History for a New Year

Young girl with doll

Young girl with doll

 Well it’s a new year and I’m looking forward to great one. I have no complaints about 2011 but January is a wonderful time to look forward and … backward. For some reason I am more immersed in the past with my projects and my work than ever. My own book is coming along. I am in the process of identifying the pictures that suit the text in readiness for the layout artist to work with. This means finding examples of antique lighting, furniture, mill work, wallpaper and everything else that constitutes the restoration and decorating of a heritage house. The period I am working on right now involves early 20th century Edwardian houses – houses that were built between 1906 and 1919. I have already completed the Victorian portion of the book. Another project I have on the go is as the Chair of our local historical society’s Historic Book committee. I have spent the last few days reading a draft of the book that was written for us by Ken Tingley, a well known historical writer and our city’s first historian laureate. Through his stories and research I have been transported to the early days of our community’s 100 year old history and I have been finding it fascinating. My Wednesday evenings are spent talking to students in my Art History class. I have been doing a lot of extra research about 20th century avant garde design and art movements and have come to appreciate modern art. And finally, a very good friend of mine has been consumed with genealogical research on her family tree and I have agreed to go to the free sessions on geneology that our local library is offering. My paternal ancestors have been in Canada since the mid 1600’s and my maternal ancestors since the early 1700’s. However perhaps I can now learn how to read all the graphs that are included in the books written on these lineages. Am I alone in this fixation on the past? Any kindred spirits out there?