Stories from the Rare Book Cabinet

The Prairie History Room is full of textual treasures, and I thought it would be nice to take some time to highlight some of the rarest and most intriguing books in our collection. This week I have selected a book that you will not find anywhere else, as it was compiled by Regina Public Library staff over the course of four painstaking years. The book was not meant to be published, in fact, calling it a book is a tad generous. The volume is a scrapbook of articles entitled “Newspaper clippings of Regina’s Enlisted Personnel: World War One”.

From 1914-1918 Canadian soldiers were fighting in the First World War.We are all familiar with the narrative by now; we all know that thousands of our best and brightest made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and way of life, but this book makes the period come alive in a way that more traditional narratives do not.In an abstract way we can imagine librarians 100 years ago leafing through the newspaper each day, searching for information about local soldiers fighting overseas. The pages of this book gain added dimension when one realizes that the men they were reading about were their brothers, their sweethearts, and their friends. These weren’t articles about strangers, these men were part of Regina- at one point or another they had lived here and worked here. They spent happy moments here in quieter, more peaceful times.It is easy to understand why those left behind on the home front felt it was their duty to keep a record tracking the various tragedies and triumphs experienced by their loved ones.

Each page of this book is stiff with century old adhesive, and the articles are beginning to yellow with age and use, but these shortcomings are nothing compared to the treasures contained on each scrap of newsprint. We read the story of Edward Puntin, who tells a harrowing tale of being torpedoed in the English Channel. His story becomes more gripping when we learn that he was a boy of 14 at the time, having most recently been a student at Albert Elementary School. Another notable article details the heroism of the Milne family, whose sons James, Alex and Thomas were all awarded service medals. Sadly, James was the only brother to live to receive his medal as his brothers were both killed while performing the acts of bravery for which they were honored. These are just two of hundreds of captivating stories in this amazing album.

This book is a unique snapshot of Regina during a very specific moment in time, a period when our citizens were taxed emotionally and physically. Events that were taking place thousands of miles away had a very real impact on the lives of those in our community. The strange mix of pride and horror experienced by Regina citizens every day as they read their morning paper is hard to imagine. This battered and careworn scrapbook from that time says more about how Regina’s citizens experienced the First World War than any standard history book.

Written by Shana Hay

Source: "Newspaper Clippings of Regina's Enlisted Personnel: World War One". This volume is available for research at the Prairie History Room, located in the Central Branch of the Regina Public Library. The image at the top of the page is from a page in this book.


Rielco Productions presents The Trial of Louis Riel 2015

Witness history come alive!

This play “The Trial of Louis Riel” by John Coulter is based on the actual transcripts of the famous trial of Louis Riel in Regina in 1885.

Performances are Thursday, Friday, Saturday from July 16 to August 1st
Doors open at 7:00 p.m.
Show starts at 7:30 p.m.
The Museum Shop will be open along with the Mega Munchies concession and cash bar.

Ticket Price:
$20 / Adult
$15 / Senior or Student
$12 / Youth 12 and under
Venue: Royal Saskatchewan Museum
Address: 2445 Albert St, Regina
Purchase your tickets at the Museum Shop in the Museum lobby. 306-787-2815
or online at Rielco Productions


RCMP Sunset - Retreat Ceremony

This summer, don’t miss the opportunity to celebrate your history at the colourful RCMP Sunset-Retreat Ceremony at RCMP Academy, ‘Depot’ Division.
This free, bilingual Canadian Signature Experience starts on Canada Day and then every Tuesday night until August 11th.
The Sunset - Retreat Ceremony is one of the American Bus Association’s 2015 Top 100 events in North America.

Every Tuesday from July 1 to August 11, 2015
Doors open at 5:30 p.m.
Show starts at 6:45 p.m.

Ticket Price: Free
Venue: RCMP Heritage Centre
Address: 5907 Dewdney Ave

RCMP Website for more information


Categories: New Books

New How-To Guide to Help You Organize Your Family Photos

Levenick, Denise May. How to Archive Family Photos: a Step-by-Step Guide to Organize and Share Your Photos Digitally. Cincinnati, Ohio: Family Tree Books, [2015].

Summary: You've captured countless cherished family photos of babies' first steps, graduations, weddings, holidays, vacations, and priceless everyday moments on your smartphone or digital camera. Perhaps you've inherited a collection of heirloom family photographs, too. But now what? [The book] is a practical how-to guide for organizing your growing digital photo collection, digitizing and preserving heirloom family photos, and sharing your treasured photos. In this book, you'll find: Simple strategies to get your photos out of a smartphone or camera and into a safe storage space. Easy methods to organize and back up your digital photos, including file-naming and tagging hints. Achievable steps to digitize and preserve heirloom family photos.

Note: This book can be borrowed for 3 weeks.


History Alive! Vignettes

Government House and the Saskatchewan Legislative Building are coming alive this summer!

Join them at Government House (4607 Dewdney Ave) to watch life unfold for Saskatchewan’s first Lieutenant Governor, Amédée Forget and his wife Henriette.

At the Legislative Building (234 - 2405 Legislative Dr.) meet Walter Scott, Saskatchewan’s first Premier, to learn about his vision for the newly-created province.

These live theatrical vignettes are performed in both English and French. Admission is FREE. Ces spectacles sont disponibles en français.

Schedule of Performances (July 5 to August 18)

Sundays and Tuesdays at Government House. Performances begin at approximately 1, 2, 3 and 4 p.m.

Mondays at the Legislative Building. Performances begin at approximately 1, 2, 3 and 4 p.m.


Categories: New Magazines

New PHR Magazines for July 11, 2015

Saskatchewan History, Spring/Summer 2015, Vol. 67, No. 1

* "'Old Sol's Glory Path'"--a Life of Photographer Peter McKenzie" by Brock Silversides, pgs. 6-17.

* "Our Lady Of Lourdes Cemetery: An Archaeological Approach to Cemetery Management" by Mike A. Markowski, Kara Wolfe, and Troy Zimmer, pgs. 20-27.

* "Centre of Conflict: Mistrust and Turmoil in Creating the Diefenbaker Canada Centre" by Craig Greenham, pgs. 28-35.

Your Genealogy Today (formerly Family Chronicle Magazine), July/August 2015, Vol. 1, No. 3

* "Historic Amusement Parks: Your Family & America's Playgrounds" by Sandy Hack, pgs. 6-10.

* "What the Widow Got" by George C. Morgan, pgs. 14-20.

* "Beginning Your World War II Research" by Jennifer Holik, pgs. 21-26.

* "Finding Grandad at the Canal!" by Isabelle Kettner Addis, pgs. 33-36.


Note: These magazine issues can be borrowed for 1 week.

Categories: Tours, Regina History

Take a Tour of Regina with Heritage Regina This Summer

Curious about certain events in Regina's history? Need a bit of exercise on a Sunday evening? Looking for affordable (e.g. FREE) ways to spend a couple of hours?

Then check out these free walking tours, courtesy of Heritage Regina:

Path of the Tornado
Sunday, July 12th, 2015
Address: Bandstand on the shores of Wascana Lake

Meet guide Robin Adeney at the bandstand on the shores of Wascana Lake at 6:00pm. As she guides you along the path the tornado took on June 30th, 1912.

Walk around Wascana Lake
Sunday, July 19th, 2015
6:00pm- 8:00pm
Address: Wascana Marina off of Broad Street

Meet guide Will Chabun at the Wascana Marina off Broad Street at 6pm and learn some facts about the history of Wascana Lake and its surroundings.


Categories: New Books

New PHR Books for July 2015

Downs, Art, editor. The Law and the Lawless: Frontier Justice on the Canadian Prairies, 1896-1935. Victoria, BC: Heritage, [2015].

Summary: After killing wife's lover in 1896, a defiant man with uncanny intuition leads a posse of trackers in a days-long chase across the coulees and hills of Southern Alberta. An American serial rapist and murderer embarks on a killing spree that terrorizes Manitoba in the 1920s. And in the early '30s, an enterprising detective tracks, all the way to Kentucky, a father and son who had murdered an Alberta farmer. Prairie law enforces in these changing times made brilliant use of their skills, courage, and new technologies to bring ruthless outlaws to justice.

Merasty, Joseph Auguste and David Carpenter. The Education of Augie Merasty: a Residential School Memoir. Regina, SK: University of Regina Press, [2015].

Summary: Now a retired fisherman and trapper, Joseph A. (Augie) Merasty was one of an estimated 150,000 First Nations, Inuit, and Metis children who were taken from their families and sent to government-funded, church-run schools, where they were subjected to a policy of "aggressive assimiliation." As Merasty recounts, these schools did more than attempt to mold children in the ways of white society. They were taught to be ashamed of their native heritage and, as he experienced, often suffered physical and sexual abuse. Even as he looks back on this painful part of his childhood, Merasty's generous and authentic voice shines through.

Updates to ALE July 2015

As we begin our gradual slide into the summer months, here is a brief summary of the new and updated databases that have been added to the library's subscription to Ancestry Library Edition database since April 2015:


* Index to Alien Arrivals at Canadian Atlantic and Pacific Seaports, 1904-1944

* U.S., Passenger and Crew Lists for U.S.-Bound Vessels Arriving in Canada, 1912-1939 and 1953-1962


* Brandenburg, Germany, Transcripts of Church Records, 1700-1874 (in German) (updated)

* Dortmund, Germany, Jewish Women Residents, 1930-1943

* Poland, Łódź Ghetto Register Books, 1939-1944 (USHMM) (in German) (updated)

* Romania, Vital Records from Selected Regions, 1607-1914 (in German)

* Sweden, Selected Indexed Death Records, 1840-1860 and 1878-1942 (in Swedish) (updated)


* Australia Newspaper Vital Notices, 1851-1997

* Brazil, Find A Grave Index, 1800s-Current (updated)

* Mexico, Find A Grave Index, 1800s-Current (updated)

* Victoria, Australia, Index to Naturalisation Certificates, 1851-1928

United Kingdom

* Surrey, England, Calendar of Prisoners, 1848-1902

* Surrey, England, Mental Hospital Admissions, 1867-1900

* UK, British Army Muster Books and Pay Lists, 1812-1817

* UK, Jersey, Channel Islands, Wills and Testaments, 1663-1948

* United Kingdom, Royal Naval Officers' Service Records Index, 1756-1931

* West Yorkshire, England, Alehouse Licences, 1771-1962

* West Yorkshire, England, Bastardy Records, 1690-1914 (updated)

* West Yorkshire, England, Occupation Records, 1793-1930

United States

* Kansas, City and County Census Records, 1919-1961

* Oregon, Motor Vehicle Registrations, 1911-1946

* U.S., Chicago and North Western Railroad Employment Records, 1935-1970

* U.S., Northern Pacific Railway Company Personnel Files, 1890-1963 (updated)

* Washington, D.C., Passenger and Crew Lists, 1942-1962

Note: This database is accessible in-house at all 9 branches of Regina Public Library, including the Prairie History Room at Central Library. Users simply need to have an updated library card to log onto the computer terminals to access this database.


Interesting Blog Post on Becoming a Professional Genealogist

Ever wondered what it would be like to turn your genealogical passion and research skills into a career? If so, check out this Lifehacker blog post where the interviewer talked to Crista Cowan, a genealogist who works for Ancestry.com.

If this article spurs you to pursue a genealogical career, you might also want to borrow the following book for 3 weeks to help get you started:

Campbell, Jennifer. Start & Run a Personal History Business. Bellingham, WA: Self-Counsel Press, 2011.

Summary: Anyone can start a personal history business to meet the demands of communities, families, and even corporations to record and preserve the stories they want remembered. The preservation of memories was recently noted by The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times as a profitable business opportunity, and appeals to a broad range of people. This practical guide covers every stage of business development including how to actually do the work, starting up, education and training, marketing and expansion, and a step-by-step guide for new personal historians to produce a first project.

--May P. Chan, Prairie History Librarian

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This blog will inform you about the new items added to our collection; recommend some of the best online genealogy resources for you to use; and notify you of any upcoming genealogy and heritage-related workshops and events in the Regina community or around province. So remember to bookmark this page or subscribe to one of the RSS feeds so can you always remain up-to-date. And don't forget, we love to hear what you think so don't be shy about leaving your comments!

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