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

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Sneak Peak at the Fall issue of British Columbia History

The Fall issue of British Columbia History is at the printers and will be making its way to mailboxes and bookstores in September; here is a sneak peak at the contents.

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Our Neon Nightmare

by Katherine Hill
Each year, the British Columbia Historical Federation offers two W. Kaye Lamb Scholarships for student essays relating to the history of British Columbia. Katherine Hill is the winner of the $1000 prize for a student in 3rd or 4th year university or college in British Columbia.

Alexander’s Ashes

by Peter Broznitsky
A report of unclaimed ashes leads to unexpected connections and the unfolding story of a Russian-Canadian First World War veteran.

Almost a Crystal Palace

by Robert Ratcliffe Taylor
A shimmering, architectural tower in the middle of the countryside, the Willows exhibition hall at Victoria, BC 1891-1907, captured the confidence of an era.

One-Eye Lake Plane Crash

by Sterling Haynes
A day off for a kinda green GP in Williams Lake in August 1961 turned into a flight without a map to the scene of a plane crash.

The Viaduct that Saved Commercial Drive

by Jak King
The story of Charles Smith and the First Avenue Viaduct is the creation story of the Drive, a story without which East Vancouver’s history would have been markedly different.

Greenwood, BC: Arrival of Nikkei Photo Essay

by Jacqueline Gresko, images courtesy Alice Glanville
In April 1942 1200 Japanese Canadians (Nikkei) were required to abandon their coastal lifestyles and were interned in Greenwood, BC, northwest of Grand Forks.


Archives & Archivists

by Hugh Ellenwood; edited by Sylvia Stopforth
Take a glimpse into the history and people of the Discovery Islands through the Museum at Campbell River’s new online resource.

Cabinets of Curiosities

by Paul Ferguson
A concern for preservation of the originals and a desire from genealogists for digital access led to the newspaper digitization project at the White Rock Museum & Archives.

Every Month

Editor’s Note

Inside British Columbia History

From the Book Review Editor’s Desk

K. Jane Watt
Walking In History

Friday, August 9, 2013

Country Fairs and Headstones

My daughter's Country Fest entries.
In July my whole family entered items in our local fair. Growing up in Chilliwack my brothers and I entered various items every year in the local fair but this was a new experience for my husband and daughter. My daughter entered her pom-pom pigs, LEGO, and a painting. My husband entered some of his photographs. I entered a crocheted hat and a watercolour painting. It was a great experience, not just because we all placed, but it is inspiring to see the other entries. There was an amazing crocheted octopus, some beautiful quilts, and TARDIS cookies. There are a lot of talented people in the community. We also had the chance to see all the 4H animals, including a happy pig that escaped his pen, watch skating, skateboarding, and eat mini-donuts. What more could you want for a family outing?

In my own life, the concept of community has evolved to include online communities. I am part of two writer groups and it is wonderful to see how authors support each other by sharing news about new books and articles. I enjoy going to book launches and author readings to support authors in person. It is always lovely to be with kindred spirits. I will put a plug in here for Janice Brown, a member of my writer group, who just published Someday House: The Life and Passions of Aggie O'Hara. The same kind of support is evident in the history world though many organizations are finding the transition to the online world a challenge.

Tomorrow, we are taking part in a very physical historical activity – a headstone cleaning project with our local museum. I have been co-editing the Maple Ridge Family History newsletter for many years now and it is very rewarding when people comment that the information in the newsletter helped them add a branch to their tree.

I encourage you to get involved in your community. If you are a savvy social media person you could consider offering those skills to your local history group. If you are an author, attend book launches and author talks. If you are an organizer I am sure there is a group that strikes a cord with you that needs files organized or events planned. We all have talents we can share with our communities, both physical and virtual; it is great fun and a wonderful way to make friends and create roots in your local community.

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