Recently, Diana Tibert of Quarter Castle Publishing interviewed historian John N. Grant about his book, Schooling in Guysborough County 1735-2016 – A Case Study of Public Education in Rural Nova Scotia.
Grant is the author of several Nova Scotia history books, including Mary Kaulbach’s Normal School Diary 1892 – 1893 (with Melanie Ballard) and A History of Oldfield Consolidated School: 1962 – 2017.
Tibert: In a few sentences, tell us a little about Schooling in Guysborough County 1735-2016. Give us a glimpse into the material covered.
Grant: Schooling in Guysborough County, 1735-2016 provides an overview of the efforts made by generations of parents to provide for the education of their children. The first Guysborough County school of which I found a record was in in Canso in 1735 and as the population grew and changed, so did the schools. At one time there were about 100 schools in the county. Today there are three. This book tells the story of what happened in-between.
Tibert: From where did you gather the bulk of your material?
Grant: The source material for the book includes all the usual suspects. Government publications, records, and reports; newspaper accounts; history books and academic papers; archive and museum documents; as well as interviews and personal antidotes were all used. Some of the better stories came from the reminiscences of former students and teachers (although some of the most scandalises best could not be told in print for obvious reasons!).
Tibert: What inspired you to write this book?
Grant: I grew up in Guysborough, and I was one of a family of teachers. My mother, brother, sister and I were all involved in schooling. My teacher brother and I share an interest in education and history and we spoke regularly about the absence of any modern historical work on the subject in Guysborough County. We started with the idea of writing a paper on the history of schools in the Guysborough area but it grew into this book covering the whole county.
Tibert: Who would benefit from reading this book?
Grant: The book has all the ‘Notes’ and appendices expected from an author with an academic background. However, they are all at the end of the account so it can be read as the story it is. I hope that Schooling in Guysborough County, 1735-2016 can be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in the subject, especially the former students and teachers of Guysborough County. Moreover, because Guysborough County provides a good example of schooling in rural Nova Scotia, I hope that the book will profit both general readers and researchers throughout the province and beyond.
Learn more about Schooling in Guysborough County, 1735-2016, visit its Quarter Castle Publishing Page.
To purchase a copy, contact John N. Grant: firstname.lastname@example.org