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What's New at Library and Archives Canada

by Christine Hayes - 0 Comment(s)

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I was cruising through the genealogical society newsletters and came across this interesting bit of information: Library and Archives Canada has launched several new databases and tools for genealogists. They have also outlined their plans for the next few years.

In December LAC announced their intention to double the volume of online genealogical content with the mounting of millions of digital images on its website. This is as a result of their partnership with Ancestry.ca. Perhaps as recognition of the effect this partnership will have on Canadian researchers, Ancestry.ca was nominated for a 2010 Pierre Berton award for excellence in contributing to the study of Canadian History. They didn’t win, that honour went to Desmond Morton (yay!) but Ancestry.ca did receive an honourable mention for their work.

Library and Archives Canada has also announced their intention to phase out the sending of photocopies in response to the 750,000 requests they receive every year. Instead, by April 2011, the will be sending only digital copies. This has a double benefit. Paper use is reduced and, as digital copies are requested, LAC is looking for ways to reuse these images to provide access to the copied documents. Many archives enhance their digitization projects in this way. As images are requested they are mounted on the website. This doubles the value of work done.

New at the Canadian Genealogy Centre is the 1916 Census. It is not searchable by name but it can be searched by place and the pages can be browsed. In time, LAC will have all censuses available on their website. Also in December, LAC launched the Medals and Awards database. This resource contains more than 100,000 listings of medal citations and awards. Other databases and tools newly launched include the Canadian Families database, which is a small but growing index to church records, the Upper Canada Land Boards records which include 16,000 references to land board documents from 1765-1804, a guide to help researchers find documents relating to Internment Camps for both World Wars and new tools for researchers looking at immigration documents including transcriptions of the various forms used to record information.

It is always worthwhile, with any provider of information or database, to have a look at what’s new. At LAC, there is a link in the red bar on the left side of the page. Things are really hopping at LAC and I’m always impressed by what I find there.

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