finding the middle ground so that you are not insulting your more knowledgable readers but also not leaving readers new to the genre confused and frustrated. Candace Robb, one of my favourite fiction authors puts a glossary of terms at the beginning of her books. It is a nice non-intrusive way of providing additional information for readers.

What are your tips for revising for truth and accuracy?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Census Excitement

Published April 18, 2012 | "Census Excitement" | Maple Ridge Historical Society Family History News, April 2012

On April 2, 2012, NARA released the 1940 United States Federal Census to the public. Census images will be uploaded and made available on Ancestry.com, Archives.com, FindMyPast.com, and FamilySearch.org.

This census recorded an important moment in time as it includes people who survived the Depression and were hearing of the coming of another global war. Christian Salazar and Randy Hershaft assert in a March 18, 2012 AssociatedPress article that “researchers might be able to follow the movement of refugees from war-torn Europe in the latter half of the 1930s; sketch out in more detail where 100,000 Japanese Americans interned during World War II were living before they were removed; and more fully trace the decades-long migration of blacks from the rural South to cities.”

The 1940 census included questions about internal migration by asking where people had been living on April 1, 1935. For people 14 years and older there were questions about employment status including wages. The census takers also asked if anyone had participated in the New Deal programs. These questions are keys to our understanding of how our ancestors managed during the Depression.
The reality of finding your ancestor in the 1940 census must be tempered by the massive amount of indexing work that is ahead.

You can, however, speed things up by joining the 1940 U.S. CensusCommunity Project 

Next on the horizon is the countdown for the 1921 Canadian census. The 1921 Census was taken on June 1st, which means that it will be in the custody of Library and Archives Canada on June 1, 2013. They intend to make it available to researchers online, in the same format as previous censuses, as soon as possible after that date.

The overall population of Canada in 1921 was 8,788,483 individuals. The 1921 census dropped the questions on "infirmities."

All this exciting census news makes me think again about the loss of information to future researchers with the scrapping of the long form census.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Help Support Culture

I was talking with a friend the other day about the collateral damage done by the current BCTF job action. This is not a comment on the job action itself; my goal is to create awareness of stories that do not seem to make the headlines. No field trips mean that the already underfunded cultural places and events like museums and theatres lose their revenue from school groups and school programs. For some smaller organizations this means layoffs. It could also mean that these programs will cease to exist.

However, you can make a difference. Go see a live show at your local theatre.

Go visit your local museum or art gallery. 

To my Maple Ridge followers, consider becoming a  member of the Maple Ridge Historical Society. Its only $20 a year for an individual membership and in addition to the benefits of the newsletters and guest speakers and other events, they will also add their voices to our effort to get a new museum for this community.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Perceived value of ebooks

CNET recently published an interesting article about the perceived value of ebooks "Why e-books cost so much". "Here's something that tends to get lost in the debate over e-book prices: Paper doesn't cost very much. There's a perception among consumers that an e-book should cost very little or next to nothing because there is no paper, printing, and shipping involved."

The article points out that print or ebook the same expenses exist: Author advances, design, marketing, publicity, office space, and staff. However, it does not get into much detail about author compensation, let alone editors, book designers, and the cost of marketing, etc.

As we move further into the digital world we need to ensure that an appropriate value is attached to products; just because it is electronic does not make it in expensive to produce.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Revising, revising, revising

At my writer group yesterday I was reminded of one of the myths of writing. There seems to be a perception that good writers do not need to revise their work; that somehow their first draft is golden. Bunk.

A number of years ago I took a fabulous course through the Continuing Studies program at SFU, Advanced study in Writing for Business and the Professions, taught by Anne Hungerford.

She taught that there are six different types of revision:
  1. Revision for truth and accuracy.
  2. Review of the structure of your document.
  3. Purpose and occassion; does it meet the needs of your audience?
  4. Review paragraphs for unity, development, and flow.
  5. Review sentences for wordiness, awkwardness, and the use of the passive voice.
  6. Word choice and tone.
So throw out that ingrained idea drilled in from the in-class essay that you can produce something fabulous the first time out and revise, revise, revise.

Advanced Study in Writing for Business and the Professions by Anne Hungerford (course material)
Writing With Power: Techniques for Mastering the Writing Process by Peter Elbow

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Save Library & Archives Canada

The proposed changes at LAC have far-reaching implications for how Canada’s history and cultural heritage are preserved and understood. The "modernization" underway is a direct attack on our collective memory. To prevent the demise of this vital national institution, the Canadian Association of University Teachers has launched a campaign to ensure that LAC maintains its commitment to preserve and make publicly available Canada's full documentary heritage.

Campaign objectives

  • Amend the Library and Archives of Canada Act to more clearly specify LAC’s obligation to maintain a comprehensive collection of Canada’s documentary heritage
  • Ensure funding required to fulfill this obligation
  • Restore LAC’s full acquisition of published material and archival acquisitions
  • Restore public services, including access to archivists and librarians; access to the general reference collection; and re-establishment of specialist archivist positions
  • End fragmentation of collections resulting from decentralization

Monday, March 5, 2012

Spring issue of British Columbia History in mailboxes soon

Look for British Columbia History's anniversary issue celebrating 90 years of the British Columbia Historical Association was established on October 12, 1922. It was renamed the British Columbia Historical Federation on July 29, 1983 — a name that better reflects its role as an umbrella organization for provincial historical societies.

The Spring issue celebrates the past of the Federation's flagship publication with reprints of articles from past pages by John Forsyth, Louis LeBourdais, Noel Robinson, Walter N. Sage, Charles Humphries, and R.J. (Ron) Welwood.

It also features some thought on the future of archives by Courtney C. Mumma from the City of Vancouver Archives.

Don't foregt to join us in Campbell River for the British Columbia Historical Federation's annual conference.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Interested In Exchange Traded Funds?

Read my interview with Patricia Dunwoody CETFA’s General Manager, about the evolving market of exchange traded funds on the Smarten Up Institute website.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Happy 100th Birthday to the Vancouver Sun

Congratulations to the Vancouver Sun on 100 years of reporting.

As a historian, newspapers are a great resource for historical research. I refer to newspapers regularly in my work for a sense of the time period in which I am researching, vintage photos, society notes, and style of writing. I am always amused by the ads for by-gone products as they give you a great snapshot of society.

Check out their centenary edition.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Family lore gives clues to the past

My friend and colleague is interviewed in today's Maple Ridge Times about her upcoming course "Start searching your family history". The course started Jan. 22, and continues through to March 1, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Maple Ridge Library.The cost is $100, and while registration has already closed for the current course, those interested in future classes can contact the Maple Ridge Museum at 604-463-5311.

You can also join the family history group who meets in the Greenside room at the Maple Ridge Library the first Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m.

You can also take Brenda's class "Killing Them Softly: End of Life Documents are the Place" at the Surrey Library on April 14, 11:00am– 12:30pm. Fee: $10:00.

or catch her at the Langley Library on Saturday, May 12, 2:00pm–3:00pm with "Find Your Family in the Library". Registration required. Fee: free.

Read more: http://www.mrtimes.com/Family+lore+gives+clues+past/6112909/story.html#ixzz1lkXq9EXj

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Flip-Pal™ mobile scanner

I love my Flip-Pal™ mobile scanner. I was lucky enough to get one for Christmas and it is a great tool for a family historian.
It is portable and has this flip-and-scan technology: you remove the lid, flip the scanner over and
place it on the original and it can do big objects and then stitches them together.
I decided to try out the scan and stitch option on a Carl Ahrens picture.
I scanned it in 6 parts.
Then I put the SD card in my computer, fired up the software and used the stitch feature. I ended up with this:
Carl Ahrens
It is fast easy and impressive. I'm sold.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

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