Today is Day 2 of #9DaysofHalloween at ARC!

Today’s spooky #CollectionHighlight is Brenda Lee-Whiting’s The Way it Was in the Ottawa Valley (1992). This book is part of the Ottawa Resource Collection that is now located in ARC.

Lee-Whiting’s book displays her collection of photographs from the Ottawa Valley and explores the history and context behind them. The collection of photographs come from Brenda Lee-Whiting herself, newspapers, or were submitted by the public to Lee-Whiting as a supplement to her published writing.

Chapter 23 “Gone But Not Forgotten” in the book highlights gravestones in the Ottawa Valley. The photographs display “funerary art” and memorial artistry of the 19th century.

Craftspeople engraved symbolic images on gravestones such as a pair of clasped hands to reflect the loss of a wife or husband, a lamb to reflect the death of a child, a dove to reflect the death of the young or innocent, and a hand with an index finger pointing to the sky to emphasize the route to heaven. As well, people would often have identifiers on their gravestones to reflect their nationality or home country.

A great source about local Ottawa history and the history of commemoration and memorialization.

Call number: OTTR FC 2775 L434.