Saturday, 7 December 2013

The 2014 Local History Buff's Holiday Gift Guide

Here is my fifth annual gift guide for the local history buff in your life !


There are books, of course. Lots and lost of books. For a number of titles new and old check out my Manitoba History Bookstore. Here are some newer titles !

The Patriotic Consensus  Unity, Morale, and the Second World War in Winnipeg by Dr.  Jody Perrun takes a look at what it was like in Winnipeg while World War II raged overseas. (To hear an interview with the author.)

The Roblin takes a look at the history of Adelaide Street's Roblin Hotel, Canada's last mens only hotel and beer parlour. (To hear an interview with the author.)

From the publishers of Canada's History magazine is Canada's Great War Album to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Canada's entry into the Great War.

The Winnipeg Architecture Foundation has added a new printed tour to their collection: University of Winnipeg Modern. That's now four pocket-sized paperbacks of their most popular walking tours, the others are Broadway Modern, Brutalist Architecture in Winnipeg and University of Manitoba Modern. Also, explore their collection of buttons and fridge magnets of iconic Winnipeg Buildings.

This is from 2013 but a book every Winnipegger should own. Imagining Winnipeg a collection of L. B. Foote's most interesting photographs of early Winnipeg, many never before published.

Also from 2013, Stuck in the Middle: Dissenting Views of Winnipeg. Journalist Barley Kives and photographer Bryan Scott take a tour of the highs and lows of everyday Winnipeg. (To hear an interview with the author.)

Also from 2013 is 300 Years of Beer: An Illustrated Guide to Brewing in Manitoba. Meticulously researched and full of many never before seen images of breweries and beer memorabilia from across Manitoba.

Still around is Russ Gourluck's 2012 offering: Silver Screens on the Prairies. Be sure to check out his previous works and pick them up before they're out of print. The Mosaic Village: An Illustrated History of Winnipeg’s North End and books on the Winnipeg Tribune, Eaton's and Portage Avenue.

Manitoba History is the quarterly journal of the Manitoba Historical Society and publishes three times per year. Single copies can be purchased at McNally Robinson, (check out the current edition), or It comes free with a membership in the MHS. Contact them about back copy sales.

No more snickering because The Beaver is now called Canada's History Magazine. They also publish Kayak: Canadian History for Kids. Both are produced right here in Winnipeg !


It's Winnipeg. It's winter. It's gonna get cold. Who wouldn't want an HBC blanket ? If that's a little pricey for you, HBC has a range of products from t-shirts to Swiss Army knives and even dog sweaters.

If you want to reach back further into our history, check out the St. Boniface Museum Gift Shop which has a wide range of items, including Metis flags, voyageur sashes and Keepin' It Riel tees.

Since we're on the topic of Metis historical figures, don't forget Cuthbert Grant ! Grant tee shirts are available for $20  from Cathy.

The Winnipeg Model Railroad Club turns 60 in 2015 and is taking orders for their commemorative tees.

The Winnipeg Architecture Foundation's shop offers a selection of great stocking stuffers. Pins, fridge magnets and tea towels of some of Winnipeg's iconic buildings !

Historica Canada, the folks who bring you those Heritage Minutes, have a limited edition poster collection featuring famous people and events from Canada's past. This includes one of local Harry Colebourn, the veterinarian responsible for saving Winnie the Bear. (Also, some War of 1812 t-shirts that feature Laura Secord, Tecumseh and others.)

At the City Clerk's Department, main floor of the council building at city hall, they have a great collection of Winnipeg stuff, some featuring the dancing logo and some featuring the city crest. Mugs, water bottles, pens key chains, watches, fleeces etc. I saw a toque but couldn't see what logo it sported. Worth checking out. Inquiries cityclerks@winnipeg.ca or visit them between 8:30 am - 4:30 pm Monday to Friday.

Still not sure what to get ? How about adopting an artefact from the Manitoba Museum ? It costs between $35 and $500, depending on the object, and you can switch it up year after year !

Since we're on the subject of building materials, why not some ca. 1906 pressed tin ceiling tiles ? The Winnipeg Firefighters Museum is selling them. Hundreds are on offer in a number of different designs.


Many museums have their own shops where you're sure to find something unique. Here are links to some of them: St. Boniface Museum - Manitoba Museum - Dalnavert. 


I fall else fails, remember that museums and heritage groups run on shoestring budgets and are always seeking new members and donations. Why not buy someone a membership or make a donation on their behalf ?

You can find a complete list of museums here. Some deserving groups:


Gerry H. said...

Excellent list as usual Cassidy. One day I expect to see a t-shirt with your mug on it. Complete with a Guinness in hand too...

flimmity flam said...

Great suggestions ! Thanks.

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