The society meets monthly from September to May inclusive to hear and to discuss individual papers about personalities, places and events integral to the history of Nova Scotia at the Public Archives of Nova Scotia. Society lectures are open to the public and are completely free. Lectures are usually followed by refreshments.
Unless otherwise indicated, our meetings are 7:30 p.m. Wednesday evenings at the Public Archives of Nova Scotia, 6016 University Avenue, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

RNSHS Public Lecture – Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 — 7:30 p.m., Nova Scotia Archives

Leprosy in Cape Breton — 1852–1907

Dr. Kenneth Murray, Family Physician, Neil’s Harbour

 In the 1850’s a very unusual disease appeared in two separate communities of Inverness County, Cape Breton. The disease spread slowly in localized areas causing significant disfigurement and a number of deaths. Some speculated this was leprosy. Others disagreed. It wasn’t until after the 1880’s that outside medical researchers visited to examine some of the victims. Was this leprosy? Was this another disease? Where did it come from and how did it get there? How did the community and the government respond? How was it contained? Were the measures implemented by health authorities effective? This presentation will examine these questions.

Click here for a bio of Kenneth Murray.

RNSHS Public Lecture – Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Wednesday, April 18, 2018 — 7:30 p.m., Nova Scotia Archives

The Citadel on Stage

Alex Boutilier

 Alex Boutilier’s 2015 book, The Citadel on Stage, is a lively and entertaining social history. While it is a biography of the people of Halifax during the colonial era, it is also the story of the British army and Royal navy in a garrison town, and a study of the relationship of politics, religion, economics, and culture, as well as social activities in pre‐confederation Halifax. It also traces British military theatre, sports, and recreation in colonial Halifax.

Click here for a bio of Alex Boutilier.

RNSHS Public Lecture – Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 — 7:30 p.m., Nova Scotia Archives

Medicine at the Fortress of Louisbourg: Trauma, Disease, and Cultural Influences

Jeannette Verleun and Dr. Carly MacLellan, Dalhousie University

 In early 1700s Europe, surgery and medicine were separate professions. Advances in combat medicine led to changes in civilian medicine as well as system practices. In Nova Scotia, French explorers had been in contact with the Mi’kmaq since the 1500s through at least the 18th century. Accounts show that the Mi’kmaq and French colonists relied on each other for aspects of health care. In 1713, the Fortress of Louisbourg was established and a formal health care system was developed at the fort. Using primary sources, published data from the Government in Canada, and historical journal articles, this paper will explore the structure of the medical system at Louisbourg between 1713 and 1758 in the context of cultural influences.

Click here for brief biographies of the speakers.