Cape Breton’s Magazine now online & searchable


From November, 1972, to June, 1999, Ron Caplan published Cape Breton’s Magazine from his farmhouse in Wreck Cove, Victoria County. Typeset on an IBM Selectric, printed in a one-of-a-kind, out-sized format, each issue was packed with oral history of a beloved island whose way of live was rapidly changing.

Caplan has now digitized the whole ungainly collection and made it available, in searchable form, online. The interface feels a bit dated and awkward to use, but it’s all there – an extraordinary resource. Want to know what an eyestone was? Check Issue 4. Women steelmakers in World War II? Issue 37. Spruce beer? Issue 8.

This is journalism in which the interviewer rarely intrudes, preferring to let Cape Bretoners of a bygone era tell their own stories. Caplan liked to say that the apostrophe was the most important part of the title.

Hat tip: Stacey Pineau.