Monday, November 22, 2004

The Eighteenth-Century Studies at the U of S group is hosting a dinner talk on Tuesday November 30. Professor Jessica Warner (research scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health & Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto) will talk about "John the Painter: An Eighteenth-Century Everyman". The subject of the talk went by various aliases and attempted to burn down Portsmouth and Bristol in support of the cause of American independence. He was hanged for that in 1777. The talk offers thoughts on why certain young men become terrorists, and how best to catch them. 6:30PM, Faculty Club bar, faculty, grad and honours students welcome.

Professor Warner will also deliver a talk the next day, Wednesday, December 1, on "The 'Gin Craze': The Story of the First Modern Drug Scare". The talk promises to offer unflattering remarks about the American "War on Drugs". 4pm, ARTS 101, everyone welcome.
Coming to a Tunnel Near You: This year, as in the past few years, HUSA is offering a wide variety of History Department & HUSA clothing. These T-shirts, bunny hugs, zip up fleeces, and sweater vests are hot, hot, hot! OK, quite warm. Still, you can bet Posh Spice will want the whole set. Order this fine gear in the tunnel from HUSA volunteers who will be manning and womanning their table from 10:30-ish to 2:30-ish this Monday through Friday.
A new exhibit at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., offers a glimpse at correspondences four centuries old. Letter Writing in Renaissance England, which runs through April 2005, includes letters penned in invisible ink, sealed in wax and embroidery silk, and sent to and from some of the most famous figures in English history. Click here and here to learn more.
Yad Vashem, The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority in Jerusalem, Israel, will bring online its historic new Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names on November 22, 2004. The database, which will allow online public interaction and contributions of new names and materials, seeks to capture the names of as many Jewish Holocaust victims as possible. The sophisticated technology allows users worldwide to access a treasure trove of millions of personal, historical and genealogical documents archived in 14 languages using cutting-edge Web search systems from the convenience of almost any computer. See it at

Friday, November 19, 2004

The National Archives in the UK presents Gallery of Victorian Prisoners Online - Two volumes of photographs and case details of prisoners inWandsworth Prison dating from 1872 to 1873 are now online. Each case gives the prisoner's physical description, as well as a photograph, their date and place of birth, the crime they committed, their sentence, the place of conviction and often their place of residenc. This is all fabulous, but, like many UK archives, access to the images promised and other information beyond the catalogue is actually available only on a pay-as-you-go basis. A family historian tracking one or two kinfolk through the prison system might find it a good deal, but for researchers hoping to survey a series of records, it can get very costly. See for yourself at:

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Don't forget: HUSA is sponsoring a Beer Night, TONIGHT, November 18, from 7-9 pm at Winston's Pub in the Senator Hotel (21st and 3rd downtown). Admission is $8 and all proceeds go to the Dave De Brou Scholarship Fund. Everyone of drinking age is welcome.
The British Library has launched the Endangered Archives Programme. Unless action is taken now, much of mankind's documentary heritage may vanish - discarded as no longer of relevance or left to deteriorate beyond recovery. This website explains what the Endangered Archives Programme is, and how it can help:
Google continues to issue products that can change the way we work (for the better, that is). The newest addition to their stable of search tools is Google Scholar, a staggeringly efficient search tool that enables you to search specifically for scholarly literature, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from all broad areas of research. Use Google Scholar to find articles from a wide variety of academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and universities, as well as scholarly articles available across the web. Early testing in the What's Up labratory revealed that, on campus at least, many of the links Google finds will go directly to the article in question. Check it out at
Or, thanks to our library friend Peter Scott, you can consult the good people at Google right here:

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

HUSA is sponsoring a Beer Night this Thursday, November 18, from 7-9 pm at Winston's Pub in the Senator Hotel (21st and 3rd downtown). Admission is $8 and all proceeds go to the Dave De Brou Scholarship Fund. Everyone of drinking age is welcome.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

The New York Times today published a jaunty article about the Al Capone industry in Moose Jaw. For the next week or so, until the link expires, you can click here to read the article. Meanwhile, even as we speak, researchers are looking for tunnels under Regina, hoping to find evidence of Queen Victoria's surreptitious visits to her namesake city. The searchers have gained heart from recent admissions out of B.C. that rumours the queen (with or without Albert -- reports vary) lived for a time in a cave under the Empress Hotel have proven unfounded. She must have been somewhere, goes the reasoning, so why not Regina?

Monday, November 15, 2004

Call for papers: The ever-busy Eighteenth-Century Studies at the University of Saskatchewan group invites faculty and grad students to propose twenty-minute papers on any topic relating to the "long" eighteenth century (c.1660-1815) for the conference The Eighteenth Century: Current Research and Future Perspectives to be held March 18-19, 2005 at Luther College, University of Regina. Proposals in the form of 250-500 word abstracts should be sent in e-mail messages (not attachments) to Dr. Noel Chevalier ( AND Dr. Catherine Tite ( The deadline for proposals is January 15, 2005. The local point person is Ray Stephanson in the English Department:
Alum Todd Diakow (MA, 1995)) recently contributed his reminiscences of Dave De Brou for the Memories of Dave page on our departmental site. Todd is a high school Social Studies teacher living in Langley, B.C. and teaching in Abbotsford,where he puts the De Brou method into practice year after year.
MA candidate Rob Morley has created a new "group" in PAWS, the History Teaching Group where instructors at all levels can swap tips and share strategies and concerns. Any faculty or graduate students interested in participating in the group should contact Rob at and ask to be signed up.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Our dear friends at the U of S Library keep doing even better by us. There is now a dedicated page linked to the Library Catalogue, under "Subjects", for History that offers a very efficient way in to just the sort of searches we all do. The most important search engines for the likes of us are grouped under the "Journal Articles" tab, for example, and the tab for "Dictionaries and Encyclopedias" contains the Canadian Encyclopedia Online and Oxford English Dictionary, among others. All history students and faculty should find this of use. You might care to bookmark the page, and then spread the word. Meanwhile, click here to check it out.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

This Remembrance Day, the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections is launching a 10,000 image website documenting Canadian wartime participation covering the Red River Resistance, the Boer War, World War I and II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The digitized documents, photos and publications comprising The Canadian Wartime Experience website cover a wide variety of topics, including everything from women who gathered clothing for bomb victims to a Jewish writer trapped with Nazis in a holding camp in Halifax, from a first hand account of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles to letters from soldiers who never returned home.
Click here to learn more.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Grad students interested in teaching strategies might wish to attend the workshop Don't Lecture! Why Students and Teachers Should be Acquainted with Problem-Based Learning led by Professor Richard Cassidy of the Chemistry Department at the Gwenna Moss Teaching and Learning Centre on November 12, 9-11:am. Click here to learn more and register.

Meanwhile, course instructors interested in learning more about the electronic teaching options now available may wish to attend the workshop WebCT or PAWS: Which is Right for Me? presented by Jay Wilson of Curriculum Studies, at the Gwenna Moss Teaching and Learning Centre in the Library, Wednesday November 17 from 10:00 to 11:30 am. Click here to learn more and register.

Friday, November 05, 2004

In celebration of Family History Month in the U.S., The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. has announced the official re-launch of its award-winning website, featuring improved navigation, retooled and advanced search capabilities, as well as family history research tips and forms, free to all users. The newly revamped site, which contains 25 million ships' passenger records covering entry through the Port of New York and Ellis Island from 1892-1924, first launched on April 17, 2001 to critical acclaim and a deluge of traffic. To date the site has received over 6 billion hits. The list includes anyone entering the U.S. at the Port of New York, and so includes travellers as well as immigrants. Many Canadians traipsed through the Big Apple, including the young Lester B. Pearson and the possible forbears of such illustrious Canadian families as the DesBrisays, Korineks, Kalinowskis, Waisers, Klaassens and so forth. The Miquelons, curiously, did not make their New York debut until 2002.
The University of Guelph has for some time published the journal Scottish Tradition, which is now to be relaunched as the International Review of Scottish Studies under the editorship of Professor Graeme Morton. The IRSS is a fully peer-reviewed journal and invites submissions on all aspects of Scottish history and culture. Gordon DesBrisay is a member of the editorial board. Click here to learn more about the revamped IRSS.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Improve your file management: Everybody here at What's Up has expressed frustration at times with the clumsiness and clunkiness of Windows Explorer. If you share that frustration, you might like to try a freeware program that has made all of us much happier. It is called xplorer2, and works much like Windows Explorer, only better.(You will still have Windows Explorer there to fall back on, if you must.)You can, for example, see two directories worth of files at a time, and drag and drop between them: much more efficient for transfering files to a removeable disk, say. There is a pay version of the program, but the free one seems fine and appeals more to the Scottish historians among us. The legal affairs department here at What's Up reminds us to remind you that we accept no responsibility for anything that happens on your computer. But we have used this program long enough to like and trust it. If you are interested in learning more, click here.
The approximately ten thousand cartoons in the British Cartoon Collection at the Library of Congress date largely from the period 1780 to 1830, an era dominated by the prodigious talents and prolific efforts of such famous caricaturists as James Gillray and George Cruikshank. The cartoons highlight aspects of British political life, including tensions with its colonies and other nations, as well as society, fashion, manners, theater, and all things scatalogical. See the collection at

Monday, November 01, 2004

Call for Papers: Symposium on Book Culture Studies, sponsored by the Canadian Association for the Study of Book Culture, will be held at the University of Western Ontario in conjunction with the annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, May 31-June 1, 2005. The conference theme is Inside & Outside: the material book in cultural and literary contexts. The organizers define “book culture” broadly to refer to studies in the history of the book, literary and cultural history, historical bibliography, etc., and will consider papers on all periods and places, and are looking for works that contribute to the study of written communication by any writer, in any medium, language or genre. Proposals should be a maximum of 250 words and include a title and abstract, indicating the research basis of the study as well as the argument. Papers may be in French or English and should not exceed 20 minutes. Please forward proposals by February 1st to Prof. Robert Brazeau, Dept. of English and Film Studies, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E5,
Keith Carlson and Brendan Edwards recently returned from Chicago where they each presented a paper as part of a panel on "Literacy in Indigenous Worlds" at the Annual Conference of the American Society for Ethnohistory. Meanwhile, Gordon DesBrisay just returned from the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference in Toronto, where he provided the comment for a session on "Speech Crime and the Negotiation of Community in Early Modern Scotland".
Almna Report: Ellen Crumley (BA, 94) writes that her undergraduate training provided her with writing and critical thinking skills that have stood her in good stead. Professors De Brou, Swan, and Grogin, in particular, proved the making of her. Ellen went on to complete a Master’s degree in library sciences, and having worked for six years in the health sciences industry she hopes to commence work on her Ph.D. in 2005. Congratulations, Ellen, and very best wishes for your future studies.