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About Claude Bélanger

Newfoundland Web Resources

Claude Bélanger,

Department of History,
Marianopolis College

[If there are scholarly web resources that are not included in this list, let me know by sending me a message to this address:]

Anglicans in Newfoundland and Labrador. More than twenty original documents touching on the history of Anglicanism in Newfoundland from the early period to the late XIXth century are made available by the department of religious studies of Memorial University.

Canadian Encyclopedia. This is a first class encyclopedia about all things Canadian. It calls itself "The most comprehensive and authoritative source of information on all things Canadian". In several respects, this is true. A subject index makes it possible to investigate at length a particular topic. Or you can use the search feature to find all instances where a word or a person appears. It works flawlessly. There are links between articles so you can follow an issue or a person in their ramification. We are fortunate to have such a resource available free on the web. There is much to be found about Newfoundland here and many links in the texts of this site were made to it.

Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Since late 2003, the full Dictionary has been placed on the web. It is an extraordinary resource, relying on experts in the field and highly scholarly. In some respects, the web version is better and easier to use than the book version. There is a well functioning search feature. It delivers all the articles where the name searched appears. One click and you are there. The articles vary in length, depending on how important the individual was, and all have a bibliography for further research. Important Canadians that died before 1920 are included; many of them were involved with Newfoundland. Two drawbacks: the articles were scanned from the original books, so mistakes of various types are found and will need to be corrected. As well, links between articles have not been made. Nevertheless, we are all in debt to the editors who have given permission for this reproduction. Many links from the texts at my site are made to the Dictionary.

Dictionary of Newfoundland English. This is the full edition of the great book. What we have here is an extraordinary tool to appreciate the richness of the language and culture of Newfoundlanders.

Documents of Newfoundland and Labrador History. The site has an extensive collection of documents, with an emphasis on political and constitutional issues. The documents are regrouped by issue/subject to facilitate analysis. However, there is also a master list where they are presented chronologically, so that a period could be examined. The work is well done and reliable.

Doug May's Website. May teaches economics at Memorial University. Some of the content of the site is on general economic issues; however, he has a variety of texts that discuss Newfoundland's economy.

Early Canada Online. This phenomenal digital library was put together by the Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions in cooperation with Heritage Canada and the National Library of Canada. It has over 8,500 volumes that are digitally reproduced. Each page of the original work becomes an image. Thus, to consult an entire volume is long and cumbersome but rewarding, as many of the works reproduced are exceedingly rare and would be, otherwise, of difficult access. A search engine is available that will answer queries. If Newfoundland is entered, it finds 678 matching titles and 3121 relevant pages. Much old and useful material can be found here. A part of the site is only accessible by subscription but there is a great deal open to everyone.

1880's Newfoundland: A Pictorial. Simeon H. Parsons' pictures of Newfoundland are reproduced at this site. He was a professional photographer who visited large areas of Newfoundland and Labrador in the early 1880's taking pictures as he went. The collection is phenomenal, unique in its genre in Canada. The images posted are excellent. There are hundreds of pictures available for examination.

Family History Society of Newfoundland and Labrador . Interesting links to material of use to the historian.

Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. The usual kind of things found here. Not very much of an historical nature available here.

Historical Directory of Newfoundland and Labrador Newspapers. Listed alphabetically are the newspapers that have been published in Newfoundland since the beginning. It has been compiled by the staff of Memorial University's libraries. The site does not offer merely just a list: for all major papers, it provides a history of the paper and of its editors. Comments are made on the main ideas put forward by the papers. It also provides a list of holdings for these newspapers. There is an excellent index and a search feature. Much Newfoundland history is available here and we only wish that such a resource was found for all provinces..

History of Memorial University of Newfoundland. Melvin Baker has made available material tracing the history of the University. The site is divided by decades, and within decades by years. The material is of a varied nature but the type of material that can be found is not always consistent throughout the decades. Several biographies are done but not always easy to find unless you use the search feature, which unfortunately does not always work.

History of Newfoundland. The Schoolnet Digital Collection has made available Daniel Prowse's classic book on Newfoundland history. Until recently, this was the standard reference for work on Newfoundland history. It is still useful, full of details, and interesting to read. The site has a name and subject index with links to the appropriate page, rendering consultation easy and useful. This is work very well done.

History of the Northern Cod Fisheries. Shannon Ryan put together a team to complete a project of providing a history of the cod trade in Newfoundland. This unpretentious site is a great resource to follow an essential aspect of Newfoundland history.

John Fitzgerald's Home Page. He is a professor at the Department of History of Memorial University. He offers interesting studies that particularly focus on the history of Catholicism in Newfoundland. These are drawn from the Newfoundland Quarterly. Fitzgerald is currently the president of the Canadian Catholic Historical Association.

Maritime History Archive at Memorial University. Beautifully laid out site giving easy access to the material. The site provides much more than the title suggests. A good deal of social history material is available here.

Melvin Baker's Home Page. This is the site to visit to learn about Newfoundland History. Professor Baker teaches at Memorial University. Over the years, he has published dozens of articles about various aspects of Newfoundland History in the Newfoundland Quarterly. Many of these articles are now reproduced at his website. Lacking in iconography but makes up in thoroughness and seriousness. There is an excellent section on the history of St. John's and much discussion about such things as Confederation, the Newfoundland Fisherman's Protective Union, Joseph Smallwood, etc.

Newfoundland and Confederation. This is the National Library's page on Confederation. It presents a survey of the discussions from 1864, with emphasis on the period of 1946-1949.

Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage. This is the most important resource for Newfoundland history. Dozens of academics, most from Memorial University, have contributed their knowledge and expertise to construct and enrich this site. There are literally hundreds of pages divided into categories (Environment, aboriginals, culture, politics, the arts, etc.). The pages are well designed, attractive, and their content is highly reliable. The iconography is rich; many maps and documents are made available. The style is easy to follow, written for students in late high school or undergraduate levels. A search feature makes it easy to find all material related to a subject or an individual. However, this feature seems to frequently not work, returning an error message. Nevertheless, many links from the pages of my site were made to this site. Explore it; you will be handsomely rewarded.

Newfoundland and Labrador Genweb This is a very rich site, full of material for the historian and the genealogist. The site is a branch of the Canadian Genweb site. Incredibly detailed material may be found, although consultation is not so easy as there is no apparent search feature. Clicking on a link opens another window in the browser.

Newfoundland and the Great War. This is a part of the Newfoundland Heritage site and is accessible through that address as well as through this one. The site is deceptively extensive. It has the same assets and drawbacks as those of the main site.

Newfoundland's Grand Banks Genealogy Site. Exceedingly rich site in all kinds of information pertaining to Newfoundland. The site is mainly divided into 24 categories of uneven size. Most contain a great deal of material for the social historian. There is a search engine powered by Google to sort the material out.

Paul-Émile Miot, Photographer.Miot was an officer of the French navy who visited Newfoundland, and other areas in the vicinity, in the period of1857-1860. He took pictures that were reproduced in a variety of places. Dozens of these pictures are made available at this site.

Reader's Guide to the History of Newfoundland and Labrador to 1869. Professor Olaf Janzen of the Sir Wilfred Grenfell College of Corner Brook makes available 9 historiographical essays on aspects of Newfoundland history from the beginning to 1869. His purpose is to inform the student about the material available around some subjects (such as the Beothuks, the fisheries, the discoveries, etc.) and to evaluate the contribution of various authors. The work is excellent, scholarly and reliable.

Religion, Society and Culture in Newfoundland and Labrador. This is the site of Professor Hans Rollman of the Department of Religious Studies, Memorial University. The emphasis is historical and the content is scholarly. All the major denominations of Newfoundland have a section. They are not all of equal value, reflecting the extent of research carried out in the field. Rollman also has a page where he makes accessible old Newfoundland primary documents.


© 2004 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College