Our role as the Regimental Museum is to both capture and share the history of The Queen’s Own Rifles. Maintaining our physical exhibits at Casa Loma is a big part of how we share and hundreds of thousands of people come through out displays every year – many tourists from around the world. But realizing that many more people will never be able to visit our physical location, we felt it was important, like any other museum, to have an online presence and so we created this website in 2012. We followed that up with a Facebook Page, a Twitter account, and most recently our Flickr site for sharing our thousands of photographs.
Part of our challenge with the website was how to best present historical information from 1860 to the present. We opted for timelines. Don’t get too excited – these aren’t fancy java scripted timelines with awesome graphics and pop up info boxes. They are just a chronological listing of activities and milestones for the regiment. Sometimes we can provide links to further information or biographies of those noted. Sometimes we have some relevant photos to add in as well just to keep it from getting too dry. J
So where do we get the material to include? Great question with some good news/bad news answers. Prior to 1960 we have a number of histories of the regiment to draw from including LCol W.T. Barnard’s great work produced in 1960: Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, 1860-1960: One Hundred Years of Canada. Pdf versions of this and earlier histories of the regiment can be found on our Research page. There is a lot more to add but we certainly have covered quite a bit about the first hundred years – for the most part on timelines divided into 25 year periods.
From 1960 to 1970 the Regiment produced an annual Powerhorn – essentially a yearbook which captured a wide range of activities of the two regular force and one reserve battalion, the regimental depot, the cadet corps, the association and the Black Net. We have a dedicated volunteer (he also does our “This Day in History” or OTHDIH post on Facebook and Twitter) plodding through these volumes and adding details to the appropriate timeline.
And of course more recently, Charles McGregor has published a history of the regiment since 1960 and we’re using this to help fill out our timelines as time and resources permit. In each case we try our best to reference our source for the information we add to the timelines.
But why haven’t you included X on a timeline?!
Unless it’s your birthday, odds are we’re happy to include info you might have on our timelines, but we just haven’t got to them in our research OR we just don’t know about them. In particular we would love to have more info to include for the late 1950s and from 1970 to present. Deployments, training exercises, jumps, graduations, special postings, etc. Ideally we’d want the exact dates (so we can use in our OTDIH posts) but we could also include if you just have the month and the year. We’re not looking for full-fledged stories or even paragraphs – just a one liner.
And don’t let the idea of “history” turn you off sending in more recent information – everything that has already happened is by default, part of our history, even it was just yesterday. And the sooner we capture it, the more accurately it will be recorded. Our only exception to this is to record operational deployments only when they are completed.
If you have items to share you can post a comment below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you haven’t has a chance to look yet, do check out the existing information on our timelines!