WBNIC History

The Wild Blueberry Network Information Centre project began in June 1997 to provide scientific and technical information about wild blueberry production and marketing for producers, agricultural professionals, researchers and students by publishing information on the Internet through the World Wide Web.

The initiative was originally a combined effort of the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture, MacRae Library, Faculty of Agriculture DAlhousie University, Wild Blueberry Producers’ Association, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Research Branch. After 2000 the NSAC continued to maintain the site, taking advantage of the resources of all provinces in the Atlantic region, the University of Maine and beyond. The site is also listed on the US AgNIC site as the repository of record for information on wild blueberries.

WBNIC site has undergone some exciting changes since 2007:

  •  New full-text content
  •  New template and navigation options
  •  Bibliographies & Factsheets
  •  The History of the Wild Blueberry Industry in Nova Scotia by Gordon Kinsman
  •  Research reports

The bibliography has been updated to the year 2000, new factsheets and newsletters from the Atlantic Provinces and Maine have been added, and abstracts and links to PDF theses are now available. The scope of the site has expanded to include information on the indigenous lingonberry and cloudberry. We are also actively looking for other information providers who would like to contribute to the site with links or information that would be of interest to people.

The collection can be used for information or education purposes, provided the source is cited in full.

WBNIC Site Usage

The WBNIC receives an average of 9700 requests per month (from 1997 to 2004) totalling more than 1,000,000 such request since the site went on line in June 1997. (as of Nov 2004). We are able to track how many pages are requested per month, per week and per hour (see figure above). Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the busiest days, with requests peaking in the middle of the afternoon but occurring 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. While the majority of requests have come from North America including the .com, .net, ca and .edu domains, there are requests from over 60 different counties around the world. The most requested pages include the history pages authored by Gordon Kinsman followed by the advice and fact sheet pages.The people who maintain the site seek to provide links to the best sources of information on wild blueberries and to serve as a point of contact for questions on wild blueberries. Some of the most important aspects of the site include:  

  • production, marketing and pest control fact sheets
  • history of the wild blueberry industry in Nova Scotia by Gordon Kinsman, Volumes I (1880 - 1950) and II (1950 - 1990)
  • bibliography of wild blueberry publications (1955 - 2000), some contained in the collections of the MacRae Library, Nova Scotia Agricultural College
  • abstracts of articles and links to theses
  • Home institutions for blueberry specialists in North America
  • related sites, organizations, recipes, health benefits
  • ask the expert and frequently asked questions (FAQ) section where people can e-mail questions that will be answered by experts in the field and maybe posted for others to access.