Sunday, 6 September 2009

Sunday September 6th, 2009 Backyard History

The Thunder Bay Public Library is just wrapping up another busy summer full of visits from local history and genealogy researchers. For anyone who has ever attempted the gauntlet that is local history research, you are fully aware of how difficult it can be to piece together a story that is only remembered by those who lived it. For the personal, and often complicated, history of the area there is often no better resource than the wealth of local authors and historians living and working in Thunder Bay.

Instead of pestering the neighbours with questions, you could pay a visit to the Library and spend some quality time with the large variety of titles by local authors. Our collection is constantly growing and offers a unique and interesting look at the history of Thunder Bay. If it’s the shipping industry that floats your boat, check out BEACONSFIELD, MOHAWK AND THE RED BARGES by Gene Onchulenko and Skip Gillham. To get on the right track with railway history, try THUNDER BAY TO GUNFLINT: THE PORT ARTHUR, DULUTH AND WESTERN RAILWAY by Elinor Barr. Want to know which type of crime was most common in 1912? Sneak a peek at the THUNDER BAY QUIZ BOOK: 101 FASCINATING QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR HISTORY.

In addition to these works, the Gateway to Northwestern Ontario (which can be accessed through the Library’s Virtual Collection) provides you with historical photographs and images. The portions of this collection that focus on the shipping industry and the laying of the Canadian Pacific Railway through this region are particularly interesting to all local history buffs. Another option for finding information specific to the local area is to come by the Brodie Resource Library for our additional local history materials. We have newspapers on microfilm from Fort William and Port Arthur which date to the mid 1870s, as well as local history files and obituary indexes.

All this local talent is not limited to historical accounts alone, check out authors such as Ruby Slipperjack, the author of popular children’s and youth fiction. For the biography lovers, Charles Wilkins recently released IN THE LAND OF LONG FINGERNAILS. To find out more about these and other local authors, or to start digging around for information on your own family’s history, come to the Library and you might be surprised at what you’ll find.

Jesse Roberts, Acting Head of Reference Services at the Brodie Resource Library

No comments: