Nova Scotia Archives, Libraries Nova Scotia, and St. Francis Xavier University have collaborated to protect more of the province’s social history and make it available around the world.
Three historic Nova Scotia French and Gaelic news publications have been scanned and made available online. They are:
— the first 66 years of Le Courrier de la Nouvelle Écosse newspaper up to 2002. The publication began as Le Petit Courrier in 1937 and is published weekly from Meteghan River. It covers news of interest to Acadians and francophones across the province
— all editions of the Gaelic newspaper Am Bràighe (1991-2003). It is no longer being published
— all existing editions of An Cuairtear Òg Gaelach, which was published 1851-52. It was a magazine providing information about Nova Scotia to Scottish immigrants
“Nova Scotia’s cultural heritage lives in our communities and is shared through the languages we speak and have spoken for centuries,” said Tony Ince, Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage. “Using modern technology, we can protect significant records of the past, our shared memories.”
The newly available publications are part of an ongoing initiative by Libraries Nova Scotia, with provincial government support, to protect the province’s newspaper heritage for coming generations and to make it more widely accessible today.
“Newspapers, news sheets and magazines have focused on collecting and sharing important community news for more than 250 years in Nova Scotia,” said Tanja Harrison, outgoing co-chair of Libraries Nova Scotia. “But paper is fragile and cumbersome to store and retrieve. Archiving and digitizing publications protect a reliable historical record of a community.”
“Le Courrier has been an important voice of our community by recording our day-to-day history,” said Denise Comeau Desautels, the paper’s executive director. “The Acadian and francophone people grew up in its pages and we can follow the growth of the community and the development of our identity through the writings of the newspaper.”
“It is an honour to be part of this important project and so rewarding to see the contributions of our writers and gaelic tradition bearers preserved and accessible to people everywhere and for generations to come,” said Frances MacEachen, former publisher of Am Bràighe.
The publications will be accessed by historical and genealogical researchers in the province and around the world. Francophones, especially Acadians and Acadian descendants, and Gaels can learn more about their communities’ cultural life and heritage in their own language.
Celebrations of the achievement took place today, Sept. 19, at the Nova Scotia Archives in Halifax, the Musée des Acadiens des Pubnicos in West Pubnico, and the Highland Village Museum in Iona, Cape Breton.
The newspapers are available on the Libraries Nova Scotia website, at https://librariesns.ca/content/newspaper-digitization