Canadian Museum of Civilization curator tells all in ‘urban biography’ of Charlottetown

June 18, 2009

Canadian Museum of Civilization curator tells all in ‘urban biography’ of Charlottetown

Gatineau, Quebec, June 16, 2009 — A new ‘urban biography’ by Canadian Museum of Civilization curator Dr. Peter Rider shows there’s an enormous amount of history — and character — packed into Canada’s smallest provincial capital. Charlottetown: A History, by the Museum’s distinguished Atlantic Provinces Historian, chronicles the community’s remarkable life over the 140 years, from incorporation in 1855 to amalgamation in 1995.

The book’s launch at Charlottetown City Hall today is the culmination of a 30-year project through which Dr. Rider explored the major themes and minor facets of the community’s history. As the Birthplace of Confederation and, for more than a century, the only urban centre on predominantly rural Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.), Charlottetown has thrived with singular advantages and struggled with unique challenges.

Charlottetown: A History shows how P.E.I.’s capital has been shaped by its population, political and social life, urban landscape and economic events,” says Dr. Victor Rabinovitch, President of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation. “I want to congratulate Dr. Rider on his captivating urban biography of Charlottetown’s past.”

Dr. Rider is retiring this month after 30 years as the Museum of Civilization’s Atlantic Provinces Historian. In that time, he has curated numerous exhibitions, including Souvenirs of Canada (1994), Timeless Treasures: The Story of Dolls in Canada (2000) and the award-winning, multi-institutional project Lifelines: Canada’s East Coast Fisheries (2001). An Adjunct Professor of History at the University of Ottawa, former Editor-in-Chief of Material History Review, and Associate Editor of Urban History Review, Dr. Rider has published extensively, and co-edited A Kingdom of the Mind: The Scots’ Impact on the Development of Canada (2006).

Charlottetown: A History is co-published by the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Prince Edward Island Museum and Heritage Foundation. It is available for sale in the Canadian Museum of Civilization Boutique.

The Museum is Canada’s largest and most popular cultural institution, attracting over 1.2 million visitors each year. The Canadian Museum of Civilization’s principal role is to preserve and promote the heritage of Canada. The Museum is a major centre for research and public information on the social and human history of the country contributing to the enhancement of Canadian identity.

Media Information:

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Canadian Museum of Civilization
Tel.: 819 776-7167

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Canadian Museum of Civilization
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Fax: 819 776-7187