Beaton Institute Launches Through Her Eyes

Katharine McLennan virtual exhibit launched at KMCLENNAN.COM

Through Her Eyes is collaborative project of the Beaton Institute archives, Cape Breton Regional Library, Fortress Louisbourg Association, and Parks Canada.  It was designed to digitize the personal collection of photos, artworks, and diary entries of Katharine McLennan enabling broader public access to these unique and rare documents. 

Katharine McLennan (1892 – 1975) is a prominent figure in Cape Breton history.  Daughter of J.S. McLennan, one of the early managers of Cape Breton’s coal and steel industries, Katharine lived a life of privilege and through travel, study and private tutors she developed a passion for a range of interests and causes. 

The virtual exhibit project was first discussed about 6 years ago, but came to life under the banner of Louisbroug300. Through the support of the NS Dept of Communities, Culture & Heritage’s Strategic Development Initiative, Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation and Heritage Canada this project focuses on the life and legacy of a remarkable woman – Katharine McLennan. 

The web site presents the collection under five curated themes, each containing extensive resources that will provide insight into her life, spirit, and community work:

• Katharine
• The McLennans
• Petersfield
• WW 1
• Louisbourg

The site includes over 600 digitized items represented through 1320 content pages held by the partnering organizations. The site also includes links to partner organization websites, as well as to various organizations that Katharine supported, should you feel a desire to become more involved in your community after learning of Katharine’s full life.  As well as we hope the virtual exhibit will be a useful learning and teaching tool to educators and students. The site includes a Learning and Teaching Resource, which provides support for learning in many content areas, including Social Studies, Language Arts, and Arts Education.  This resource describes three ten-hour modules containing suggestions for learning and teaching at various levels.

Catherine Arseneau, manager of the Beaton Institute notes, “Our goal was to bring the wealth of documentary heritage held by the Beaton Institute archives, the McConnell Library of the Cape Breton Regional Library and the Fortress of Louisbourg – Katharine’s art, photography and textual documents – to broader public awareness through a single on-line access point; a virtual exhibit entitled Through Her Eyes: Katharine McLennan.” 

To learn more please visit