Monday, March 6, 2017

Book Review-A History of Nova Scotia in 50 Objects

Book Review: 'A History of Nova Scotia in 50 Objects' by Joan Dawson
In this text, Dawson offers a refreshing glimpse into museum treasures throughout Nova Scotia. It was a treat to see a selection of artifacts from many of our partnering museums in here as well. There are two things that Dawson did when conducting her research that I greatly admire. 1) She worked with a variety of different museums from federally operated national historic sites, provincial institutions, and heritage houses to small community museums run by volunteers and 2) she spoke to staff, volunteers, and student guides [xi]. I believe this is the approach to take when conducting research. This approach provides staff at every level a chance to contribute their knowledge and benefit from the partnership.

Dawson speaks of the diversity of Nova Scotian culture and heritage over the years and has selected fifty artifacts that reflect this. The oldest artifact featured is a fossilized amphibian from the Joggins Fossil Centre and the most recent artifact is a mask from Le Centre de la Mi-Carême (Grand-Ėtang). She even gives Gus the "living treasure" an honorable mention. The artifacts chosen provide a glimpse into everyday life in Nova Scotia. There is a wide variety of objects listed, such as: clothing, sheet music, a Canada Post mailbox, and even a stagecoach. There are also beautiful items that speak to craftsmanship in Nova Scotia, such as a Mi'kmaq procupine-quill box and Acadian hooked tapestry. Dawson also identifies objects related to transportation and industry. For instance, the importance of the railway and mining in the development of Nova Scotia is addressed through items in this text. For those of you interested in learning more about what treasures await you in Nova Scotia, this is a great place to look. 

I am happy to report that artifacts from many of our partnering museums are featured in this text. I encourage you to find the featured artifacts on NovaMuse.

DesBrisay Museum
Fort Point Museum
Kings County Museum
Colchester Historium
Shelburne County Museum
Jost Heritage House
Queens County Museum
Parkdale-Maplewood Community Museum
McCulloch House Museum
Antigonish Heritage Museum
Wallace and Area Museum
Randall House Museum
Yarmouth County Museum
LaHave Islands Marine Museum
Cape Breton Miners Museum
Chestico Museum
Whitney Pier Historical Society Museum
Les Trois Pignons Cultural Centre

1 comment:

northierthanthou said...

This looks interesting. Always cool to find larger patterns of history in something small, like an object.