Category: Research tips

Online Porn for History Nerds

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When I was researching my 2007 book At Home with History I spent most of my life at the Vancouver Archives and on the 7th floor of the Vancouver Public Library. Now, instead of trekking downtown, much of the information is available to me here at home.

Today, the digital world just got a bit better with the launch of three very cool new online toys.

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Who lived in your house — in 10 (mostly easy) steps

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In some ways, researching your home is like an archeological dig. But with a bit of patience you can find out who built your home, who lived there before you, who was murdered there, who died of a comfortable old age, perhaps, even, who’s haunting it now.

1. City Directories:

I always start with the city directories, and now thanks to the Vancouver Public Library, all of B.C.

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Researching the history of your home — Heritage Registers

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A question came up at my talk yesterday about heritage registers so I thought I’d post a blog about its merits for house researchers and those who own heritage houses. For more information on researching your home’s history see At Home with History: the secrets of Vancouver’s heritage houses 

If you think that the house you are researching may have heritage merit, check out your local heritage register.

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Researching John Bull’s House

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On February 23, Jennifer Clay gave an A to Z workshop to home owners wanting to research the history of their homes. Jennifer has written a guest blog based on her presentation.

I live in a 1926 heritage home in North Vancouver, and while I had a vague idea of the previous occupants of our home, the key word is ‘vague’.

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BC Heritage Week kicks off tomorrow to the theme of Good Neighbourhoods

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Last year, Century Homes Calgary received a Governor General’s Award for Heritage Advocacy. The non-profit group was able to muster up enthusiasm in over 500 proud owners of homes that were over 100 years old to find out who lived in their house and what happened there. These houses didn’t need to be designated, or architecturally significant or owned by anyone famous, they just needed to be old, and have owners with the wherewithal to hit the archives and uncover their stories.

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James Bay – Then and Now

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Some of my favourite pictures in Sensational Victoria are the then and now ones in James Bay. There’s a fabulous archival shot of Carr House on Government Street taken in 1869 and a current photo that doesn’t look all that much different—143 years later. Another find is of the Queen Anne house on South Turner Street built in 1889.

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What is a Heritage Register?

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For more tips on researching your home’s history see At Home with History: the secrets of Greater Vancouver’s heritage homes

The District of North Vancouver has two heritage inventories—Modern Architecture (1930-1965) published in 1997, and one with houses that date prior to 1930 published in 1993. Both are hopelessly out of date, many houses no longer exist, and others that should have been included, were not.

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