Images from Sir George Back’s Sketchbooks Now on Flickr

Sir George Back created a remarkable record of his Arctic expeditions from 1818 until 1837. The talented naval officer and expedition artist accompanied Sir John Franklin on his first and second overland expeditions. The objective of the first expedition (1819-1822) was to chart the coast from the mouth of the Coppermine River to Repulse Bay, while the second expedition (1825-1826) was to explore the coast to the east and west of the mouth of the Mackenzie River.

Images of heraldry now on Flickr

Heraldry is a form of identification using emblems. It started in 12th-century Europe when knights painted their shields to identify themselves while wearing armour. These coats of arms displayed the individual’s identity on the battlefield. The administration and tracking of coats of arms eventually transitioned to monarchies. The granting of these heraldic identification became an honour or reward for individuals or groups.

The Canadian Heraldic Authority, overseen by the Governor General’s office, grants coats of arms to Canadians. Canada is the first Commonwealth country to patriate the practice of this heraldic authority.

View the heraldry images on Flickr.

Images of Fancy Dress Balls now on Flickr

Victorians from all walks of life loved to dress up in costume, or “fancy dress,” for parlour games, theatricals and balls. Assuming fantasy characters for an evening provided a form of escapism from their rigidly conventional lives. Canadians were no exception.

Characters for fancy dress were inspired by various facets of Victorian culture and different historical periods.

View the fancy dress ball images on Flickr.