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 a Canadian Newspaper on Microfilm

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has over 2,300 Canadian newspapers dating back to the mid-1700s, which you can access on microfilm reels or microfiche cards. Begin your research with our Geographical List, which provides the titles of community newspapers held at LAC for a given time period.

For example, to find news coverage of Queen Elizabeth II touring Rimouski,Quebec, in November 1951, on her first royal visit to Canada as Princess Elizabeth, you would follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Geographical Listand select Quebec.
  2. A list of localities will appear for Quebec. Select Rimouski – Sweetsburg. You will find a list of 14 newspapers for Rimouski,Quebec, with titles appearing in red. Each title is followed by a shelf number (e.g., NJ.FM.2006), a range of dates* (e.g., ja 2001–nov 2004), and an AMICUS number (e.g., AN 9745700).
  3. The fourth title, L’Écho du Bas St-Laurent, shows the range of dates 3 mr 1933–29 av 1970. This means that LAC has that newspaper on microfilm from March 3, 1933, to April 29, 1970.
  4. Now that you have found a newspaper likely to have covered the event in 1951, write down the AMICUS number—in this case AN 7419576. You will need it to order the microfilm reel for consultation.

In the meantime, if you need more information on how to use the Geographical List or how to read an entry, visit our page on Microform Holdings.

*Ranges of dates refer to newspapers held at LAC, not the period of time they were in print.

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