Research and Collections

Research and Collections

2012 Publications



By Mauro Peressini and Rachel Beauvoir-Dominique
November 2012, ISBN 978-0-660-20259-4
108 pages, 67 images, 15 x 15 cm, paperback
Includes $15 in Museum coupons plus savings on Membership
$9.95 (also in French)

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Over 300 stunning Vodou artifacts from the internationally recognized Marianne Lehmann Collection are at the heart of Vodou. The exhibition demystifies a spiritual tradition that remains very much alive in Haiti and among Haitians abroad. Shaped by a history of slavery, oppression and resistance, Haitian Vodou is far removed from the myths manufactured by Hollywood. It is both a spirituality and a cultural movement that celebrates the past and present of the Haitian people. This souvenir catalogue contains over 60 beautiful photographs capturing the vibrancy of the artifacts featured in the exhibition, alongside insightful text that reveals the enduring appeal of this complex spirituality.

Mauro Peressini is Curator, Southwest Europe and Latin America, at the Canadian Museum of Civilization (CMC). He holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Montréal. His research has focused on immigration in Canada, sociocultural identities, multiculturalism and, more recently, religions in Canada. His past exhibitions at the CMC include Presenza: A New Look at Italian-Canadian Heritage, Pompeii and The Greeks.

Rachel Beauvoir-Dominique is an anthropologist and a founding member of the Fondation pour la préservation, la valorisation et la production d’oeuvres culturelles haïtiennes and other organizations with related goals. She is the co-author, with Didier Dominique, of Savalou E, winner of the Casa de las Américas Prize. She has also authored L’ancienne cathédrale de Port-au-Prince : perspectives d’un vestige de carrefours, as well as many articles. A professor at the University of Haiti, she has served as director of the Department of Anthropology and Sociology, and head of the Culture section of the Vice-Rectorate of Research. She helped present the European versions of the Vodou exhibition and contributes her expertise to many international conferences.

A Cultural History of the Nurse’s Uniform

A Cultural History of the Nurse’s Uniform
By Christina Bates
November 2012, ISBN 978-0-660-20184-9
284 pages, 153 images, 22 x 27 cm, paperback
$39.95 (also in French)

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Read a Chapter > (PDF file, 5.5 Mb)

Winner of the 2013 Millia Davenport Publication Award, presented by the Costume Society of America.

This first and only in-depth analysis of the attire worn by the largest workforce in the health care system explores the role of the nurse’s uniform in creating nursing identity for over a hundred years.

The introduction of the nurse’s uniform in the late nineteenth century was part of a strategy to legitimize North America’s first nursing schools. At first varied and experimental in design, by the early twentieth century the uniform was drawing on elements of fashionable, scientific, military and ecclesiastical wear, and had standardized into a blue or pink dress worn with stiffly starched white cap, bib and apron. This remarkable outfit lasted until the 1970s, when educational and societal changes brought about its demise, and practical scrubs became the most common nursing apparel. Seen through the lens of age, gender, class and race, this book shows how the uniform was an active participant in the changing culture of nursing work and thought.

Richly illustrated with images of actual garments and over 150 compelling period photographs, cartoons and drawings, the book’s ten chapters explore the uniform within the contexts of hospital, community, nursing school and residence. A Cultural History of the Nurse’s Uniform will appeal to nurses, historians and scholars of dress.

“Uniforms are rich in meaning, and Christina Bates does an excellent job of teasing out those meanings. Wisely, she has concentrated on the evidence of actual artifacts, as well as a wide variety of visual and written sources. This spirited and scholarly book makes a significant contribution to the study of dress and society.”
Jane Farrell-Beck, Professor Emerita, Iowa State University

“This is a very important book that places the nurse’s uniform in the cultural context of school, residence and practice settings. The role of the uniform in nurses’ identity is an aspect of nursing that has never before been fully considered. A must-read for historians of nursing. A Cultural History of the Nurse’s Uniform will bring back memories for nurses who wore the uniform, and will provide insight to those nurses who came after.”
Dr. Meryn Stuart, retired Associate Professor in the School of Nursing and Director of the AMS Nursing History Research Unit, University of Ottawa

“Well laid out, packed with keen information. I am just so pleased to add this to our library archives for the Fashion History Museum…. This is such an important contribution to the history of Canada.”
Kenn Norman, The Fashion History Museum

Christina Bates is the curator for the History of Canadian Home Life at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Her work on nursing history began in 1999, with the creation of the Canadian Nursing History Collection. In 2005, she was chief curator of the exhibition, A Caring Profession: Centuries of Nursing in Canada and co-editor of On All Frontiers: Four Centuries of Canadian Nursing.

Four Wars of 1812

Four Wars of 1812
By D. Peter MacLeod
June 2012, ISBN 978-1-77100-050-5
96 pages, 20 x 21.5 cm, paperback
$19.95 (also in French)
Trade orders: Douglas & McIntyre

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There is more than one side to every story. In the War of 1812, there were four. For Canadians, the War of 1812 was about American invasions. For Americans, it was about standing up to the British. For the British, it was an irritating sideshow to the Napoleonic Wars raging in Europe. And for Native Americans, whose presence in the war is too often forgotten, it was a desperate struggle for freedom and independence as they fought to defend their homelands.

Canadians and Americans have used the War of 1812 as a source for nation-building narratives, centred on their stories of the war. But all four groups fought and remembered their own War of 1812. Written to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the infamous war’s outbreak, this beautifully designed volume recasts the conflict as a war of four perspectives—and four stories.

Including extensive images from the Canadian War Museum’s vast collection, and text by distinguished historian Peter MacLeod, this fascinating and rich volume presents a new view of a crucial event in North American history.

D. Peter MacLeod is the pre-Confederation historian at the Canadian War Museum, where he curated the exhibition 1812. A longstanding student of eighteenth-century Canada, he is the author of The Canadian Iroquois and the Seven Years’ War and Northern Armageddon: The Battle of the Plains of Abraham. He lives in Ottawa, Ontario.

Maya: Secrets of Their Ancient World
By Justin Jennings, Martha Cuevas García and Roberto López Bravo
April 2012, ISBN 978-0-660-20188-7
72 pages, 65 images, 8” x 5”, paperback
$7.95 (also in French)

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Shrouded in mystery for centuries, the culture of the ancient Maya is finally being revealed. This book, like its companion exhibition, presents a captivating and up-to-date synopsis of this storied civilization which rose to incredible heights a thousand years ago in Mesoamerica, then mysteriously faded away. Discover grand pyramids that were built for the gods but abandoned in the jungle wilderness. Learn about divine rulers, deadly rituals, and the realities of everyday life. Marvel at timekeeping and writing systems that have intrigued and tested generations of scholars. This authoritative, 72-page volume features over 60 full-colour images of outstanding artifacts.

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