For many students, the idea of assembling and presenting a history project that involves original research is a daunting prospect. It would be so great if you had an expert to turn to — someone who could help you find primary documents, recommend new books on your topic or even be willing to be interviewed on camera — wouldn’t it?
Well, now you do.
This year we are proud to introduce two individuals who have volunteered to act as our official National Capital History Day liaisons: Dr. Matthew Bellamy of Carleton University and Ms. Romaine Honey, a librarian who specializes in local history and genealogy at the Ottawa Public Library.
Bellamy is an award-winning associate professor of history at Carleton and was a finalist in TVO’s “best lecturer” competition in 2009. Not only can he be consulted about topics in Canadian political, economic, business and cultural history, but he can also introduce students and their teachers to history colleagues who can assist students looking for information on other topics.
For example, if a student was working on an exhibit about Frederick Banting but wasn’t sure how to find relevant primary documents, he or she could contact Prof. Bellamy and he could put the student in touch with a Carleton historian who would be able to suggest places to look.
Or perhaps a student is shooting a documentary about ancient Rome, but needs an expert willing to go on camera and discuss the topic — Prof. Bellamy can introduce the student to a historian who is willing to help out.
Or maybe a student is working on a website and wants to make sure that they’ve read the latest historical work on his or her topic before coming to any conclusions for the site. Again, Prof. Bellamy can give that student a contact number or email address for a Carleton historian who could suggest the best reading material.
Prof. Bellamy came to our teacher info session a few weeks ago and had a chance to speak to some of the teachers who will be supervising student projects this year.
“I had a wonderful time meeting the high-school history teachers and I am excited about this year’s work on ‘leadership and legacy,’ ” says Prof. Bellamy. “I had the pleasure to meet several teachers after my talk and they were inspiring — each of them was passionate, dedicated and professional. I know that with their guidance, we are going to see some amazing projects. If I can be of any help to any of them or their students, please do not hesitate to contact me.”
But that’s not all. Students and teachers may also contact librarian Romaine Honey at the Ottawa Public Library, too. Ms. Honey holds a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from Carleton and Master of Library Science from the University of Western Ontario and she’s a veteran reference librarian at both government and public libraries.
She can help with:
• Historical newspapers, digitized and/or microfilm (e.g. Globe and Mail, 1844 to date; Ottawa Journal 1885 – 1990; Ottawa Citizen 1840s – to date)
• Historical print periodical collection
• Census publications 1921 – 2011
• Online subscription databases for secondary research, e.g. Academic OneFile, Canadian Newsstand, Canadian Periodical Index, Canadian Points of View, Ancestry
• Ottawa Room local history collection, e.g. historical collection of published materials on Ottawa area; municipal documents; maps
And she can also assist students who would like to use the Imagine Space at the library’s Nepean Centrepointe branch, where they can get help in laser cutting, professional-level video, audio, and photo editing, green screens and even a 3D printer!
If that’s not enough, Ms. Honey is also willing to arrange special tours of the library’s facilities for any teacher who would like to take a class trip to explore research tools for National Capital History Day projects. Not only can she show you where to find the best material for your research, but she can also tailor your class visit to the topic you’re exploring. Need primary documents? She’s got them. Need secondary sources for context? She’s got those, too.
Teachers who would like to set up a class trip or students who would like research assistance can contact Ms. Honey by email at romaine.honey [at] BiblioOttawaLibrary.ca.
National Capital History Day would like to thank Prof. Bellamy and Ms. Honey for their generous support of our students and teachers — with their guidance, we are sure to see some excellent projects in this year’s competition.