Canadian Medical Corps military badge

This military badge is from the Canadian Medical Corps worn on a Nursing Sister uniform by Maud Stirling, a First World War Nursing Sister. This artefact is one of more than 3,000 artefacts currently available on the Huron County Museum’s online collection.

by student Museum Assistant Jacob Smith

As a final year history student, I have grown accustomed to spending several hours preparing and writing essays. This is an important skill that takes years of practice. If you are developing an essay that is based on local history, the Huron County Museum & Historic Gaol has several resources that can aid you in your studies.

The first research tool is the Huron County Museum & Historic Gaol’s online collection, which can be found here. This is a database where the public can view over 5,000 artifacts and archival materials in the Museum’s collection. This tool provides background information on the artifacts, such as its provenance, dimensions, and past owners, and allows viewers to examine objects that are not currently on display. Examples of objects currently available in the collection include textiles, tools, personal items, furniture, photographs, documents, and much more.

Another excellent research tool is the Huron County Museum’s Digitized Newspapers. Here, researchers can glance at newspapers dating from the mid-1800s to the late-2010s. This database is free, easy to use, and accessible from the comfort of your own home! The digitized newspapers provide a vast wealth of information, ranging from local news and gossip, fashion, and global affairs.

The Huron County Museum & Historic Gaol also has an extensive archives collection. Here, researchers can locate coroner’s inquests, assessment rolls, court records, voter’s lists, and many more. By booking an appointment with the Archivist, researchers have access to a vast collection of resources, and a knowledgeable staff member to assist you.

World War I propaganda poster from the Huron County Museum’s digitized newspaper database

This World War I propaganda poster was found through the Huron County Museum’s digitized newspaper database (Source: The Exeter Advocate, 1918-8-22, Page 2).

A bonus resource! is a helpful tool that allows people to research, share information, and connect with others. Sources such as military death, and census records, images, and family trees. This source requires a paid subscription, but often has free trials that allows researchers to access its extensive content. Researchers can also access Ancestry Library Edition free from home until Dec. 31, 2020 with a Huron County Library card.

While writers may feel overwhelmed at the thought of composing a research essay, there are helpful resources close to home or even accessible without leaving home. With the Huron County Museum and Historic Gaol’s resources, writers have the exposure to a wealth of extensive resources, which are readily available from your personal computer. Keep these resources in mind when you are composing your research essay.