Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Breakfast for ConstitutioNerds

We are amused.

Wednesday morning I'm honoured to be joining a group of constitutional history geeks for a breakfast at the University of Toronto. This is about as nerdy-historyist as I can imagine: the event.celebrates the 150th anniversary of royal assent to the British North America Act, 1867. (March 29 was a Friday that year.)  Should be fun.

The rest of you, celebrate in your own fashion.

Update, same day.  I learned over brecky about  -- crowd sourced constitutional publishing.  A consortium of scholars has undertaken to scan and place online all the texts of all the "confederation debates"  -- every official discussion not just of confederation 1867 but also of every province later joining or not joining confederation, and of each treaty negotiated with and by First Nations. The crowd sourcing part is that volunteers are invited to transcribe the texts that are now available online into searchable digital text, which will then become a permanent searchable database.

Now, of course, another way to mark Canada150 would be to have your university or institution invite me to give my "Living Tree" lecture, as McMaster is doing next week.  Slots for the fall still available.

Quality of the bacon-and-eggs conversation:  I was recommended two must read recent books over breakfast, neither of them specifically about Canada or confederation. I found when I returned home that the Toronto Public Library (a more reliable source than University of Toronto Libraries, I have learned in recent years) has both books available only as non-circulating reference titles. And Chapters/Indigo only lists one of them available for order in hardcopy form.  That's sophisticated.

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