Reflections on the Study of Digital Public History

An Outing in Reservoir Park, Toronto, 1900 (Toronto Reference Library, Baldwin Collection 982-26-26)

Welcome to my blog. Please allow me to introduce myself as a graduate student of Public History, and a lifelong learner. My past lives have included both civil service (as a policy analyst for federal and provincial governments in Canada, and NGOs in the U.S. and Egypt) and civic activism (as a sustainability risk advisor and environmental gadfly). I bring a deep love of history to my current work documenting the cultural, natural and urban development of my Toronto neighbourhood, Moore Park. And I welcome you to join me as I reflect on the meaning and purpose of Public History in the digital age.

  • From Memory to History

    March 23, 2020 by

    … The next day, to the best of my recollection, we left our camp, some said it was the third of January. We were formed up in one long column three abreast. After a good deal of pushing, shouting and what seemed like endless counting we began to move off into the unknown, in the… Read more

  • Moore Park Living History Website Under Construction

    November 25, 2019 by

    This week marks a personal breakthrough into the wonderful world of website design. I am fortunate to be under the able guidance of a most thoughtful and talented designer (daughter and tech goddess Kyra) whose mission is to help fulfil my dream of bringing the history of our midtown Toronto neighbourhood – Moore Park –… Read more

  • Democratising Access in the Cultural Heritage Sector

    November 19, 2019 by

    The British Institute for the Study of Iraq (BISI) is the UK’s leading institution for arts, humanities and social sciences research and education on Iraq. It was established in 1932 as the British School of Archaeology in Iraq with a legacy left by Gertrude Bell on her death in 1926. Gertrude Bell (1868-1926) was an… Read more

  • Pause to Remember

    November 11, 2019 by

    On this Remembrance Day I am reminded that we all remember the sacrifices wrought by the devastation of war in different ways. I hope the grand and moving ceremonies of national remembrance that I have known since childhood will continue for generations to come. But I acknowledge that there may be other ways to reach… Read more

  • Story-mapping: How digital maps can save the planet

    October 29, 2019 by

    Our foray last week into the amazing world of Geographic Information System (GIS) Mapping Technology challenged us to create our own stories using data visualization and digital maps. The ArcGIS story mapping platform ( to which we were introduced offers endless possibilities for such storytelling. Examples on the website include The Geography of Wine which… Read more

  • The Destruction of Neighbourhood Character – One House at a Time

    October 15, 2019 by

    Many mid-town Toronto residents are mad as hell. The rate of destruction of old homes in historic neighbourhoods and their replacement by ‘monster homes’ out of context with traditional streetscapes is exploding. And the City’s Committee of Adjustment time and time again favours developers over residents who fight desperately, against all odds, to preserve their… Read more

  • The Power of History as a Catalyst for Understanding

    October 6, 2019 by

    It is important to demonstrate the power of history as a catalyst for understanding, for making connections between historical events and current-day contexts, and for deepening the understanding of the experience of various groups over the course of history in our society. – The Inclusive Historian’s Handbook (10 June 2019) Two revealing examples of the… Read more

  • History That Works for a Better Future

    October 1, 2019 by

    In his appreciation of the ways in which historians engage with, and are responsible to communities outside of academic settings, Jim Clifford of York University promotes the idea that ‘history matters beyond the walls of universities and museums and that it should play a larger role in our public life.’ This is the essence of… Read more

  • The Internet is a library, not a teacher.

    September 16, 2019 by

    James Côté, in his appraisal of the ‘digital native’ debate, asks that we not be misled by exaggerated generational claims about the technological capacity of students born after the early 1980s – particularly as this relates to teaching and learning in the classroom. In fact, he says, there is ‘little evidence for the existence of… Read more

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