Nova Scotians can read one of the province's most significant early newspapers thanks to a new resource from the Nova Scotia Archives.
Four decades of the Acadian Recorder have been digitized and made available on the Archives' website. Visitors can browse by date, from 1813 to 1853, and learn about significant events of the time, including coverage of the War of 1812 and its impact on Nova Scotia.
"Historic newspapers provide a unique perspective on life in our province," said Leonard Preyra, Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage. "The Acadian Recorder offers a rare glimpse into everyday activities as well as important historical events involving Nova Scotia, like the War of 1812."
The Recorder was a weekly Halifax newspaper first published in January 1813 by Anthony H. Holland. It is known today as a "newspaper of record" because of its century-long publication history and high quality news coverage.
In the early days, it printed local, national and international news. Other features included a weekly almanac, shipping news, obituaries and wedding announcements, poetry or story sections, and a wide range of advertisements.
One of the most significant naval battles of the war was reported in the issue of June 12th, 1813. This was the capture of USS Chesapeake by HMS Shannon off Cape Cod on June 1st, in a violent encounter at sea that lasted just 11 minutes.
The Chesapeake was escorted triumphantly into Halifax harbour five days later, but because the Recorder published only once a week, the story had to wait. The writer observed that "there is not on record any Naval achievement in which the Artillery (was) directed with such effect (and) left the enemy no choice but to surrender."
Selected years of The Liverpool Transcript have also been digitized by the Archives. A "weekly miscellany of literature, art, science, and popular information," the Transcript was typical for its time and provides today's readers with fascinating glimpses of town life in the mid-1800s.
The Acadian Recorder and the Liverpool Transcript are available to read at http://gov.ns.ca/nsarm/ .