Genealogical Association of N.S. email@example.com
West Hants Historical Society firstname.lastname@example.org
Heritage Association of Antigonish email@example.com
East Hants Historical Society firstname.lastname@example.org
Maritime Institute for Civil Society email@example.com
Over a period of some 24 years, between 1864 and 1888, the cartographer, Ambrose F. Church,1 published topographic maps for all 18 counties of Nova Scotia. What is uniquely valuable about these maps was Mr. Church's efforts to map the precise geographical location and surname of each household and workplace in the province. Once digitized and geo-referenced, the maps can be used to pinpoint latitudes and longitudes for the locations of these households and workplaces. The maps were widely distributed at the time, and copies were provided to each of the public schools in the province. We know that copies were also held in private hands, often remaining now in attics or back rooms.
This legacy project is aimed at physically restoring and preserving one complete set of the A. F. Church Maps, and digitizing them at very high quality. The physical restoration would be done by a map conservator (Canadian Association of Professional Conservators), and the intent, at this time, is to preserve them on rice paper. By first physically restoring a set of maps, the digitization project would have a scanning base at near original production quality.
At this point, we are only aware of three large collections: one at the Nova Scotia Museum, one at the Nova Scotia Archives, and one at the Centre of Geographic Sciences. While these are each significant collections, none of them are complete. A number of local heritage groups have one of the maps for their area, but rarely more than that. More importantly, though, many of the maps in these holdings are only of fair or poor quality. We are appealing, therefore, to the people of Nova Scotia to help us assemble a collection of the best remaining maps still in existence in an effort to assemble a single complete set which can be physically restored.
This map restoration is part of a larger project to develop an historical geo-genealogy using these maps. The first step, though, is to obtain a complete set of maps and get them preserved. If you can help with an original map, or in any other way, please contact any of the organizations listed above.
1. Ferguson, Charles Bruce. (1969-70). "Ambrose F. Church, Map-Maker." (11.8 MB) Dalhousie Review: Vol. 49, No. 4, 505-516.