The discovery of the book The Early Days of Christianity, by Frederic W. Farrar, in the UPEI Robertson Library, opened up a conversation about provenance within our collection. The book had a beautiful bookplate signed to Ethel Hodgson for memorizing Scripture at the Clergy Daughters' School in Casterton; a school that the Bronte sisters attended. Upon further research, we were able to track down Ethel's niece, Christina Millest, and she provided us with the story of her aunt. It came to our attention that so many of our books have lives and their stories were worth telling!
We have located numerous books within our stacks that indicate provenance and have begun researching the connection between the book and the owner(s). Within booklives.ca, we will be creating a name-searchable online database for historical and genealogical purposes, with the aim of sustainable preservation by way of a virtual research environment.
By creating a name-searchable database, we are opening up a new platform for genealogists and historians to locate family members or subjects of historical research. Some of these books also hold tangible artifacts, notes, poems, and personal reflections that cannot be found in government ordered primary documents, such as census records and birth/marriage/death registrations. The book is an artifact that not only contains a primary narrative but also holds the story of the lives of its previous owners within its pages, making the book an evolving artifact of history.
We welcome any questions, suggestions, and/or comments.
Or you can telephone Sarah Fisher, Project Manager, at 1-902-566-0931.
RESEARCH TEAM: Sarah Fisher, Samara Hartling, Graeme Magill, Robyn Thomson
BIOGRAPHY WRITERS: Sarah Fisher, Samara Hartling, Kate McClintock
ISLANDORA TEAM: Robyn Thomson, Donald Moses, Rosie Le Faive, Peter Lux, Paul Pound, Rob Drew, Graeme Magill, Sarah Fisher
CATALOGUER: Wendy Collett
WEBSITE DESIGNER: Rob Drew