Local History Resources
Online Research Portals
Transcripts of the diaries of Melvin S. Huntington, which were donated to the W.W. Lewis Memorial Library in Louisbourg. The diaries, although not complete, span the period from the late 1800s to 1961.They provide an interesting view of life in Louisbourg during that time, including current affairs that were of interest at that time, such as the shipping industry, weather, world news and events in people’s lives.
Katharine McLennan (1892 – 1975) is a prominent figure in Cape Breton history. Katharine was the daughter of J.S. McLennan, one of the early managers of Cape Breton’s coal and steel industries. Through travel, study, and private tutors Katharine developed a passion for a range of interests and causes. Through Her Eyes is a collaborative project of the Beaton Institute, Cape Breton Regional Library, Fortress Louisbourg Association, and Parks Canada. It is designed to digitize the personal collection of photos, artworks, and diary entries of Katharine.
This site provides a detailed history of the McLennan family from their roots in Scotland through to their activities in Sydney and Louisbourg.
In Library Resources
Nova Scotia Collection
The Nova Scotia Collection is available for in-library research use and is housed at the McConnell Library in Sydney. The library actively collects materials on Nova Scotia subjects including family genealogies, histories of the region, biographies, photographs and novels by Nova Scotian authors. Many of the items in the collection are unique to the Cape Breton Regional Library.
Microfilm reels of the Cape Breton Post and it’s preceding publications (Sydney Post, Post-Record) are available starting from 1901 – present. These are an excellent source for obituaries and researching local history events. Additionally the library maintains The Nova Scotia Vertical File containing newspaper clippings organized by subject dating from mid-1960s to present.
Local History & Genealogy
- Nova Scotia birth, marriage and death records can be found online at the Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics website.
- Cape Breton Gen Web Project provides free local history resources.
- Cape Breton Genealogy and Historical Association – membership required.
- Beaton Institute – Located at Cape Breton University, the Institute is a cultural heritage archive mandated to preserve the social, economic, political, and cultural history of Cape Breton Island.
- Nova Scotia Archives
- Nova Story – Digital Collections from Nova Scotia Public Libraries