The Difference Between a Local Historian and an Academic Historian

Local history is a very democratic kind of practice, drawing on community histories (e.g., in the local history collections of our branch libraries), family history, genealogy and oral history. The best local history relies on meticulous and careful use of original and secondary sources as well as ongoing discussion with professional historians. But local historians have limited resources. Not everyone has the money to get those letters behind the name. We do not have access to the records, the peer-review process, conferences and journals of the academic historian. We rely on sources and our works are published informally – on blogs, Facebook groups, etc. My peers are those who read my posts and blogs and respond. And I am very grateful to you. But I rely on sources and sources are not always right.

Leslieville Roots: The Roothams

I wonder how many in our neighbourhood have Red Seal builders in their family trees? There is a small clue in this rather mundane article from the Toronto Star of October 25, 1917. Lewis Rootham was a contractor who built many of the houses on the lower of Woodfield, Connaught and neighbouring streets. But heContinue reading “Leslieville Roots: The Roothams”

Balmy Beach Postcards

By Joanne Doucette I love collecting these old postcards. Most are from my collection though some are no longer in my file of old fragile paper things. Due to the rarity many go from that drawer in my desk to libraries and archives. Some I also give away as Christmas stocking stuffers for friends. IContinue reading “Balmy Beach Postcards”

George Leslie: Let’s go to the Ex

By Joanne Doucette George Leslie was also one of the founders of the “Ex” – the Provincial Exhibition, forerunner of the Canadian National Exhibition (C.N.E.).  He showed his seeds there in 1858 and continued to exhibit over the years, winning many prizes. When the Provincial Exhibition incorporated in 1879 George Leslie Jr. was one ofContinue reading “George Leslie: Let’s go to the Ex”