Doing Research at McConnell Library in Sydney
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 its 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.
Online Research Portals
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.
These diaries provide insight to life in Louisbourg as documented by Melvin S. Huntington. 1896-1961
Local History & Genealogy
- Nova Scotia birth, marriage and death records can be found online at the Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics website.
- Canada Censuses (Library and Archives Canada)
- 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