Newfoundland and Labrador
Heritage now on Internet
By Janet Bishop. Gazette
November 27, 1997. Copyright © 1997, The Gazette. Reprinted with permission. The Gazette can be reached on the web at
An ambitious and exciting history project was launched at Memorial this week.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage Website was
officially opened by Lt.-Gov. Dr. Max House at a press
conference Nov. 25.
The aim of the site is to make available
to high school and university students as well
as the general public a wide range of information
on the history, culture and geography of the province.
The initial idea for the project came out of discussions
between Dr. Jaap Tuinman, vice president (academic),
Dr. Terrence Murphy, dean of arts, and the C. R. Bronfman
Foundation, a national organization dedicated to the promotion
and preservation of Canadian history and heritage.
Dr. Murphy then approached the Smallwood Centre
For Newfoundland Studies to take responsibility for the
project. They agreed and this past February, the
Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage Website was born.
The site has been developed by members of the
Faculty of Arts, many of whom are and will be
contributors to the site. But Dr. Jim Hiller, History,
is quick to point out that that will change.
"Although up to now most of the activity has been in the arts faculty, it is going to spread to other faculties," said Dr. Hiller, academic coordinator
of the project. "Over time it will also include community groups and schools."
Funding for the project came from a variety of sources -
the C. R. Bronfman Foundation, the Faculty of Arts, Parks
Canada, the Smallwood Centre as well as private donations.
A coordinator, graphic artists, educational technologists,
MUCEP students and graduate students were then hired.
The site is made up of six major threads: Natural Environment,
Aboriginal Peoples, Exploration and Settlement, Law and Government,
Society and the Arts. Each of these threads then diversifies into a
large number of smaller threads. Said project manager Vince Walsh:
"Hopefully those six threads will be able to encompass any and all issues pertinent to our heritage and history."
Any information on the site is thoroughly checked for accuracy,
completeness and accessibility.
"There's a lot of falsehoods out there on the Internet," said
Mr. Walsh. "So we want to make sure that what's actually being said is accurate."
Dr. Hiller also pointed out that the site is very user-friendly
and everyone is welcome to use it. "It is designed for the general public; it is not a scholarly website in the sense that it is designed for use by academics. It's designed for use by anyone."
The Heritage Website is a pilot project of the C. R. Bronfman
Foundation's Canada 2000 initiative which will eventually lead to
other similar sites in 2,000 neighbourhoods across Canada. Dr. Tom
Axworthy of the C. R. Bronfman Foundation attended the press conference.
The site has an attractive format, combining text and graphics as
well as audio and video material. The aim is to have the site
substantially completed by December 2000.
Dr. Murphy feels that the economic and educational potential
of the site is enormous. "We have had people from as far away as Denmark and Australia log onto the site,"
he said. "As of Nov. 25 we have had 17,000 people visit the site."
Check out the Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage Website at
Sidebar updated April, 2007.