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Exploring history at U Waterloo

Susan Saunders Mavor

Susan Saunders Mavor, Head of Special Collections at the University of Waterloo Library, will use her 2013 Edna Staebler Research Fellowship to explore the life of the early Kitchener entrepreneur and industrialist Talmon Henry Rieder.

“Rieder was responsible 100 years ago for bringing Kitchener its most important 20th-century industry, the rubber industry,’” Mavor said. “Rieder also envisioned and planned the Westmount subdivision, destined to become the first planned neighbourhood in Canada.”

Drawing on a recently discovered large cache of Rieder’s papers, Mavor will tell the story of Rieder’s life and enrich the community’s understanding of Kitchener and its industrial heritage. To create Rieder’s biography, Mavor will also draw on archives found in the University of Waterloo Library’s Special Collections and at the Kitchener Public Library.

The Edna Staebler Research Fellowship is awarded for a program of research judged to increase knowledge and expand understanding of the diverse cultures of the folk and founding peoples of Waterloo Region / Waterloo County. As part of the program, Mavor will submit a final report at the end of the year and will present her findings during a public presentation in the region during Heritage Week in 2014.

For more information, contact Susan Saunders Mavor,


The University of Waterloo’s Geospatial Centre has made public historical maps of the Regional Municipality of Waterloo.

Centre employees scanned, digitized, and geo-referenced Waterloo historical maps from the years 1815-1921 and integrated these maps onto the centre’s website, using Google Earth’s web functionality.

Users choose a historical map from the list, which is displayed on the screen overlaying Google’s current map of the region. They can then zoom in and out on the historical map and adjust the opacity of the map to make quick comparisons between the historical and current maps. Printing or downloading the maps is not currently available due to copyright restrictions.

Geospatial Centre staff has received a lot of positive feedback about the historical map website from researchers so far and has noticed an increased interest in the use of historical maps since the launch of the project, which was inspired by a similar effort at Brock University.

For more information, contact Eva Dodsworth, Geospatial Data Services Librarian and Geospatial Centre Coordinator,

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