By Doug Draper
Niagara’s Brock University has launched a website lovers of history and all of us who should know more about our history should treasure on both sides of our Canada-U.S. border.
It is a website featuring more than 1,000 items and 22,000 images from the War of 1812 and it is fitting that a university bearing the name of one of that conflict’s most iconic generals – Isaac Brock for the British side – is showcasing it over an internet site you can access at www.1812history.com.
This website, launched this February 18, “aims to provide a snapshot of the time period in an effort to give a wide-ranging overview of daily social, economic and political lives (of people during the War of 1812),” according to a media release the university circulated on the occasion of the launch. “Items like newspapers, business ledgers, letters, clothing, household objects and articles from the war are included on the site.”
“Since Niagara was a major theatre of war during this conflict, we are extremely pleased to be able to play a lead role in this collaborative effort,” said David Sharron, Brock’s head of special collection and archives, last year when plans were first announced to produce the War of 1812 site.
The Brock website has been a true regional effort and has been put together with the assistance of the Department of Canadian Heritage, Our Ontario and a host of bodies from across Niagara’ region. The regional partners include: BrockUniversity, Special Collections and Archives, James A. Gibson Library; the Niagara Historical Society and Museum; Niagara Falls Museums, which includes the Lundy’s Lane Historical Museum; the Port Colborne Historical and Marine Museum; the Grimsby Museum; the Jordan Historical Museum; the RiverBrink Art Museum; and the District School Board of Niagara.
The local heritage museums are members of the Museums of Niagara Association who has supported this project.
Brock applied for funding to oversee the project in partnership with eight other cultural groups from Niagara and Ontario in October 2008. In June 2009, the University received financial support of more than $55,000 from the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Canadian Culture Online Strategy to ensure the success of this project.
The total value of the project is more $100,000 including the Canadian Heritage funding and in-kind contributions of the other partners.
Whether you are a resident on the Canadian or American side of the border, do yourselves a favour as we all ramp up to the bicentennial of the War of 1812, and click on to www.1812history.com.
(While you are at it, click on www.niagaraatlarge.com for other news and commentary of interest to our binational Niagara region.)