For my last post of 2017, I have compiled a list of my favourite history blogs. To make the list, the blog had to written by an individual and have a strong Metro Vancouver flavor.
In alphabetical order: 1. A Most Agreeable Place
Lana Okerlund, a Vancouver book editor and writer, has put together this quirky little blog about bookstores past and present. And who doesn’t love a bookstore? It’s full of facts. For instance did you know a copy of Robinson Crusoe, Gulliver’s Travels or Don Quixote would cost you 60 cents in 1887?
This is one of my go to sites when I’m looking up an architect or building. John Atkin is behind this blog of before and after photos divided into still standing, gone and altered with archival photos from the Vancouver Archives, BC Archives and special collections at Vancouver Public Library. I love how the blog includes a section on how the image was made.
Dan Francis just collected the Governor General’s History Award for Popular Media in Ottawa last month. That’s a big deal and I can’t think of anyone more deserving. There are 15 books listed on his website (everything from the history of trucks to brothels). I especially like Dan’s personal touch with posts such as the one about how he met his nanny—66 years later.
Yes, this is my blog which I’ve been writing obsessively since 2011. It’s an outlet for my passions of local history, heritage houses and murder, and lets me try out ideas for future books, have fun with photos, or just gives me an excuse to look up cool stuff. It also acts as a companion to my Facebook page of the same name.
Jason Vanderhill stopped writing his blog in 2015 when he reached a staggering 1,000 posts. I’ve included it because it’s an amazing resource for anyone with an interest in Vancouver’s art history. You’ll find work from artists like BC Binning, contemporary artists such as Tom Carter, and stuff you never knew about such as 1930 plans for a museum at Dead Man’s Island.
6. Janet Nicol
Janet is a former high school history teacher turned writer, who according to her blog, has notched up more than 340 articles in 44 magazines and journals. She writes on BC history, social justice issues and art. And if you can’t afford a subscription to BC History, Janet often posts her articles on this blog.
7. Past Tense
Lani Russwurm gets my vote for the most knowledgeable history guy in the city. His blogs are always entertaining, highly researched, and I’m forever learning something new and wishing that I’d thought of it first. As well as his Past Tense blog, Lani wrote Vancouver was Awesome and is behind the Forbidden Vancouver blog.
I’m seriously intimidated by Andrea Eidinger’s qualifications. She has a BA in history from McGill, a doctorate of philosophy in history from UVic, and is currently teaching at UBC. Andrea does a roundup of history news each week, and has a great list of resources on her site such as the Canadian Historians Guide to Twitter and a Holiday Gift Guide for Historians.
Christine Hagemoen is the force behind this excellent blog. She has worked as a media librarian for the CBC and an archival assistant at Vancouver Archives and really knows her stuff. Subject material ranges from Sara Cassell’s East Georgia Street café to the date stamps in concrete sidewalks to bottle dash stucco.
Murray Maisey’s blog is much more than photos, he really delves into the history of whatever he is researching. I like the way he “talks” to himself in his stories. In a post about the long defunct Empire Building he writes: “A question which often arises in my mind with such structures is “Who were the tenants who occupied it?…So I dug into Vancouver directories.”
If you are in need of a little more history in your holidays try these posts from the last two years:
The Top 10 Facebook History pages for 2015
The Top 10 Facebook Group Pages for 2016
Have I missed your favourite Vancouver history blogger? Leave me a comment and I’ll make sure to check them out. And, thanks for following my blog!
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