Council of Nova Scotia Archives

Halifax Public Libraries

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Greetings from Confederation Halifax!

Halifax in the 1860's was a bustling Victorian seaport city, with a thriving import and manufacturing economy, and a dedicated public interest in providing more accessible services, such as clean water, firefighting stations, hospitals and schools, all with a watchful eye to the unfolding American Civil War in the south.

In 1861, the Census of Nova Scotia reported Halifax City had a population of 25,026, with an additional 23,995 in the rest of the County. The total population in Nova Scotia was 330,857 and growing!

While it was a decade of growth, it was also a decade of change, with a significant decision to make — should Nova Scotia join with the other provinces in Confederation?

Many of the public services and heritage buildings we know today were present during this very public and very divisive political debate for and against union.

Join us in exploring how Confederation left its mark on the City and the County with this virtual walking tour featuring early 20th Century postcards from the Halifax Public Libraries Library and Community Archives database.

Halifax Public Libraries is an evolving reflection of the community it lives in. Through 14 branches, a suite of online resources, and tailored community outreach, the Library serves a population of approximately 400,000 in the Halifax region, from Hubbards to Sheet Harbour. Our collection consists of over 1 million items — including books, magazines, DVDs, CDs and downloadable audiobooks, eBooks and videos.

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Resources used for the Community Album are available in the Local History Room, at the Halifax Central Library branch. This reference collection focuses on the history of Halifax Regional Municipality, Nova Scotia and the Atlantic region, including historic newspapers, city directories, 20th century maps and genealogical databases. Explore more historic postcards on the Library and Community Archives database, or ask a local history or genealogical question through Ask a Librarian services.


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