Through external funding opportunities, the Beaton Institute hires students and contract staff to complete projects dedicated to particular themes or address issues of archival preservation or access. Please return and visit our Projects page on a regular basis to discover new finding aids and digital collections as they become available.

Sarah Denny Cultural Collection

The Sarah Denny Cultural Collection (SDCC) is dedicated to preserving and sharing Mi’kmaq voices, knowledge, and history with Mi’kmaq communities throughout Unama’ki and Mi'kma'ki, as well as with the Cape Breton University community. As a Mi’kmaw elder, Sarah Denny was involved in the creation, preservation, and revitalization of Mi’kmaq culture, language, and history and her work, including her position as a cultural officer with the Mi’kmaq Association of Cultural Studies, reflects this commitment. The records in this collection were created and/or collected by Sarah Denny and her family and include interviews with elders, traditional chants, hymns, and Mi’kmaq community events and games.

Guide to the Mi'kmaw Holdings

This guide is intended to help researchers locate material about the documentary heritage of the Mi’kmaq which is held within the Archives.

Celtic Music Digital Archives

The Beaton Institute, in partnership with the Centre for Cape Breton Studies, has launched the Celtic Music Digital Archives project, which compiles archival resources relating to the Celtic music tradition in Cape Breton Island. Manuscript groups and collections, rare books and limited publications, tune books, photographs, audio discs, audio tape, film, and video recordings map the music, language, and cultural traditions of Cape Breton Gaels from the nineteenth century to the present. The Celtic music holdings are in demand by local, national, and international audiences. Follow the link above to search or browse the holdings.

Cape Breton's Military Heritage

To recognize Cape Breton's significant involvement during various conflicts including the First and Second World War, the Beaton Institute has completed projects to make records more accessible online via the Digital Archives. Through funding opportunities such as the Provincial Archival Development Program, the archives has also been able to partner with local organizations like the Cape Breton Highlanders Association to collaborate on digitizing relevant records such as CBH War Diaries. Click on the link above to view descriptions of some of our holdings and also to view a selection of records that have been digitized and made available for viewing.

Nova Scotia Historical Newspapers

The Beaton Institute partnered with Cape Breton Regional Library, Libraries Nova Scotia, and Nova Scotia Archives to complete a trial digitization project focused on the preservation and access of Nova Scotia's historic newspapers. To learn more about this project and to view a selection of newspapers completed during the project click on the link above.

Guide to the Black Nova Scotian Holdings

Cape Breton University professor, Dr. Graham Reynolds holds the Viola Desmond Chair in Social Justice. As part of his research for the Chair, Dr. Reynolds wanted to explore archival content related to Black Nova Scotians. The Beaton Institute, assisted by Dr. Reynold's students, compiled a guide to these resources and digitized a number of archival records. To view the guide and explore the digital content, click on the link above.

Eastern and Central European Holdings

Cape Breton University professor, Dr. Marcia Ostashewski holds the Canada Research Chair in Communities and Cultures and is working on developing a web portal called As a contribution to the portal, the Beaton Institute has gathered together a preliminary set of archival records related to the heritage and culture of Cape Breton's Eastern and Central European communities. To view the selected records and explore the Digital Archives, click on the link above.

Stòras Gàidhlig Cheap Breatuinn

The Stòras Gàidhlig Cheap Breatuinn project was generously supported by the Nova Scotia Office of Gaelic Affairs - Gaelic Language in Community Program and the Provincial Archival Development Program. Project partners also include Dr. Heather Sparling (CBU), Colaisde na Gàidhlig (Gaelic College), and Baile nan Gàidheal (Highland Village). The project work focused on improving and enhancing descriptions and access to archival records created by and/or about the Gaels of Nova Scotia within the holdings of the Beaton Institute. Future work with the Gaelic holdings will help to inform the Language in Lyrics initiative which is a three-year project partnership between Cape Breton University, Nova Scotia Gaelic Affairs and the Digital Archive of Scottish Gaelic (DASG).

Cape Breton's Enduring Musical Legacy: Four Women of Influence

Cape Breton's Enduring Musical Legacy: Four Women of Influence was developed to recognize the key roles of women in keeping Cape Breton's rich and diverse musical tradition alive. Their remarkable musical leadership went hand in hand with leadership in their communities. This project will provide access to descriptions for a selection of materials relating to these creators, performers, and champions of music and art in their respective communities. To view the selected records and explore the Digital Archives, click on the link above.

Cape Breton Oyster / Mntmu Project

One aspect of the 2019 Young Canada Works summer project at the archive involved gathering together resources related to the Cape Breton oyster industry both past and present. This work ties into research being conducted by Dr. Rod Beresford, Assistant Professor in Integrative Science at Cape Breton University. This is an initial step toward creating a more thorough documentation of oyster farming and the cultural and economic impacts across Cape Breton Island.