Nova Scotia Legislative Library Digitizes 18th Century Historical Journal Collection

HALIFAX, N.S. – The Nova Scotia Legislative Library has digitized its collection of historical journals dating back to 1758, thus facilitating access to the documents.

The journals include the minutes of the House of Assembly, beginning with the first meeting in 1758, as well as other information and reports.

Originally written by hand, the digitized newspapers shed light on government responses to significant events while detailing the evolution of Nova Scotia as a province and the daily lives of its people.

“A lot of people don’t realize that until 1962 the journals included departmental reports,” said Legislative Librarian David McDonald.

“If you’re interested in how the government has spent money in the past, these reports contain everything from details of the Sambro Lighthouse and Province House to how New Brunswick’s rail and road transportation system Scotland was built.

In 2016, the library digitized journals from 1867 to 1900. canadiana.orgis now part of the Canadian Research Knowledge Networkhad already displayed those from 1767 to 1866.

Library staff digitized the remaining journals, dating from 1758 to 1766 and 1901 to 2003, during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Previously, researchers and the public had to come to the library in person to review materials or request that materials be sent to them.

Now, McDonald said, the process will be much easier.

“We get many questions every year from researchers looking for these reports — all we have to do is provide them with the link,” McDonald said.

Journals are available on line.