All Hands

June 2020

By Janet Harron


All hands on deck is a traditional nautical command for all sailors of all watches to muster on deck of the boat to help navigate through a storm.


At this particular time in our history, when Newfoundlanders and Labradorians find themselves at home with an ever-dwindling Netflix queue, completed jigsaw puzzles, Marie Kondo-ed closets, and cabin fever and sheer boredom setting in, Newfoundland Quarterly and Memorial University Libraries are launching an initiative to expand NL’s cultural and heritage presence online.

Some surprising examples of NL-themed subjects that currently have no Wikipedia entry are: the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival, the White Fleet, former Memorial president Leslie Harris, jam-jams, the Winterset in Summer Literary Festival, fiddler Rufus Guinchard, Anna Templeton, trigger mitts, the Sound Symposium, and artist/activist Agnes Ayre.

Other NL-themed subjects that do have Wikipedia entries but require additional citations include Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers, the SS Kyle, ugly stick, Rare Birds, toutons, and the Bally Haly Golf & Curling Club.

We need your help!

Last year Mind the Gap, held in association with the AC Hunter Library, was Newfoundland Quarterly’s first foray into a Wiki edit-a-thon and served as the inspiration for this year’s all-digital version.


Vist the All Hands website to explore how to create a Wikipedia account and how to create, edit and reference articles about Newfoundland and Labrador.


Get your kids involved – pitch it as this year’s heritage project.


Get your parents involved – pitch it as a legacy project.


All Hands will feature a weekly theme and include suggested subjects under each topic for participants to explore and research.


So there’s something for everyone.


Guest editors who specialize in the chosen theme will be acting as consultants to the project committee to ensure transparency and accountability for all.


Confirmed guest editors to date include Jenny Higgins (women), Bert Riggs (World War 1), Dale Jarvis (folklore) Sandy Morris (music and musicians), Ruth Lawrence (theatre and film), and Todd Boland (flora and fauna). Further guest editors and themes will be released as they are confirmed.


A list of online resources has been compiled to assist with researching topics and both the Centre for Newfoundland Studies and the Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries have reference services available by email.


Guest editors will be featured on CBC NL’s Weekend AM throughout the summer.


All Hands officially launches on June 15 with the theme of Newfoundland women with our guest editor, award-winning writer Jenny Higgins.