Showing posts with label LAC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label LAC. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Guy Berthiaume appointed as Librarian and Archivist of Canada

The LAC has finally filled the position of the Head of Library and Archives Canada -

The Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages Shelly Glover announced yesterday that the appointment of Guy Berthiaume as the Librarian and Archivist of Canada will be for a term of five years, effective June 23, 2014. 

Dr. Berthiaume has been President and Chief Executive Officer of the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec since 2009. Before this, he spent thirty years as a senior university administrator. 

Dr. Berthiaume holds a doctorate in history from the École pratique des hautes études and the Université de Paris VIII, a Master of Arts degree from the Université Laval in Québec City and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Université du Québec à Montréal. He has published a number of articles and has served on the boards and committees of numerous organizations.

Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages say that “Having a person of Dr. Berthiaume’s calibre leading Library and Archives Canada will be a solid asset to the organization. His extensive experience in the management of large cultural organizations and his strong leadership are important qualifications for this position.” 

Please go to the LAC website at 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

LAC to outsource national catalogue

From an article in the Ottawa Citizen by Don Butler comes the news that the Library and Archives Canada is going to outsource its library catalogue called AMICUS to an American company – Computer Library Centre Inc. (OCLC). This also involves 1,300 other libraries across Canada. 

So what do you think? Is this a good or bad move for the LAC? Does it change your opinion of the future of the LAC, or are you not surprised by this move?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

UPDATE: Census of Lower Canada (Quebec), 1825 now available online at LAC

Just received this notice from the LAC - 

"Library and Archives Canada is pleased to announce that Canadians can now access the Census of Lower Canada, 1825 online. The Census of Lower Canada, 1825 is partly nominal and therefore only contains the names of heads of family, their occupation, and the number of residents for each family.

Users can search this new database by the names of heads of family, as well as by geographical information such as district and sub-district names".

They are available in JPG, and PDF, and there are 74,322 records.

The surname, given name(s), occupation, number of residents (classed by age – not name or relationship to head of the household), district name, sub-district name, volume number, page number, microfilm, and reference are listed in the census.

To suggest a correction, click on the Suggest a Correction link to access an electronic form

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Heritage Minister not happy with the cuts at the LAC

It appears that the Federal Heritage Minister James Moore isn’t too happy with the way that the layoffs at the Library and Archives Canada has turned out.

One impact that the cuts have had is that the digitization program has been severely cut as the staff has been cut – and the digitization of records was suppose to take the place of inter-library loans, for example.

All of this is in a story carried by the Huffington Post this morning. The online newspaper says that “The heritage minister says speeding up the digitization of records will be a priority for the new head of Library and Archives”.

Read the full report at the Huffington post is at

Friday, May 24, 2013

Immigration and Citizenship records at LAC before 1865

In case you are not aware of the databases that the LAC has to offer on immigration and citizenship, here is a summary of the indexes -   

This article, the first of a series depicting Immigration and Citizenship sources, offers insight into pre-Confederation arrivals in Canada. Very few records compiled before 1865 still exist. Most surviving records, which are from various sources, have been indexed by name in databases.

The Immigrants to Canada database was compiled from documents such as immigration and land records and some private fonds, namely the Peter Robinson Papers. It provides access to more than 28,000 references to records held at Library and Archives Canada (LAC).

The Montreal Emigrant Society Passage Book (1832) database provides access to 1,945 references and digitized documents to people who received assistance from the Montreal Emigrant Society in 1832.

The Immigrants at Grosse-Île (1832-1937) database is the result of an agreement between Parks Canada and LAC. It contains more than 33,000 records spanning a 100-year time period. The references describe various events for immigrants arriving at the city of Québec and their time spent at the Grosse-Île Quarantine Station.

The Upper Canada and Canada West Naturalization Records (1828-1850) database gives references to the names of 2,967 persons naturalized in what is now the province of Ontario between 1828 and 1850. The 188 registers have been scanned and digitized images are accessible in this database.

The Citizenship Registration Records for the Montreal Circuit Court (1851-1945) database provides access to more than 8,000 references to the Citizenship Registration Records for the Montreal Circuit Court. The records have been digitized and linked to the database references.

If you think some of your “ancêtres” can be traced back to France, LAC holds a small number of lists from the French Regime (1717-1786).

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Release of a new version of the Census of Canada, 1901 database

I see where the LAC has released the new version of the 1901census today - 

Library and Archives Canada is pleased to announce the release of a new version of the 1901 Census of Canada database. This fourth general census covered the seven provinces and the territory that were then part of Confederation: British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and the Territories.

The new version includes suggestions for corrections that were received from users in recent months, as well as revised district and sub-district information.

To go to the 1901 Census, go to

Friday, April 5, 2013

LAC Opens Displays in Two Cities in Canada

Library and Archives Canada continues to display the richness and diversity of its collections with the opening of two exhibitions, one in Saskatchewan at the Mendel Art Gallery, and the other in Quebec at the the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau.

In Saskatchewan, the Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatoon is hosting the I Know You by Heart: Portrait Miniatures exhibition until June 2, 2013. The exhibition highlights the intimate, personal nature of portrait miniatures, and the reasons that such images are commissioned and created.

In Quebec, the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau is presenting the exhibition Double Take: Portraits of Intriguing Canadians until October 14, 2013. Discover portraits of Canadians who have left—and are still leaving—their mark on our country and our culture. .

By presenting exhibitions such as these, Library and Archives Canada is able to make original works of documentary heritage accessible in galleries, museums and other community venues to Canadians across the country.

You can listen to the podcast overview of the featured works and the stories behind them at

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

UPDATE: LAC Release of a New Version of the Census of Canada, 1911 Database

This bit of positive news came from the LAC today -

Library and Archives Canada is pleased to announce the release of a new version of the Census of Canada, 1911 database. This fifth general census covered the nine provinces and two territories that were then part of Confederation: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Yukon and the Northwest Territories.

Previously, users could search only by geographical information, such as province, district and sub-district. Now, they can also search by nominal information, such as the name, given name(s) and age of an individual.

I decided to look for my maternal grandfather Lester Blades in East Pubnico, Nova Scotia and he was there when I looked at the jpg of the census report. It was very easy to do. I just put his name in the search box, as well as the province of Nova Scotia. You should give this a try. You can either view it as a jpg or pdf – and it is FREE!

It is at

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

LAC Postcast: Home Children

The Library and Archives Canada has just released its sixth podcast episode, and this time it’s on the Home Children.

The the press release say “LAC Project Manager and Genealogist Marthe Séguin-Muntz along with John Sayers of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa talk about the lives of Canada’s Home Children. They discuss some of the incredible stories of hardship and prosperity in early Canada, share a wealth of resources available at LAC and provide helpful research tips and tools to discover your family history”.

Subscribe to the podcast episodes using RSS or iTunes, or just tune in at: Podcast – Discover Library and Archives Canada: Your History, Your Documentary Heritage.

To go to the postcasts, click on

If you choose not to listen to the postcasts, there is a transcript of the talk on the same page as the postcast.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

LAC Update: The Home Children — Harold Mornington

In the third article in the LAC series called The Home Children, the LAC looks at Harold Mornington, who served in the British Army in the Second World War.

As the LAC says “the process begins with a search of our main online resource on Home Children. Entering the family name Mornington and the given name Harold into the database yields a single reference; it indicates that Harold was 14 years old when he left Liverpool on March 11, 1932 aboard the SS Montclare, and arrived in Halifax on March 19, 1932. He was part of the last group of 36 children sent to Canada by the Barnardo agency.

The passenger lists from 1925 to 1935 have been digitized and can be consulted online. The digital image of the list of passengers aboard the SS Montclare can be examined as well, which confirms the information found in the home children database. It also contains other information, such as the name and address of Harold’s mother, Mrs. Mornington, who lived at 16 Orlando Street, in Caldmore, Walsall, England. More information about Harold Mornington’s family history can be found by contacting the Barnardo’s Family History Service.

Beginning in the 1920s, immigration inspectors drafted Juvenile Inspection Reports when conducting periodic evaluations of children brought to Canada by different agencies. These files are available only on microfilm. A search on reel T-15424 shows that between 1932 and 1936, Harold Mornington worked for five different employers in the Ontario districts of Durham, Brant, Oxford and Hastings.

A reference found on the site of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission reveals that sometime between 1936 and the beginning of the Second World War, Harold Mornington returned to England. He joined the British Army and died on May 23, 1941, while still a member of the Royal Artillery. He was the son of William Joseph and Elizabeth Mornington.

Lastly, Harold Mornington’s military service record is kept at The National Archives in the United Kingdom”.

If you suspect that your ancestor was a Home Child, or would like to check the databasdes mentioned here, click

Friday, December 21, 2012

Toys and Games in Canada

The Library and Archives Canada (LAC) sent out this notice yesterday about the history of toys in Canada, and pictures on their Flickr album -

"The joyful holiday season is the perfect time to introduce you to the Library and Archives Canada collection of photographs related to games and toys.

Although toys and games have existed since the dawn of time, it was only in the 19th century that the ‟toy” really came into its own in Canada. It was also during the Victorian era that toys and diversion were deemed beneficial to children, thereby kick-starting the mass production of playthings. At first, toys mainly came from England, Germany and the United States, but between 1860 and 1915, some 20 Canadian companies began to manufacture them as well. They were made of wood and generally mimicked miniature furniture, cars or horses.

The First World War slowed toy production in Europe, giving the Canadian toy industry the opportunity to flourish. New toys were produced, particularly battleships and construction sets. This is also when manufacturers started using a wider variety of materials, which resulted in copper, tin, iron, lead, and rubber toys. Plush dolls and animals, small lead soldiers, bugles and trumpets, rubber balls, hockey pucks and even humming tops could also be found.

In the 1940s, plastic was introduced in toy manufacturing; it was used to make rattles, beach toys, tractors, trucks and construction sets, as well as an array of tools. In subsequent years, large multinational companies emerged and completely diversified the toy-making industry".

Various outdoor games, such as croquet and lawn bowling have become popular. Children also enjoy games of strength, string, and chance, which are featured in our new Flickr album at

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

LAC Changes “Search” Feature

Have you noticed the changes made between the old landing page of the LAC and the new landing page of the LAC in addition to the new layout?

There is one big change to me, and that is, on the new website of the LAC at as opposed to the old website of the LAC at they have changed the Search feature!

On the old website one could search the federated search site on the top right hand corner of the website, and your search would be broken down into Library, Archives, and Ancestors. You could choose just one way to search, or you could search all three. You could clearly see which one you wanted to search first. I found it a very efficient way to search the holdings for my clients. Now you just get “results” of your search – the three fields are all mixed together.

I also see where there has been talk about the LAC making plans to digitize newspapers once again.

And when these plans are finalized, will the papers be indexed, as well as digitized? That is my question, and the answer will probably be " No."

Anyone who has had occasion (like myself) to work with the digitized Land Petitions of Upper and Lower Canada, know what a task it is to find anyone within the pages and pages of paper – it involves hours and hours of work on the Intertnet to find the exact record. They are not indexed by the  person's name!
© Elizabeth Lapointe All Rights Reserved

Friday, July 20, 2012

Podcasts at the LAC

Sylvie Tremblay, the Manager, Content Delivery and Coproduction Services at the LAC has just announced the following -

“Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is pleased to announce the release of our latest podcast episode: The Shamrock and the Fleur-de-Lys.

In this episode, we consult a panel of experts about the massive immigration of Irish settlers to Quebec in the 1800s. We examine the journey they made in order to establish their new lives on foreign soil, as well as the cultural bond that formed between the Irish and the Québécois.

Subscribe to episodes using RSS or iTunes, or just tune in at: Podcasts – Discover Library and Archives Canada: Your History, Your Documentary Heritage”.

I have listened to the podcasts, and have read the transcript, and have found them to be very good.

People are interviewed including Sylvie from the LAC, Jo-Anick Proulx from Parks Canada, and Simon Jolivet, a history professor from the University of Ottawa each with their own knowledge in the area. And you get a good, rounded view of the Irish as they came to Canada – and many of them were sick and died at the Grosse-Île Quarantine Station just beyond Quebec.

It deserves a listen.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

LAC Launches Black History Month

The Library and Archives Canada (LAC) launched Black History Month today (Sunday, February 1st), and they are calling it "The Courage to Make a Difference."

As Ian E. Wilson, Librarian and Archivist of Canada says, "I invite researchers, historians, educators, genealogists and students to delve into our vast array of material and resources to learn more about the rich heritage of Black Canadians."

This year, the LAC is paying special notice to Abraham Doras Shadd, who played a major role in the Underground Railroad, and to Rosemary Brown, the first Black woman to be elected as a member of a Provincial Legislative Assembly in Canada. The website is

You can go online to to read about the Anti-Slavery Movement in Canada at An article about this will be in the February issue of the Ontario Genealogical Society's newsletter, NewsLeaf.

The Port Roseway Associates Database at gives access to a listing of 1,498 Black Loyalists Refugees who settled in Shelburne, Nova Scotia.

As stated on the website at, "Under a Northern Star presents seven unique collections held at Library and Archives Canada (LAC) that document the diverse historical experience of African Canadians."

There are other resources to check, including Achievements and Contributions, Literature, Music, and Sports.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year!

The Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is celebrating the Chinese New Year with a collaboration of the information and databases they have compiled over the past years
in an exhibit entitled "The Early Chinese Canadians, 1858-1947" at

They have divided the site into five different areas of interest to genealogists, and they are -

- The history of Canada's early Chinese immigrants - explores why and how they came to Canada.

- Photos, government documents and letters that have been collected by the LAC

- Head Tax Records - You can search the General Registers of Chinese Registers online from 1885 to 1949.

- Chinese Canadian literature and historical research

- Coming soon will be educational resources for classroom study for secondary school teachers.

By the LAC's own admission, the General Registers of Chinese Immigration is the most important part of the history because it represents the payments made by the Chinese when they came to Canada. The Chinese were the only ones who paid the head tax when they came into the country.

Over 95,000 immigrants are recorded on these rolls.

There is also personal essays on the site, as well as family histories and suggested websites.

I have written about the Chinese-Canadian immigration in an article entitled "Uncovering Chinese-Canadian Records" in the January 2009 edition of Internet Genealogy, pages 20-21.

For an interesting look at the Chinese New Year, please visit

Monday, December 29, 2008

LAC Partners with the National Archives of Ireland

The Library and Archives of Canada is pleased to announce that the Archives of Ireland has released the latest phase of "an online research tool for the Irish counties of Antrim, Kerry, and Down for 1911. The census records for all countries for 1911 and for 1901 will be made available online throughout 2009".

"With 70-million Irish diaspora around the world, and up to one-fifth of Canadians claiming Irish heritage, this project will connect even more people to their historical," stated Ian E. Wilson, Librarian and Archivist of Canada.

The LAC and the NAI collaborated on other projects including two Irish studies held in 2006 and 2008 (I attended this one*); the Irish-Canadian Documentary Heritage at the LAC, and the popular website, The Shamrock and the Maple Leaf at

Making these records accessible online will give genealogists and historians around the world the chance to explore the age, occupation, religion, and marital status of individuals. It will also allow research on Irish on Irish society of the early 20th century. The National Archives of Ireland have provided vibrant historical essays on topics such as social life, government, sport, and religion, and the photographs depicting life in Ireland in 1911.

The census records can search free of charge, and it is searchable by name.

* (For more on the 2008 Irish Studies I attended, please visit these four pages):

Thursday, November 20, 2008


This fall, I have had a few articles published which you might find interesting to read -

Everton's Genealogical Helper
(Nov/Dec) - This article, "Canada Remembers the Arrival of American Loyalists in 1783", celebrates their 225th anniversary, which was commemorated throughout Canada this year.

Internet Genealogy
- The Dec/Jan edition will feature an interesting article entitled, "Chinese-Canadian Records", written after I met the librarian of the Vancouver Public Library, Janet Tomkins, at the International Federation of Librarian Association (IFLA) Conference held this August at the Library and Archives Canada.

Family Chronicle - In the Nov/Dec issue is an article called, "A Genealogy Education". It is about getting a education in genealogy, and quotes such people as George Morgan, Dear Myrtle, and Chris Paton, who recently got his Postgraduate Diploma in Genealogical Studies at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland.

"Columns" - The latest in-house issue of the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors' (ISFHWE) newsletter, "Columns", will be out in December. It will be my usual column, this time entitled, "A Basket Full of Conferences", in which I talk about the Irish Symposium in November and the British Island Family History Society Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO) Conference in September of this year. Both were held at the Library and Archives Canada.

November's "NewsLeaf" - The newsletter of the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS), "NewsLeaf", arrived a week or so ago and, as usual, it was a pleasure to edit!

Some of the articles are the first of two articles by Dr. Jerome Teelucksingh on the "No Longer Hidden: Recording the Caribbean Presence in Canada", "Some History on the Beginnings of the Ontario Genealogical Society" by Ross W. Irwin, and "Burial Records for Jewish Cemeteries Across Ontario" by Shelley Stillman.

Plus lots of news on the OGS and meetings and special events which will take place in Ontario this winter and summer!

December 2008 "e-NewsLeaf" - I also edit the OGS' "e-NewsLeaf". Right now I am working on the December issue, which will be sent out to OGS members December 15th.

Some of the topics to be covered will be "Canadian 'PaperofRecord' Sold to Google", "Immigration to Canada", and there will be photos and a short write-up of the opening of the new office/library in Brant County.

And, of course, there is always the blog!!!!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Joint Initiative Provides Online Access to Canadian Censuses and FamilySearch International made an announcement on Nov 11th that they will partner on the digitized and indexing of the Canadian census.

The press release says that the "joint initiative will allow the organizations to improve online access to a comprehensive collection of Canadian censuses".

As apart of the agreement, will provide images and index to for censuses 1861, 1871, 1881, and 1916, and will provide images and index to for the 1851, 1891, 1901, and 1906 Census.

Notice that nowhere is the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) mentioned. The LAC originally held the census records on microfilm (being transferred to them by StatsCan), but through agreements with and, they seemed to have lost control over them in how they are used.

And it looks like the "free" search on is about to come to an end. The press release says that the images "will be free to all qualified (those people who have done transcription work for FamilySearch members and at all FamilySearch family history centers".

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The first question out of Brian Gilchrist——the Reference Archivist of The Region of Peel Archives who was at the Library and Archives Canada yesterday to give the second annual Ryan Taylor Memorial Lecture——was the question, "How savvy a researcher do you think you are?"

And this was just the first of many questions he asked during his lecture, the purpose which was to spur everybody on to evaluate their research - what is the quality of your research?

Do you, as you are supposed to, always work from the known to the unknown? Do you always ask the correct question of fellow genealogists, librarians, and archivists?

Do you think about how many levels there may be to your question? Is there a difference between what you need to know and want to know? And when do you need to know it?

I was reminded of a question that I have had since I started my own genealogy in 1994. That is why my g-g-g-g-grandfather Andrew BARCLAY had listed as his occupation - a bookbinder, and not as a farmer as was his father's business?

He was not the first son, so he did not get the land owned by the Barclay's in Kinrossshire, Scotland ... so was else was he to do? But bookbinding seemed so off the wall at first glance. Why bookbinding?

Through research I found that his grandfather had been a bookbinder in Edinburgh! And that area of Scotland there had been a huge trade in printing, and bookbinding, a profession he would take with him to the United States in c1760.

But maybe the most important question Brian asked through the entire lecture was the one he finished with - "What legacy have we left behind?"

That is perhaps the most important question these days since so many Canadian genealogists over the past three or four years have died. (In our immediate area, there are three nationally-known genealogists—-Sandra Devlin, Ryan Taylor, and Paul McGrath——who have passed on since 2005). Where has their work gone? What has happened to it?

Have you made a provision in your will to give direction to your executive as what to do with your papers, photos, video, and anything else you may have discovered along the way? What will happen to your genealogical "stuff"?

These questions he raised yesterday have made me think. I plan to finish the BARCLAY genealogy over this winter, and post it to the Internet as well do a limited production run of it to give to the Shelburne County Genealogical and Archives in Shelburne, Nova Scotia. I also have photos, certificates, and other family memorabilia which I plan to give to them for safekeeping, and for other people to research.

So, have you done the same thing with the "stuff" you have collected?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Irish Symposium 2008 at Library and Archives Canada

The Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is holding its second Irish Studies Symposium on November 3 & 4. The first one was held in Ottawa in 2006.

The door will be open at 8:30 for the two days, and the sessions will be held until 5:00 p.m on the first day and until 7:00 p.m. the second day. A book launch of A Story to be Told: Personal Reflections on the Irish Emigrant Experience in Canada, which is a collection of stories of about 128 Irish Emigrants to Canada, will be held the second day from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m..

There will be six sessions and one roundtable panel that will cover topics such as -

The Irish in Quebec

- Famine and Commemoration

- Politics: Shifting Attitudes and Political Impact

- The 1911 Census of Ireland

- Irish Culture: Print, Music, Food, and Film

- Irish History and Modern Media

- Directions in Irish Canadian Studies

Some of the people attending will be Irish historian and noted author on Grosse-Île, Sister Marianna O'Gallagher from Quebec, Dr. Diarmid Ferriter from Boston College, and Dr. Catherine Cox, Director for the Center for the History of Medicine in Ireland.

The cost to attend the symposium is FREE but an RSVP is required.

To attend the symposium, simply call 613.992.2618 or e-mail <>. The webpage is <>.