CIRCA:Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History


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"We need your help! A team of historians have been trying to solve some historical "cold cases" -- old crimes in which the guilty ones walked, and even more insidious crimes where a whole village may have been complicit." (Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History)

Originally conceived by Ruth Sandwell and John Lutz at the University of Victoria, the project started with the site "Who killed William Robinson?". The site introduced the project's standard format. By assembling and transcribing all the key documents surrounding a historical cold case the site serves two main purposes: first, to act as a virtual archive; second, to draw students’ interest into Canadian history and archival research with the promise of solving historical cold crimes. The format is less about finding the right answer than improving students’ critical thinking and research skills. Students are put in the position of ‘detective’ and given the context and documents available to historians. The documents are mostly primary sources to encourage students to make and defend their own interpreted narrative of history rather than regurgitate what others have written.

In 2003 the project received funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage to create two new mystery archives ("We Do Not Know His Name: Klatsassin and the Chilcotin War" and "Aurore: The Mystery of the Martyred Child"). Since then, additional funding has allowed them to expand into nine other mysteries and their sister site, MysteryQuests, for shorter, age specific mysteries.

Each mystery site has a staff working on it comprised of funders, researchers, technical specialists, instructional specialists, translators, editors and administrators. The mystery's staff and institutions drawn from are credited in their respective mystery's "About Us" page.


Criticism and Analysis

External Links

Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History Website

Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History: Mystery Quests Website

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