Mountains and Memorials

Yesterday, Andrea Eidinger tweeted a post about Vimy Peak in Waterton Lakes National Park, in Southern Alberta. The post appeared on Retroactive, the government of Alberta’s blog for historic places, to mark the centenary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Being a First World War historian who grew up in Calgary and spent most weekends hiking up the peaks of Kananaskis Country, I knew of a handful … Continue reading Mountains and Memorials

Letter Rip

At the beginning of the year, I resolved to experiment more with Gephi to explore the possibilities of network analysis in historical research. Prompted largely by the need to organize some classroom activities for my course on the First World War, I delved back into the Canadian Images and Letters Project (CLIP) to scale up my efforts. In my first attempt, I explored the letters of … Continue reading Letter Rip

Hands Across the Sea: Irish and Scottish Battalions in the AIF and CEF

Originally posted on the Four Nations History Network Blog on 8 February 2016. In December 1915, Reverend J.S. MacPherson of Morphett Vale, South Australia, wrote to the State War Council proposing to raise battalions for the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) “representing the National Societies, such as the Caledonian, Hibernian, Welsh and Cornish.”[1] A little over one year into the First World War, voluntary enlistments were tapering off … Continue reading Hands Across the Sea: Irish and Scottish Battalions in the AIF and CEF

Hashtag Commemoration

It’s been fun to observe the centenary of the First World War through twitter and other social media. These forms of communication allow people to experience and share commemorative events in new ways. Attendees at ceremonies can broadcast their thoughts, perspectives, and reactions and people unable to attend the ceremonies in person can use social media to participate from the other side of the world. Tapping … Continue reading Hashtag Commemoration

Getting into Gephi

I don’t think this counts as a New Year’s resolution, but I’ve been meaning to play around with Gephi for a while now. The biggest hurdle for me was finding sources that were conducive to network analysis. My research does not rely heavily on personal correspondence, so I turned to the Canadian Letters and Images Project, based at Vancouver Island University. The project has build a corpus of … Continue reading Getting into Gephi

Canadianagram

This post combines one of my earlier posts on Google Books’ Ngram Viewer and my bash script that built a search engine for the Early Canadiana Online database. Google Books probably has the best-known Ngram Viewer, but Tim Sherratt has produced a similar ap called QueryPic to search the Trove and Papers Past newspaper databases and graph the number of articles containing a keyword. The advantage … Continue reading Canadianagram

Imagining War and Peace in the Empire

Originally Posted 8 November 2012 I’ve been struggling to figure out a way to incorporate more of my research into this blog, and with November 11th coming up I think I’ve found a way. While this doesn’t actually have much to do with my actual dissertation, I’ve combed through some of the digitized archival databases in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand to assemble some photographs … Continue reading Imagining War and Peace in the Empire

Tineye of the Tiger

This happens a lot on Twitter. Someone posts an archival photo that would make a great visual for a lecture. But tweeted images are not of sufficient quality to be effective in a Powerpoint presentation and not everyone includes the source in their tweets. For instance, @CambsHistory tweeted these two pictures of elephants used as draught animals during the First World War. These engaging images that … Continue reading Tineye of the Tiger

Canadiana in Context

Early Canadiana Online is one of the largest repositories of digitized Canadian periodicals. Its website boasts 3,500,000 pages of word-searchable content that users can access for a subscription of $10 per month or $100 per year. I cannot deny that this collection places a lot of material at one’s fingertips, but I have always found it difficult to sort through the website’s search results. The search … Continue reading Canadiana in Context