People's Archive of Rural Nova Scotia

Stories of everyday life, everyday people.

The People’s Archive of Rural Nova Scotia (PARNS) is a living multimedia platform for citizen storytellers to share stories of everyday life and everyday people, and to discover the extraordinary in the ordinary. We want your stories to capture past, present, and future life in rural Nova Scotia – stories of people and culture, art and music, land and sea, local and global actions, past times and pursuits -  in your own voice and words, using your creativity.

It is an endless work in progress. What you see is only the start of a dream, a living archive by and for Nova Scotians.  We (shall) strive to maintain a high-quality site, largely with the help of a team of volunteers. We look forward to telling your stories, receiving your advice and ideas, and growing this site in the coming years. Please contact us to pitch your stories, share your ideas, volunteer, or ask a question.

This Is Mi’kma’ki

A short video produced for the Assembly of First Nations, in Halifax (July...

The Nettletons

Brian and Martha Nettleton moved from Yorkshire, England to Nova Scotia and set up a sheep farm in Isle Madame, Cape Breton.


Browse Our Collection by Location

Gathered from across rural Nova Scotia, the stories contained on the below map encompass a growing slice of rural life.

The Inspiration for PARNS

PARNS was inspired by the work of Palagummi Sainath and his project, the People’s Archive of Rural India (PARI), P. Sainath describes PARI as “a living journal and breathing archive of the worlds’s most diverse and complex countryside.” Everyday life in rural India cannot be compared to everyday life in Nova Scotia. In fact everyday life in the mining community of Glace Bay is not the same as everyday life in the fishing community of Whitehead or in the farming community of Bible Hill. Every rural community is unique.

It is the uniqueness and diversity of each and every rural community which is at risk of disappearing within the next 20 or 30 years due to what Sainath has called “the collapse of rural areas worldwide in the unplanned and unthinking march to full urbanization.” We are in danger of losing old wisdoms, languages and ways of life. PARNS aims to preserve this knowledge and to create a legacy for the generations to come by gathering, recording and mapping the stories and histories of everyday people.

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