Nova Scotia Archives

Looking Back, Moving Forward: Documenting the Heritage of African Nova Scotians

Using this Resource

This resource gathers records from across the holdings, from government and private archival collections, and library materials. We have structured it into sections that reflect these different types of records to aid in navigation.

  • Archival Holdings are original, primary source material, dating from the 1700s into modern day. Here you will find records of settlement, petitions to the government, and community history. Such records have already proved invaluable to those working on the land titles clarification initiative.
  • Library Holdings are published sources. Here you will find rare published materials such as: A Documentary Study of the Establishment of Negroes in Nova Scotia, editions of newsletters published by the Black United Front of Nova Scotia, and Volume 4 of the Royal Commission on the Donald Marshall Jr. Prosecution Reports entitled Discrimination Against Blacks in Nova Scotia in the Criminal Justice System.
  • Finally, it includes a brief introduction to the history of the African Nova Scotian population to provide additional context to the records presented here.

A word about language and context is necessary. The documents online reflect the culture and context in which they were created; contemporary readers may find this language outdated and problematic.

This resource will continue to grow over time, as new materials are acquired and collections are digitized. We have made it a priority that these records be accessible to all Nova Scotians, to everyone, so that we might recognize our shared history and have a foundation to move forward from.