Saint Mary's University home to 50 years of newspaper clippings
Lynn Jones African-Canadian and Diaspora Heritage Collection open to the public
Nova Scotia activist Lynn Jones has collected newspaper clippings for 50 years.
Those now have a home in the archives at the library of Saint Mary's University, as the Lynn Jones African-Canadian and Diaspora Heritage Collection.
Eighteen boxes full of history are now accessible to the public. The boxes are being inventoried at the university so its contents can be part of an online searchable database called MemoryNS.
Nelson Mandela's election
Dozens of categories are featured in the collection, such as Nova Scotia black leadership, environmental racism and Nova Scotia black communities.
The collection also includes a ballot from the 1994 South African election that made Nelson Mandela president. Jones was a Canadian election observer in South Africa.
Jones grew up in Truro watching family and community members collect newspaper articles.
'Very rarely in the news'
She started building her collection at eight years old, when she got to cut her picture out of the newspaper. Since the 1960s, she has saved thousands of clippings of local, national and international African news, as well as other historical material.
"Always was there was a connection to the black community, no matter what," Jones said.
It was exciting to Jones when black people were mentioned in the paper because "African people, we're very rarely in the news."
She kept the newspapers in her home to avoid them being destroyed.
Space became limited to her growing collection, so she turned to Val Johnson, a historian at the university who got it into the archive.
"This is an incredible opportunity for Saint Mary's, for our students, for our faculty, for researchers and for the community," Johnson said.
People are encouraged to use the archive for research or to find family history. Another professor at Saint Mary's, Benita Bunjun, is already using obituaries from the archive in her class.
Jones will no longer be clipping news articles, but she said she'll likely still save the odd article or two.