The 40th Anniversary of ISSN Canada

2014 marks the 40th anniversary of ISSN Canada, the Canadian national centre for ISSN, (International Standard Serial Numbers). ISSN Canada, a unit within the Bibliographic Description section at Library and Archives Canada (LAC), has been assigning ISSNs and registering Canadian serial publications since January 1974.

What is an ISSN?

An ISSN, is a standardized international code that identifies a serial publication, including electronic serials, independent of its country of publication, language, alphabet, frequency, etc. Over a period of 40 years, ISSN Canada has helped Canadian publishers and libraries to quickly and efficiently identify, order, distribute and retrieve serial publications.

ISSN Canada is a member of the world-wide ISSN Network, which was established by a UNESCO treaty to which Canada is a signatory. ISSN Canada has exclusive responsibility for assigning ISSNs to serials published in Canada.

40 years of successful cooperation

As one of the first members, Canada has a long history of active participation in the ISSN community. ISSN Canada is the third most productive national centre within the ISSN Network, after France and the United States.

Forty years of successful cooperation among ISSN centres, and the sustained growth of the ISSN Network is an accomplishment worthy of pride and celebration for LAC. This significant milestone is an opportunity to highlight the longevity of the ISSN, identifier and to celebrate Canada’s participation in the ISSN Network.

ISSN Canada thanks Canadian publishers for their participation in the success of this program.

Historical Debates of the Parliament of Canada (Hansard) now online!

Congratulations to the Library of Parliament and Canadiana: the Historical Debates of the Parliament of Canada portal is now live!

This new portal contains the historical debates in both official languages from 1867 to the mid-1990s. This means you can now search and browse all published debates of both the Senate and the House of Commons from Parliament 1, Session 1, until the coverage begins on parl.gc.ca.

As mentioned above, the portal was developed by the Library of Parliament, in collaboration with Canadiana.org, a membership alliance dedicated to building Canada’s digital preservation infrastructure and providing wide-ranging access to Canadian documentary heritage. Library and Archives Canada is pleased to have provided support by producing the digital page images.

You can consult our blog Looking for the Debates of the House of Commons (Hansard) online? of June 2012 to help you find information on the House of Commons debates.

How to read AMICUS records—Part 2

Our previous article on this topic explained how to decode an AMICUS record for books, documents and reports (monographs). Today’s article provides you with tips on decoding an AMICUS record for journals, magazines, newspapers or any type of ongoing publication (serials).

To help you better understand, the numbers on the image correspond to the fields described in the article.

Screen capture of the AMICUS full record with corresponding fields (source: AN1538070)

1. AMICUS No.: Keep track of this number! You will need it to request issues of the serial, whether you place a request for retrieval before visiting Library and Archives Canada (LAC) or once you are on site.

2. NLC (National Library Collection) Copies: Provides key information on which issues of the serial record are available in our collection. It is essential to distinguish between the LAC holdings for the serial found in NLC Copies (No. 2) and the description of the publishing history of the serial found in the Description (No. 3). The complete run of a serial is sometimes unavailable at LAC or may be available in a microform version. If a microform version exists, it will be included as a link in Relationships (No. 6).

The following punctuation marks are used to describe serial holdings:
Punctuation Mark Meaning Example
Hyphen  - An unbroken range of holdings v. 1-30 means the library has each issue of the serial from volumes 1 to 30 in its holdings.
Square brackets  [ ] Incomplete holdings [1950] means that holdings include some issues published in 1950.
Question mark  ? Uncertain holdings information v. 18-42? means that holdings may include volumes 18 to 42.
Slash  / A single physical item with two connected volumes v. 12/13 indicates that volumes 12 and 13 are contained in a single physical item.
Comma  , A gap in the holdings v. 1-3, 5 means the library has volumes 1 to 3 and 5 but not volume 4.
Semicolon  ; A publication break (not a gap) in the holdings v. 1-3; 5- indicates that after volume 3 the publisher jumped to 5 without publishing volume 4.

3. Description: Indicates when the serial began publication.

4. Frequency: Specifies how frequently the serial has been published over the years.

5. Notes: Offers additional information about the serial, such as where it has been indexed and its alternate titles.

6. Relationships: Provides links to related versions, for example, in other languages or in other formats, such as a journal available online or on microfilm. In this case, you will find a link to the online version of this journal held in our electronic collection.

Questions or comments? We would love to hear from you!

How to read AMICUS records—Part 1

Have you ever used our AMICUS library catalogue to try to find a book and were unsure about how to decode the information?

Here are tips on decoding an AMICUS record for books, reports or documents (monographs). To help you better understand, the numbers on the image correspond to the fields in the article.

Screen capture of the AMICUS full record with corresponding fields (source: AN 3041155)

1. AMICUS No.: Keep track of this number! You will need the AMICUS No., the name(s) of the author(s) and the title of the work to place a request for retrieval before visiting Library and Archives Canada (LAC) or once you are on site. Immediately below the AMICUS No., the type of record is specified; this tells you if the record is for a book, a report or a document (monograph), or a journal, a magazine, a newspaper or any type of ongoing publication (serial).

2. NLC (National Library Collection) Copies: Indicates the number of copies available at LAC. If you do not find NLC copies in the record, start your search over and make sure that you are searching the LAC catalogue only, not the entire database. As we are a closed stack library, the shelf location information is for internal purposes only and is not useful to you. Please note that preservation copies are presently unavailable.

3. Description: Tells you the number of pages and if the work contains illustrations or maps.

4: Notes: Provides additional information about the work, for example, other title information, additional information on the contents, whether it contains bibliographic references.

5. Relationships: Provides links to related versions of the work, for example, in other languages or in other formats, such as online or on microfiche.

6. Numbers and Classification: Generally of interest to other libraries only. The call numbers are suggestions for other libraries and are not LAC call numbers.

7. Subjects: Provides the standardized subject headings assigned to the work. Click on any subject heading to find additional materials on that topic.

Stay tuned for an upcoming article on how to read AMICUS records for journals, magazines, newspapers or any other type of ongoing publication (serials).

Questions or comments? We would love to hear from you!

How to retrieve a Canadian newspaper when visiting LAC on site

Thanks to our article on “How to Find a Canadian Newspaper on Microfilm” you may now know how to easily access our Geographical List and how to read a newspaper entry. But how can you access these newspapers while you are on site at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa?

Some of our newspapers on microfilm are available in the self-serve section on the third floor, but most need to be requested via AMICUS, our library catalogue. Once you have located your AMICUS number, you can make a retrieval request in AMICUS by following the steps below:

To access our AMICUS catalogue, go to one of our computer workstations and open the Internet browser. You can access the catalogue by selecting the “Library Catalogue – AMICUS OPAC” link from the workstation homepage.

Use the AMICUS number to get to the correct record by selecting the “AMICUS No.” option from the drop-down menu.

Remember:
Not all the AMICUS records have been updated to show all the newspaper dates available. If you don’t see your date listed in the AMICUS record, don’t worry! You can trust the dates given in the Geographical List even if you don’t see them in the AMICUS record.

Once you have found the right record for your date range, press the “Retrieve” button. Enter your date in the first space provided and don’t forget to enter your user card barcode number.

Your retrieval request will take 2 to 3 hours to process. You can then retrieve your microfilm reels in the third floor Consultation Room. Make sure to search for them under the first letter of your last name. You will find microfilm readers available in the same room. For more information on using these microfilm readers, consult our article “Tips and tricks on how to use a microform reader”.

Questions or comments? We would love to hear from you!

How to find photographs that are not yet available online – part two

Our previous article “How to find photographs that are not yet available online—part one” explained the best-case scenario for finding photographs that are not yet available online. But what happens when things don’t go that smoothly?

What if I find items that are close but not what I want?

If there are items in your search results that aren’t quite what you’re looking for, don’t despair. It’s quite possible that we have what you want, but that it hasn’t been described yet. The items that have already been described offer you a useful clue as to where those non-described items might be.

First, note the fonds, collection, or accession where each item is from and look at the field labelled “extent.” How many other photographs make up that collection? Perhaps there are more images relating to your topic.

Does the item have:

- an item number?
- a particular photographer?
- certain keywords?

Use variations of those keywords, item number and photographer’s name to do other online searches in Archives Search. If those don’t yield any results, try the finding aid related to each item, either online or on paper. See “How to find photographs that are not yet available online—part one” for tips on using the finding aid.

What if the finding aid is not online or the finding aid is only available in paper?

If you find a fonds, collection, or accession that seems relevant to your research but that doesn’t have an electronic finding aid, look to see if it has a paper one. If it does, you can visit us at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa, to have a closer look at it. If there is no reference to a paper finding aid, then you have to search through the boxes from that collection. If you cannot come to Ottawa, you can contact our reference staff for guidance, or you may wish to hire a freelance researcher.

With more than 25 million images, chances are we have your “perfect shot.” You just have to find it!

Questions or comments? We would love to hear from you!

How to find photographs that are not yet available online – part one

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has more than 25 million photographs, one of the largest archival photographic collections in the world. To make these collections more accessible, LAC has undertaken an ongoing project to digitize them, including photographic material. Currently, some images are already digitized and described at the item-level in our Archives Search database.

Given the cost and complexity of describing and digitizing fragile archival images, photographs are described and digitized only when they are requested by users. So, if you are looking for that unique, one-of-a-kind archival photo that no one else has requested (e.g., UFO, Big Foot or Ogopogo), you better start digging!

Begin by checking what has already been described. Follow the steps outlined in our past article: “How to find photographs online” to get a sense of the type of photographs that already exist on your topic, individual, or location.

If those searches do not yield what you’re looking for, it’s time to dig deeper. This is where archival research meets detective work! Remember, from now on we’re talking about photographs that have not been digitized, so you will not be able to view the image before ordering it or visiting LAC.

Keyword Search

In Archives Search, after selecting “Photographic Material” under “TYPE OF MATERIAL” you can enter key words in the search box. Get creative with the key words; archival documents are often titled using the creator’s own language. Narrow your search by using the “ADVANCED SEARCH” features.

You may end up with image search results that aren’t exactly what you’re looking for. Don’t panic. This list is just the beginning of your journey into deeper archival research. It’s fun, trust us!

Fonds/Collections/Accessions

Have you found archival records, including photographs and textual records, all jumbled together? These groupings are called fonds or accessions or sometimes collections. This is a high-level description of an entire grouping of material, usually based on the source of the original donation.

Check out the extent field and see how many photographs are listed there. Read the descriptions carefully and see if the material described relates to the photographs you’re looking for.

They do? Great!

Now, read the description again and see if there is a finding aid.

There is? Good!

Now see if it’s electronic and attached to the description in Archives Search.

It is? Fantastic!

Open it up and see if it provides a listing of the contents of the fonds, collection, or accession.

It does? Wonderful!

Locate the box that you think contains the image you’re looking for, based on the contents of the finding aid, and order the box by following the steps outlined in our article “How to consult material that is not yet available online.”

But what happens if things don’t go this smoothly? Our next article on this topic will provide more tips from our experts on what to do. Stay tuned!

Questions or comments? We would love to hear from you!

The Canadian Coast Guard celebrates its 50th anniversary – Part II

In a previous blog, we invited you to discover some archival holdings to mark the 50th anniversary of the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG), including photographs, as well as government and political records. In this blog, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) encourages you to explore holdings containing CCG caricatures, audiovisual records and publications.

Caricatures

Audiovisual Records

There are many films and interviews on the CCG. It would be nearly impossible to list them all here, but the following are a few examples that may pique your curiosity.

Visit our film, video and sound recording database for more audiovisual records.

Publications

LAC has a vast collection of publications! Here are some books on the CCG that may interest you:

For more publications, visit AMICUS.

If you wish to search the records on-site at LAC, please order them at least five business days before your visit. You may order them online by using our Request for Retrieval of Documents form or by calling 613-996-5115 or  1-866-578-7777 (toll free) and selecting option 8 in the automated menu.

Questions or comments? We would love to hear from you!

Summary of comments received in French up to September 30th, 2013

  • LAC added the following resources: Usque ad mare: a history of the Canadian Coast Guard and marine services by Thomas E. Appleton. (AMICUS 612170) and The Canadian Coast Guard, 1962-2002 by Charles D. Maginley (AMICUS 28388186).

Why Consult Newspapers on Microfilm?

We have already discussed how to find Canadian newspapers on microfilm; and you might have wondered why we have to turn to microfilm in the first place? Aren’t these newspapers available online?

The short answer is that only some of them are (*). Most newspaper editions available electronically for free are limited in their content, and the issues usually start only in the 1980s. If you are interested in full-page content and original layouts, or need to access older issues, some major dailies like the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and the Winnipeg Free Press offer historical versions in PDF format for a fee. As well, your local library may subscribe to a particular daily, or you may also purchase access yourself.

Another option is to access Library and Archives Canada’s newspapers on microfilm, an extensive collection that:

  • includes major newspapers, as well as local, labour, ethnic and student papers;
  • allows you to research aspects of newspaper publishing, such as design, layout and advertising, not contained in the electronic versions; and
  • provides access to content excluded in the electronic versions, including photographs, classifieds and obituaries.

Come visit us in Ottawa to consult these newspapers on microfilm and discover our collection, or contact us for more information.

* The following are examples of free digital newspaper collections:

Questions or comments? We would love to hear from you!

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – Caricatures, stamps and other documents!

Colour photograph of Queen Elizabeth II in a crowd, smiling.

Queen Elizabeth, 1990 Source

In addition to photographs, you can also find in the collection of Library and Archives Canada (LAC) caricatures, stamps, audiovisual materials and, of course, books; all of which illustrate and discuss Queen Elizabeth II.

 Caricatures

As a public figure, Queen Elizabeth II is the subject for editorial cartoonists. Here are a few examples from the caricatures collection at LAC, some of which are digitized and available online:

Philatelic Documents

A vast number of stamps with Queen Elizabeth II as the main theme were issued. The first one dates from 1932 when she was only a child. The Canadian Postal Archives (Philatis) database, which is accessible from the LAC website, is where you can find Canadian stamps that relate to Elizabeth, Princess and Queen. Moreover, a search using the keywords “Queen Elizabeth II, philatelic” in our Archives Image Search database provides access to over 30 online records.

Audio-visual

The LAC collection includes many films and sound recordings of Elizabeth II. Although these recordings are not available online, you can easily discover our collection by making a keyword search of the Film, Video and Sounds database, which is found on our website.

Here are a few examples:

Publications

Don’t forget our large published collection! To find a publication about Queen Elizabeth II, consult AMICUS.

In the meantime, here is a publication (in PDF format) available online:

A Crown of Maples: Constitutional Monarchy in Canada. Canadian Heritage, Gatineau, 2008 (archived) [PDF 55.9MB].

Stay tuned for our next and final blog on The Queen, which will focus on government records and private archives.

Questions or comments? We would love to hear from you!