Nova Scotia Archives

Sydenham Howe's Scrapbook

Joseph Howe and His World


How to Use This Resource

Digitizing and preparing this scrapbook for online presentation has truly been an archivist's nightmare. Not only did Sydenham Howe ignore chronologic and/or thematic order in his arrangement, and neglect to provide an index, but the ravages of time have also ensured that the scrapbook suffered irreversible physical deterioration and contextual damage.

When it was acquired by the Archives in 1994, the scrapbook was in fragile condition. Pages were loose, and many had separated from the binding; individual items had frequently been folded or double-folded, then pasted in, and many of these were torn or had come un-glued and had fallen out; the contents of envelopes were often missing, or had wandered elsewhere in the volume; and the binding of the scrapbook was crumbling.

A decision was made to break the binding completely; the contents were kept together as much as possible, and in what remained of the scrapbook's 'original order.' As a result, the digital product presented here is built in two sections: 1) what remains of the Scrapbook Pages, so that Internet visitors can experience the look-and-feel of the original; and 2) Items from the Scrapbook, in which folded documents have been unfolded for scanning, and both the original order of records and the content of envelopes has been re-constituted, as much as is now possible. If some of the envelopes are empty, or the contents don’t quite match the envelope itself…. well, that's what happens over time!

During digitization, a preliminary descriptive database was built as part of the digital item management process, and to provide searchable access to the content of the scrapbook. That database underlies the search tool found on each page of the virtual exhibit. The database remains under construction, however, as we work to improve the quality and specificity of the caption lines accompanying each of the 473 items in the scrapbook. For now, try entering key words into the Search Box, such as personal or community names, or general descriptors such as 'invitation', 'poetry', 'medal', etc. Keep coming back over the coming weeks, and you'll be able find more than was discoverable the time before!

Binding
Original Scrapbook binding
Sydenham Howe 1924
Sydenham Howe. — 1924. Nova Scotia Archives 5591