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Genealogists Can Net Data From
(Nova Scotia)Archives

Article posted: December 12, 2001

Where do you turn if somebody calls your descendants a dirty, lowdown bunch of horse thieves? The Public Archives of Nova Scotia, that's where.

A new online service makes it even easier to trace one's roots to determine if there are any outstanding warrants for horse theft tucked away in the family tree.

Officials at the University Avenue complex in Halifax officially opened the Public Archives of Nova Scotia Community Access Program site in the main lobby Thursday.

"We put it right here in the main lobby so people will come in and use it," said Lois York, manager, public and support services.

Along with Internet access, the site includes a cluster of computers, laser printer and a scanner.

Of course, it also connects with the massive array of online resources now available through the archives.

"Part of our mandate is to extend services out into the community, to bring in what we call the non-traditional users and to familiarize them with the resources we have here," said the manager.

People who want to create a family tree, or to search out their roots for whatever reason, will find the archive site offers free public access to quality Web sites from around the world devoted to genealogy.

Among other things, the site offers access to the genealogical software, Family Tree Maker, a range of historical resources and the Internet in general.

Nova Scotia Lt.-Gov. Myra Freeman, provincial patron for the archive's board of directors, was enthusiastic.

"The unique feature of this new . . . site is the package of resource guides created specifically to take users to an extensive number of authoritative genealogical, historical and tourism Web sites," she said. Tourism and Culture Minister Rodney MacDonald said a program like this helps make the archive's vast holdings of Canadian content far more accessible to everyone.

"The new site increases the connection to heritage and culture for Nova Scotians and tourists alike."

He said the site's tourists resource guide will help visitors learn about local attractions and accommodations.

In additional to local researchers, the public archives is used by researchers from across the U.S., other parts of Canada and around the world, said provincial archivist Brian Speirs.

"Among the single-site archives in Canada, only the National Archives in Ottawa is busier than the Halifax location," he said.

Education Minister Jane Purves said Nova Scotia's schools and communities are "wired" for the Internet and the knowledge economy.

"Three years ago we had about 100 (Community Access Program) sites in Nova Scotia. Now we have 244 and more than 340 locations where people can access information technology," she said.

Nova Scotia Chief Justice Constance Glube, who chairs the public archive's board of directors, said the storefront access offered by the new site provides the archives with an additional way to deliver public programs and to extend services to more people.

"We're well on our way to reaching a wider community," she said

To access the archives on the Internet, go to

source: The Halifax Herald Limited
By Bill Power / Staff Reporter

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