Dr. Stephen Davies, a History professor at VIU, has been building his database of Canadian war letters for over a decade, and now he plans on giving the soldiers who wrote them a voice.
Davies is hosting a lecture called “Voices Through Time,” which focuses on letters written by Canadian soldiers from World War I. The lecture will take place in the Malaspina Theatre, bldg. 310 at the Nanaimo campus, on Nov. 16 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. The lecture is open to the general public.
Davies is hosting “Voices Through Time” in order to give Canadians a new perspective on old wars. “I feel that it’s important for people to see the human side of war,” says Davies. “I think people will be surprised by how personal and emotional these letters are.” Readings from the letters will be included in the talk.
“Voices Through Time” is an expansion of Davies’ ongoing project “The Canadian Letters and Images Project,” an online database of war letters written by Canadians with accompanying photographs. The project was started by Davies in Aug. 2000, and is now run by Davies and seven student volunteers. The database currently houses over 300 sets of letters, unedited and uncensored, from the Anglo-Boer War to the Korean War. The mission statement of the project is “to let Canadians tell their own story in their own words and images by creating a permanent online archive which preserves Canada’s wartime correspondence…from the battlefront and from the home front.”
More information on Davies and “The Canadian Letters and Images Project” can be found at <www.canadianletters.ca>.