Showing posts with label archives. Show all posts
Showing posts with label archives. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

St. John's Memories with Melanie Tucker

(01 02 004) Water Street, St. John's. View looking east with Ayre and Sons to the right.
Photo courtesy of Geography Collection of Historical Photographs of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Last week Dale and I presented at The Rooms' Research Workshop on Collecting Community History. In the morning there were presentations from The Rooms' staff on how to use their collections for researching community history. The participants also got a tour of the archives.
Dale Jarvis interviewing Melanie Tucker.
In the afternoon session Dale gave an overview of how to do an oral history project including planning in advance, focusing the project, and support and funding that is available. He also did a mock interview, and explained the process of memory mapping or the People, Places, and Culture workshops we run at the Heritage Foundation. I also gave a brief presentation on what to do with the material once you have completed the oral interviews and how to present the material back to the community. If you want more information on how to complete oral history projects please visit our Oral History Project Guide.
Participants of The Rooms' Research Workshop on Collecting Community History.
Melanie Tucker, an archivist with The Rooms, was interviewed by Dale about her memories of growing up in St. John's, going to school, working with the Provincial Archives, and in particular her memories of Water Street, St. John's. If you want to hear more about buying seal flippers, riding the bus, Woolworth's Department Store and the taste of their donuts, buying shoes at the Arcade, or the sights and sounds of the Mount Cashel Christmas raffle listen to the short interview below!

After the mock interview Dale explained the benefits of having community members think about and map out the important people, places, and traditions found in the community. He explained how you can print large community maps at the Provincial Government's Land Management Division Office. Dale brought a large map of St. John's and gave each of the workshop participants a couple of recipe/index cards to fill out with memories. Once everyone had a chance to fill out a memory they were placed on the map. The participants glued their cards to their map and taped a ribbon to the corresponding building in which the memories took place.. If you want to start an oral history project or run a people, place, and culture workshop give us a call at 739-1892 ex. 5 or email
If you want to know more about People, Places, and Culture Workshops click here!
A recipe card with  Water Street memory.
Recipe card with Water Street memory.
~Terra Barrett

Friday, November 13, 2015

Archvies Week 2015: MUN Folklore and Language Archive Tours

To celebrate Archives Week 2015, The Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA) will be offering free tours to the public.

Come check out our brand new cold storage vault!

Donated by over 11,000 contributors, MUNFLA has over 40,000 audio recordings, 20,000 photographs, 16,000 manuscripts, 4,000 commercial recordings, 2,000 printed documents and over 800 video recordings. These materials cover topics such as custom and belief, childlore, song, dance and foodways. We also house collections documenting folk cultures all over the world, through the research activities of Folklore students. 

Maybe not. But still...
Join us and take a tour of our collections, check out our brand new environmentally controlled vault, and learn more about MUNFLA and how archives work...and can work for you!

Time: Tuesday, Nov 17, 10am-4pm
Place: MUNFLA, ED4038, Education Building, Prince Philip Drive, St. John’s
Contact: Nicole Penney (709) 864-4586 /

Friday, November 6, 2015

Living Heritage Podcast Ep016 Digitization How-To with Archivist Nicole Penney

Nicole Penney is a folklorist and archivist living and working in St. John’s, Newfoundland. She holds a BA in Folklore / English Literature and an MA in Public Folklore from Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador. On this episode, we talk all about digitizing archival records, with tips for community museums and archives, as well as private individuals, about how to best digitize old photographs, print, video, and audio materials.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Living Heritage Podcast Ep009 Archival Tips and Tricks with Mary Ellen Wright

Mary Ellen Wright has been the Professional Development and Outreach Officer (aka archives advisor) for the Association of Newfoundland and Labrador Archives (ANLA) for the last fifteen years. She has a BA in history from Dalhousie University, a master’s from St. Mary’s University and has also studied history at Memorial. Prior to coming to Newfoundland she worked at the provincial archives in Halifax, N.S.: she was a contract archivist in various institutions around St. John’s before starting with ANLA in December of 2000. Mary Ellen’s job with ANLA has taken her to archives and museums from Nain to Grand Bank. We talk all things archives, from the donation of garbage bags filled with papers to the need for accessibility, as Mary Ellen gives advice to anyone hoping to start an archives.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Notes from the road - St. Matthew's Presbyterian Church, Grand Falls-Windsor

I'm in Grand Falls today, helping sort out some oral history collections with the Grand Falls-Windsor Historical Society (more on that in a future post).

Before I left St. John's, Margaret Scott with St. Matthew's Presbyterian Church heard that I was going to be visiting Grand Falls, and tracked me down. They have a collection of historical documents they want to do something with, so I met with them today, and had a brief chat about their materials and the possibility of doing some digitization work, and potentially some oral history recording around the life and history of the church and congregation.

Today, there are about twenty active members of the congregation, which holds a service once a month. The church is one of the oldest buildings in Grand Falls, and was the first municipally designated heritage building for the town, officially recognized as such on October 11, 2005. It is the only Presbyterian church in Newfoundland outside of St. John's.

St. Matthew's Presbyterian Church is listed on the Canadian Register of Historic Places, which notes that the building was constructed in 1910, and is the last remaining original church structure in Grand Falls. It is a fine example of a small, country-style church in an urban setting. It has some Gothic Revival style elements, such as multi-paned, Gothic arched windows, as used in similar small churches in Newfoundland and Labrador. It is currently undergoing some repair work.

The building has undergone a number of changes over the years.  The interior of the church was redone in the 1950s, and has been largely untouched since.

The church has a number of interesting archival items documenting the construction and changes to the church over the years, including a copy of the original construction blueprints and photos of the building at various stages, including the one below showing the church before renovations.

Other photos in the collection document church suppers, youth events, women's groups, and special events such as the dinner below, held between 1-2 April 1951.

I am looking forward to seeing more of the St. Matthew's archival material, and wish them success with their preservation efforts!

- Dale Jarvis

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Association of Newfoundland and Labrador Archives presents “Honour 100”

Guest blog post by Sharna Brzycki

Hi everyone! As this is my first post here on the ICH blog, I thought I should start by introducing myself and how I became a part of the very special world of folklore, specifically within the public sector. My first experiences with the discipline began during my undergraduate studies at Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts in Manhattan while earning my BA in Culture and Media. During this time I learned how to document the cultural vibrancy of the city through mediums such as film and audio production.

In my last semester of college I serendipitously ended up taking a course with folklorist Hanna Griff-Sleven called “Oral Histories of the Lower East Side”. For three months we learned about the discipline of folklore (something that was new to all of us!) and were given a crash course in fieldwork. These skills were ultimately used to create a short film exploring food traditions found throughout the neighborhood. My experience in this final semester of college is what led me to realize that all of my previous endeavors and passions were, in fact, forms of public folklore. After graduation I spent some more time gaining folklore experience through volunteering for projects with the Museum at Eldridge Street, one being the annual Egg Rolls and Egg Creams street festival, a celebration of the Chinese and Jewish communities of the Lower East Side. I was given a taste of the life of the folklorist, which is what ultimately led me to move to Newfoundland to study for my MA in Public Sector Folklore.

Ralph Carey and I posing with beautiful whale tusks during the Witless Bay field school, September 2014. Photo courtesy of Andrea McGuire.

This summer I have the pleasure of working with Alanna Wicks and Mary Ellen Wright at the Association of Newfoundland and Labrador Archives (ANLA). In honour of the one hundred year commemoration of World War One we are devoting a large portion of the season to identifying related archival materials across the province, ultimately promoting the use of these materials for the public and honouring our history.

We began Honour 100 by contacting each of ANLA’s member institutions to establish what archival holdings they may have from the years 1914 through 1919. These holdings may either be directly related to the war (i.e. draft papers or a photograph from Beaumont Hamel) or considered as “home front”, which is any holding from those years despite a direct connection to the war itself. We are currently in the process of discovering the extensive range of WWI holdings there really are throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, from soldiers’ helmets to war diaries of the Newfoundland Regiment to photos from the seal hunt. Once this inventory of items is complete, we will have a roadmap of pertinent WWI archival holdings across the province. This roadmap will allow us to explore various ways in which we can provide further description of the declared items as well as possible digitization for public access.

“On the Way to Gallipoli” - Courtesy of the Trinity Historical Society

The next step is to establish a plan to produce a project that will promote the use of these materials. There are a variety of methods through which this can be done. While the final outcome of the project will be determined by our preliminary findings, some approaches we are currently considering are possible exhibits, digitization and inclusion in ANLA’s provincial Archival Resource Catalogue.

Are you a member of an archive in the province? Know someone who is? If you or anyone you know is interested in getting involved please let us know! We can be reached by email at  We hope to hear from you!

-Sharna Brzycki

Monday, March 2, 2015

Youth Heritage Forum 2015 Guest Speaker - Aimee Chaulk

 Guest Speaker: Aimee Chaulk

Aimee Chaulk is the editor of Them Days magazine, an oral history quarterly about Labrador, and the de-facto archivist at Them Days Archives. She received her Hon.B.A. from the University of Toronto, in English and Medieval Studies. She also attended Ryerson University’s Magazine Publishing program. Aimee is on the Association of Newfoundland and Labrador Archives Executive, is a co-founder of the Tamarack Camera Club, and organizes community events in her spare time. You may have seen her breastfeeding and canoeing at the same time in Metrobus shelter ads.  

Why are you passionate about heritage?
Looking back, my love of (obsession with) Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books was probably an indication that I would be editor of Them Days someday—they’re basically an extended Them Days story about the American Midwest. I’ve always been interested in people’s stories and the way things were done, in how those things have changed and how they’ve stayed the same. On a personal level, working in heritage has been a way to explore and deepen my appreciation for my roots. I love the way it has also widened my social circle—despite my youth, I’m practically an honorary member of the Friendship Centre’s 55+ club! Learning traditional skills is a great way to close the generation gap.
Want to hear more from Aimee? Join us for Youth Heritage Forum 2015!

Keep up to date, join our Youth Heritage Forum Facebook Event!  

Monday, February 23, 2015

Youth Heritage Forum 2015 Guest Speaker - Nicole Penney

Guest Speaker: Nicole Penney  

Nicole Penney is a folklorist and archivist living and working in St. John’s, Newfoundland. She has been working within the heritage community since 2004 and holds a BA in Folklore / English Literature and an MA in Public Folklore from Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador. Nicole currently works full time at the MUN Medical Founders' Archive, part-time on The Rooms reference desk and sits as vice president and education committee chair on the Association of Newfoundland and Labrador Archives board of directors. She is a strong advocate of community-level projects and inter-generational activities and regularly assists with educational activities which combine art and archives.

Why are you passionate about heritage?

I'm passionate about heritage because of the potential it has in the areas of education and public outreach. People thrive on a strong sense of community and I enjoy bringing traditions that belong to a group back to them, in the form of workshops and public events. I have a particular interest in archives and public programming and firmly believe in their potential as a way to bring older and younger generations together. Our heritage teaches us so much about ourselves and the direction we are headed in, while also bringing us together to feel connected through a shared experience.
Want to hear more from Nicole? Join us for Youth Heritage Forum 2015!

Registration forms can be downloaded here
Keep up to date, join our Youth Heritage Forum Facebook Event! 

Monday, August 18, 2014

MUNFLA looking for a working BetaMax player

Has anyone in the St. John's area got an old, *still-working* BetaMax player to donate? MUN's Folklore and Language Archive needs one.

Beta was the Sony-developed competitor to VHS as a home-video format. Beta lost that war but many people kept using Beta machines for a decade or more, even after the whole videotape thing was washed to sea by DVDs.

The Archive has the opportunity to copy some important videos from the 1980s and they are on Beta. The Archive's old BetaCord machine died this very afternoon.

If you have a working one and are willing to donate it you can call Pauline Cox (Archivist) at 864-8401.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tuesday's Folklore Photo - Labrador Wildflowers

"Specimens: Wee Flowering Plants collected Summer 1919 at 
Grenfell Mission Station, Battle Harbour, Labrador / by Katherine G. Amberson, R.N."

Item MG 63.1937 in The Rooms Provincial Archives from the International Grenfell Association Fonds. Entry includes the following quote from inside the album cover:
"These little plants and blossoms changed the forbidding landscape to the softest, loveliest inviting hues one can imagine. A gentle tribute to the Creator of our universe. K.G.A"

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Tuesday's Folklore Photo: Checking Out Icebergs

United States Coast Guard plane on patrol, flying over an iceberg, 1945.
This photograph was donated to the Maritime History Archive by John Cardoulis in 1997. It's an historic image that made me think about how technology drastically changes the ways in which we view and interpret the objects around us. Back in 1945, the intimate view of an iceberg from above was reserved for a pilot's eyes only, but now we send camera-laden drones through icy arches so that we can all get a closer look.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Nan’s Cookbook in the Digital Age

Digitizing and preserving family heirloom cookbooks and recipe cards.
Date: February 21, 2014, 1-4:30 p.m.
Location: ANLA office, Suite 201, 15 Hallett Crescent, St. John’s

  • Dale Jarvis, Intangible Cultural Heritage Development Officer, Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Nicole Penney, Intangible Cultural Heritage Programs Assistant
  • Mary Ellen Wright, ANLA Professional Development and Outreach Officer
Do you have your nan’s recipe cards? Did your mother keep a scrapbook of her favourites? Do family members reminisce about that old copy of the Cream of the West Cookbook with the comments and changes written all over its pages?

This workshop will teach participants how to create and preserve digital copies of these important family and community heirlooms. We’ll also talk about how best to preserve the original documents! Participants will be encouraged to bring examples from their own homes or collections.

Registration fee: $30
Registration deadline: February 17, 2014 Some financial assistance for transportation costs is available for ANLA
members: please contact the ANLA office for more information.

Mary Ellen Wright
Professional Development and Outreach Officer Association of Newfoundland
and Labrador Archives

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tuesday's Folklore Photo: Construction During Winter

Pictured above is the Port Union salt fish plant and retail store during construction. Though the photograph is undated, Edith Samson from the Sir William Coaker Foundation noted that the retail store (on the left) is shown here as a 4 story building indicating that this photo was taken at the time of the original construction project. In 1945 this building was rebuilt but only as a 3 story structure.

This photograph was donated to the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador and will be added to the Port Union collection on MUN's Digital Archives Initiative.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Port Union Heritage District

Exterior of the Union Electric Building, 2013.

The Port Union Heritage District is both nationally and provincially recognized, and is thought to be the only union built town in the country. Now under the stewardship of the Sir William Coaker Heritage Foundation, this site has many architectural structures that are worthy of attention. During a recent visit, I took over 100 photographs of buildings in the district, and was amazed by the number of heritage buildings that are still standing. I was particularly interested  to see the row housing here, as this type of housing is virtually non-existent in other outport communities. While most of the historic homes are currently uninhabited and in need of restoration, the Coaker Foundation is actively working towards preserving these buildings in hopes of developing an active tourist industry. To help bring awareness to the district, I will be doing some work here, which will include sifting through their incredible archival collection, organizing the digitization of oral histories, and creating a booklet of photos and stories from the region. It is an exciting new project that will hopefully generate a bit of excitement around the built heritage of Port Union, and the legacy of Sir William Coaker. Click here to learn more about Port Union's history and architecture -- this paper from 2006 was compiled by Andrea O'Brien of the HFNL (jointly researched by Debbie O'Rielly of the Newfoundland Historic Trust).

-Lisa Wilson

Union row housing along the main street, 2013.
Interior of the former fish plant that will be repurposed by the Coaker Foundation, 2013.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tuesday's Folklore Photo: Orangemen Marching Band

This photograph was provided by the Mizzen Heritage Society's archives in Heart's Content. It shows the Orangemen Brass Marching Band. At one time there were two marching bands in Heart's Content, and they played at all the different events in town. This photo is undated but is likely from the 1940s or 50s.

To learn more about the Orange Order of Canada, please click here.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Call for Applications to the Canadian Commission for UNESCO's Youth Action Group

I've just returned from the Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO in Ottawa. While there, I made a presentation to the Youth Action Group (YAG) on UNESCO's 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, and on the work we are doing to safeguard ICH in Newfoundland and Labrador.

I was impressed with the passion and the impressive volunteer and work histories of the YAG members I met, and I'm certain that they have a great deal to contribute toward's UNESCO's goals of building a culture of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information.

The Canadian Commission for UNESCO is currently looking for interested young Canadians, between the ages of 15 and 30 years old, to become new members of its Youth Advisory Group.  This year, in order to increase geographic representation of members throughout Canada, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO is specifically looking to recruit in Newfoundland and Labrador. As well, the YAG currently does not have any members interested in the theme of archives. Indeed, members interested in Information and Communication in general are fairly rare at the moment. 

The original deadline of May 15th has been extended to May 25th, so if you are interested, get your application in today.