Debby Andrews is Retiring

A long-time employee here in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies is retiring. Debby Andrews, a member of our Information Desk team will be working her last day on Tuesday, November 28th. Debby has helped thousands of students and researchers over the years armed with a stellar background in Newfoundland and Labrador courses completed here at Memorial University and a remarkable tenacity in tracking down the most obscure references. She will be greatly missed here in the Centre. We wish her a long and happy retirement!



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D'Alberti Papers

A resource here in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies commonly known as the D’Alberti Papers is highly recommended for anyone researching late 18th and early 19th century Newfoundland and Labrador. This 34 volume set which is now digitized contains typewritten copies of handwritten transcripts of Newfoundland material obtained from the Colonial Office Records in the Public Record Office, London, covering incoming and outgoing correspondence between the Colonial Office and the Governor's Office in Newfoundland, 1780-1825. When the Newfoundland government was preparing its case for presentation to the Privy Council over the ownership of Labrador in the early 1900s, it hired Leonora De Alberti (D’Alberti), a well-known British paleographist and her sister Amalia to search through the handwritten documents from the Colonial Office Records and transcribe correspondence and documents relating to Newfoundland and Labrador. This took several years to complete and resulted in a typescript of thousands of pages. Volumes are organized in date order with an index at the beginning of most, or in the first volume of a given year. Vol. 3, correspondence covering the years 1785-89, is missing at both the Provincial Archives and the Centre for Newfoundland Studies. The sisters were sisters-in-law of Sir Charles Hutton, a St. John’s business man and musician. Leonora was one of the pioneers in the suffragette movement in England. She died on March 27, 1934 (London Times, March 28, 1934). Amalia died on March 20, 1949 (London Times, March 24, 1949).



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James P. Howley Event

On Wednesday, November 29th, drop by the reading room of the Centre for Newfoundland Studies to find out about explorer, cartographer and historian, James P. Howley This Check it Out! event takes place 7 - 8:30. Speakers include: Joanne Costello, Dr. Jeff Webb, Dan Duda and Don Pelley.


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The Legend of Job

Gerald Squires’ last creative project is now on permanent display in the reading room of the Centre for Newfoundland Studies. The original, hand-bound manuscript of The Legend of Job, illuminated by Mr. Squires and lettered and designed by the artist’s close friend and fellow artist Boyd Chubbs can be viewed in a special display case. Patrick Warner, special collections librarian with Memorial University Libraries, will turn a page once a week. CNS also holds a hard bound limited edition of this beautiful work of art. Details about the collaboration between Mr. Squires and Mr. Chubbs can be found in the article written by Kristine Power in The Gazette on March 23, 2017. In it, Patrick Warner says ““Gerry Squires wanted this book to stay in the province and be available to the public…It is the last work of a major Newfoundland artist, actually it is the work of two significant artists and probably the most highly decorative and the most beautiful book ever produced here.” CNS feels quite privileged to host the Legend of Job and encourages everyone to come view it in our reading room on the 3rd floor of the QEII Library.



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Golden Anniversary

The St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre celebrates a significant milestone this year. Fifty years ago on May 22, 1967, the complex was opened by Premier Smallwood and its first performance was held. It was the opening of the 1967 Dominion Drama Festival. The Centre became fully operational on October 1, 1967. The Centre was designed by Cummings, Dove & Whitten of St. John’s and Affeck, Desbarats, Dimakopulos, Lebensold & Sise of Montreal. In a booklet published circa 1970 about the Centre, the following description is given: “the form of the building is conceived as a strong ‘castle-like structure’ which the architects hope will give appropriate expression to the qualities of both the people of the Province and the striking local environment.” John Perlin, the Centre’s first Director, gives an overview of the building from its conception to reality in his article “Our great Arts and Culture Centres” (The Book of Newfoundland (1975), v. 5, pp. 396-399). Here in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies, we also have a set of microfilm reels (Micro Film 684) which hold a “Scrapbook” of every newspaper clipping concerning the Arts and Culture Centre and the many performers who have graced its stage from 1967 to 1989. A wonderful trip down memory lane. CNS also holds published materials such as art exhibition catalogues and annual performance listings.



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Dr. Patrick O'Flaherty

We were shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden and tragic passing of Dr. Patrick O'Flaherty, a professor emeritus of English at Memorial University. Dr. O'Flaherty was a frequent visitor here in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies, either immersing himself in primary sources relating to Newfoundland and Labrador history or surveying the latest works produced in a wide variety of disciplines. In the university community, he was a well-respected professor in the Dept. of English (1965-1995), serving as Head in the 1980s. He developed the first undergraduate and graduate courses in Newfoundland literature and founded and edited the journal Newfoundland and Labrador Studies. His scholarly contributions include The rock observed: studies in the literature of Newfoundland (1979) and two works with Peter Neary: By great waters (1974) and Part of the Main: an illustrated history of Newfoundland and Labrador (1983). More recently, he completed three volumes on Newfoundland history: Old Newfoundland : a history to 1843 (1999), Lost country : the rise and fall of Newfoundland, 1843-1933 (2005) and Leaving the past behind : Newfoundland history from 1934 (2011). These three volumes sit on our reference shelf here in the Centre and are consulted on a regular basis. In addition to his academic works, Dr. O'Flaherty wrote short stories, novels and a memoir of childhood, Paddy boy : growing up Irish in a Newfoundland outport (2015). Dr. O'Flaherty was a well-known figure in the province due to his regular appearances on CBC radio and TV and his many articles written for local and national press. Many of us will remember him from the Reach for the Top television series. According to Joan Ritcey, Head of CNS, he proved his knowledge of all aspects of Newfoundland and Labrador culture many times in televised and untelevised trivia games. The staff of CNS will always remember Dr. O'Flaherty as the researcher with the ready smile and witty personality, asking for yet another microfilm reel that we knew would provide inspiration for his next scholarly work, novel or essay. He will be sorely missed. We extend our condolences to Dr. O'Flaherty's family, friends and colleagues.


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Regatta History

For those of you who would like to read about the Royal St. John’s Regatta, the options are many here in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies. We have it covered with newspaper accounts, programs, poetry, histories (by Jack Fitzgerald), a novel (Stroke in Time by Gerard Doran), a children’s book (Freddy’s Day at the Races) and in particular, journal articles. The August 1954 Special Regatta Edition of the Newfoundland Quarterly has reminiscences from writers such as Leo E.F. English (vol. 53 (2A), pp. 38-39) and the Atlantic Guardian offers an article by Bill Davies in July 1947 (vol. 3 (7), pp. 9-12) and one by Michael Harrington in August 1951 (vol. 8 (8), pp. 30-34). Come visit us if you ever need to research the history of the regatta.



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Wading Through Words

July 2nd, 2017 marked the 25th anniversary of the cod moratorium. Since that announcement many years ago, countless papers, studies and reports have been done concerning the collapse of the cod fishery. The Centre for Newfoundland Studies houses this published material and answers fishery-related reference questions on a regular basis. In an effort to inform research by connecting people with key information, a guide was created shortly after the cod moratorium was put in place and it is still kept up-to-date all these years later. The guide Management of the Northern Cod Fishery: A Guide to Information Sources is meant to be a springboard for students, faculty and researchers who are pursuing studies dealing with the impact of the moratorium, the sustainability of the industry or more recently, the future recovery and comeback of the Atlantic cod stocks.

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CNS Milestone

CNS reached a milestone on May 30th - the 100,000th citation entry in our Periodical Article Bibliography database. Joan Ritcey, Head of CNS and editor of the PAB since 1986 watches as Donna Doucette inputs the citation with annotations and subject headings for an article in Them Days concerning Hebron. A proud moment! This database allows you to easily find articles about Newfoundland and Labrador in local magazines and journals held in our collection, some of which are now digitized. It also includes citations to articles in Canadian and International journals. It is freely available to everyone so go ahead and start searching. Or ask us for help. We are always amazed at how the PAB can help with challenging topics.


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Flying the Atlantic

May 20th marked the 85th anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s departure from Harbour Grace to become the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. Grenville Manton describes the historic event in “The flights of Amelia Earhart” published in War in the Air, 1935, pp. 700-704. But it is Earhart’s own words that make for an interesting read in the August 1932 issue of American Magazine, v. 114(2), pp. 15-17, 72. In her article “Flying the Atlantic”, she addresses the obvious question of why she would undertake such an adventure. Her answer was quite simply “I flew the Atlantic because I wanted to.” For more on Amelia Earhart, contact the Centre. For a video of Amelia Earhart leaving Harbour Grace in 1932, check out the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s video on YouTube. And visit the Conception Bay Museum’s Facebook page for photos.



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Daffodil Month

As April draws near to an end, so does Daffodil Month. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Canadian Cancer Society’s annual fundraising campaign of selling fresh cut daffodils. This year, Margot Reid was recognized as the longest serving volunteer with the Canadian Cancer Society. She has volunteered for 66 years and was responsible for bringing the Daffodil campaign to Newfoundland and Labrador. We recently came across a publication in our collection called Crusader that was published by the Canadian Cancer Society, Newfoundland and Labrador Division in 1955. The back of the publication has a photo of nine women making gauze dressings to be distributed freely to cancer patients. One of the women in the photograph is Mrs. Ian Reid (Margot), daughter-in-law of W. Angus Reid, the first president of the Society. This was just one initiative started by Mrs. Reid, a nurse who eventually became president of the Society from 1982-1984. Her lifetime of volunteering with the Cancer Society and numerous other organizations has been widely celebrated, including the bestowing of an honorary degree by Memorial University in 2013.





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Ice in the Harbour

Now this is a harbour jammed with ice! This 1904 work by John William Hayward depicts St. John’s harbour on March 1, 1854 as sealing crews cut channels in the ice for the sealing fleet. This image appears in volume 2 of The Book of Newfoundland (p. 13). In 1983, Memorial University’s Art Gallery organized an exhibit called “The Haywards of St. John’s”. It was curated by Chris O’Dea and according to the exhibition catalogue held here in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies, this watercolour was one of the works on display. More information on the art of J. H. Hayward can be found in this November 1983 Trident article by Chris O'Dea.



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Celebration of Dr. Peter Pope

Peter's family has told us that a celebration of his life will take place at the Flatrock Community Centre, right beside the Catholic (only) Church on Wednesday, April 12, any time after 7:00 pm. Here is his Obituary.

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Dr. Peter Pope

The staff of the Centre for Newfoundland Studies was shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of eminent archaeologist and historian Dr. Peter Pope. Dr. Pope was a long time researcher in CNS dating back to his M.A. (1986) and Ph.D (1992) work on seventeenth century Ferryland. He began teaching in the Dept. of History at Memorial University but later joined the Archaeology Unit, eventually becoming Head of the Dept. of Anthropology and Archaeology and an Honorary Research Professor. He was also director of the Newfoundland Archaeological Heritage Outreach Program. In 2001, he was awarded the President’s Award for Outstanding Research in recognition of his achievements in uncovering the past and preserving it for future generations. To him the award meant that “…the university appreciates the kind of inter-disciplinary work historical archaeologists do and that it continues to support research in the social and historical sciences.” He was an award winning author as well, earning praise for works such as Fish into Wine and The Many Landfalls of John Cabot. Fish into Wine is such a meticulous work of scholarship that in CNS, we consider it a reference tool. He will be remembered for his impeccable research covering a wide array of topics including Breton ceramics, John Cabot, waterfront archaeology, the early cod fishery, French material history and so much more. Candace Cochrane told us that "More than anyone he brought the history and meaning of the French Shore to the people who lived there by helping them discover it through what was lying under their feet, on their beaches, in their sheds, and their stories. A pretty big accomplishment". Joan Ritcey, Head of CNS, described how Dr. Pope gave lectures on the same topic twice in one day at a symposium but made them completely different, equally fascinating and enlightening. Dr. Pope will be sorely missed. We extend our condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.



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Anderson's Time

Did you know that Newfoundland was the first area in North America to adopt daylight saving time? The Daylight Saving Act (8 Geo V, c. 9) became law in 1917 through the efforts of John Anderson, a St. John’s businessman and member of the Legislative Council. It was his third attempt to pass the bill - he was unsuccessful in 1909 and 1910. He was a strong proponent of workers having an extra hour of sunlight at the end of a work day, a view welcomed by those in urban areas but not so much by fishermen or farmers in rural areas. His views are outlined in “What fools we are to spend 180 hours in darkness when we might spend them in light: Daylight and sunlight benefit the workers” (Cadet, March 1918, v. 5(1), pp. 31-32). Despite opposition (Evening Telegram, June 6, 1917, p. 8), the practice of moving clocks ahead one hour in the spring was adopted and for years, daylight saving time in Newfoundland was known as 'Anderson’s time'. Mark Ronayne offers his view of “John Anderson Time” in the Atlantic Guardian, May 1952, v. 9(5), pp. 41-42.



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Curling 100 Years Ago

In recognition of the Brier taking place in St. John's March 4-12, 2017, here are a few articles about curling that appeared in various magazines about 100 years ago. In 1907, J. Syme wrote about "The Roarin' Game" in Parsons Xmas Annual. The game is described as one where "...all things mundane are forgotten in the pleasure that it produces." Syme describes Jimmie Murphy, caretaker of the curling rinks and also, the group from Newfoundland who participated in the Montreal Curling Club's centennial invitational. The article "Drawing the Port" that was written in July 1914 in the Newfoundland Quarterly gives great detail concerning a bonspiel in Halifax in which teams from Newfoundland participated. The 1916 issue of the Distaff describes the formation of the Ladies Curling Club in 1905. In December 1917, A. H. Salter gave an account in the Newfoundland Quarterly of the previous season's activities and claimed that "...the Old Guard who introduced the manly or "Roarin" game in Newfoundland have bequeathed to us younger brethren a heritage "To guard well."" I am sure the Old Guard would be quite pleased with the Brier being held in St. John's this week. For more on the history of curling in our province, contact the Centre for Newfoundland Studies.


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World Thinking Day

Each year, Girl Guides and Girl Scouts around the world celebrate World Thinking Day on February 22nd because it was the birthday of both Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scout Movement, and his wife Olave, who was World Chief Guide. In Newfoundland, the Girl Guide movement was officially launched in 1923 by Lady Elsie E. Allardyce, wife of the Governor. In 1923, she wrote the article “The Girl Guide Movement” for the Veteran Magazine and followed it in 1924 with “What guiding may mean to Newfoundland” in the Newfoundland Quarterly. We hold these issues in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies along with Annual Reports, newsletters, minutes, cookbooks and numerous newspaper clippings.



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Census 2016 - Spotlight on Witless Bay

Statistics Canada released Population and Dwelling counts at the community level from the 2016 Census this week and one of the more interesting findings is that since the 2011 Census, Witless Bay is the fastest growing community in the province. Its population has jumped 38.7 per cent from 1,167 in 2011 to 1619 in 2016. Check the schedule of release dates to find out when more variables will be available. The Newfoundland Statistics Agency has a useful list of links to NL Census data as it becomes available. For example, this alphabetical list gives population counts for all NL communities. For comprehensive, current profiles of communities, check out the Community Accounts database. Here is the profile for Witless Bay. The Centre for Newfoundland Studies can guide you in your search for both current and historical data. Older census volumes such as this 1857 Newfoundland census are being digitized. We hold census material, community files of newspaper clippings, community histories, historic maps, directories and so much more. The photo of Witless Bay below comes from volume 5 of the Encyclopedia of Newfoundland and Labrador.



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Launch of Sweat Equity

Join ISER Books and the Queen Elizabeth II Library, as part of the library’s ongoing Check it out! series, for a book launch and panel discussion of Sweat Equity: Cooperative House Building in Newfoundland 1920-1974. Authors Chris Sharpe and Jo Shawyer will be joined by panelists Kim Blanchard, Stephen Jewczyk, and Jeff Webb to discuss the book, cooperative housing in Newfoundland and current housing issues affecting the province. Admission is free, all are welcome, snacks and refreshments will be provided. Join us at the Centre for Newfoundland Studies on Wednesday, February 15th at 3:30pm.



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Labrador and the Census

Just arrived from the Labrador Institute - this important resource for anyone interested in the demographic history of Labrador. Labrador and the Census is the result of a project led by Morgan Mills, Program Coordinator at Memorial University’s Labrador Institute. For the first time, census data at the community level for Labrador has been brought together in one place, going back to 1857. The Centre for Newfoundland Studies which holds all census material in hard copy (some of which is now available through the Digital Archives initiative) was pleased to participate in this project. Recognizing that the census is the most basic and important data source that should be accessible to everyone, Mr. Mills has made the dataset freely available online.



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