Citizen Action

content migration in progress

About our citizen action archives

Citizen action groups, also known as public interest groups, are alliances of individuals who come together to change or address specific situations, or to bring attention to broader concerns that affect the general public, such as social or environmental issues. The University Archives holds the records of groups such as the Sandy Lake Action Group and Ecology Action Centre.

Although we tend to think of citizen action groups as a relatively recent phenomenon, the history of activism can be found in the 19th-century records of fraternal organizations such as the Sons of Temperance, church and missionary groups including Ladies’ Aid societies, and volunteer agencies such as the British War Relief Society. Regardless of their membership or aims, most action groups keep administrative records such as minute books, committee records and correspondence.

Documenting 21st century citizen action requires 21st century tools: our latest efforts to document citizen action in Nova Scotia involve building an archive of Tweets using the #homesnothondas hashtag.

Published research

Leeming, Mark. “In Defence of Home Places: Environmental Activism in Nova Scotia, 1970–1985.” PhD Thesis, Dalhousie University, 2013.