Sunday, February 3, 2013

Reflection on Archivists and Genealogists

A paper in the winter 2013 issue of Families I thought warranted a special post of its own since it was the Houston Memorial Lecture called Reflection on Archivists and Genealogists at last year conference of the OGS in Kingston, Ontario given by Dr. Ian E. Wilson, former chief archivist of the Library and Archives of Canada.

Besides giving a brief history of the LAC, in the last paragraphs of his paper, he talks about the “New challenges to archival services and genealogical research are becoming painfully apparent, as federal budget decisions work their way through to the local level”.

It is clear to genealogists and genealogy societies as they try to do genealogy research at the building at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa, that they are becoming less and less welcome by Public Works – the department who ones and operates the building.

One only has to read that the Ottawa Branch of the OGS has cancelled their conference because the costs were too high, BISFHGO has had to look for a new place to hold their Saturday meeting and conference next year because the costs are too high (and they worked closely with the LAC) and there are a number of other groups in Ottawa that I am aware of that have had to ceased to meet at the LA because the costs are out of this world. So what are we to do?

So if you get a chance, read his paper because it does shed a light on the LAC as it was in his tenure as Chief Archivists and what it is today – a shell of its former shelf.

The site for the OGS is

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