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!

Tips and tricks on how to use a microform reader

Numerous documents belonging to Library and Archives Canada’s collection have been copied to microfiche and microfilm (some of which are available via AMICUS, and others via self-service at 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa). First-time researchers may find the equipment required to view this material somewhat confusing.

Therefore, we have prepared a quick list of Do’s and Don’ts to guide you in the proper use and handling of these machines so that your research may be profitable.

DO’s:

  • Prepare ahead of time for your visit and order material in advance, if necessary. To learn how, please consult our previous blog article: “The Top Five Things You Need to Know Before You Visit”.
  • Retrieve your microfilm from the Consultation Reading Room shelves, which are organized by the first letter of your surname, or retrieve self-serve microfilm from the Consultation Reading Room microfilm drawers.
  • Sign in with the Consultation staff in the Microfilm Reading Room for access to a microform reader.
  • Ask the Consultation Staff for assistance if you require help loading the microform onto the readers.
  • Bring your own flash drive or CD/DVD to save digital copies of the material. Printed copies may also be purchased using a copy card, available at the Consultation Office.
  • When making digital scans from microform, please complete a “photo permission” form (used primarily for statistical purposes).
  • Be aware that making copies from microform (either on paper or as digital images) can only be done during service hours.
  • Place the self-serve microfilm reels on the return shelf, located behind the Consultation staff’s desk (in the Microfilm Reading Room) when you are finished with them.
  • Return published microform (that is, the ones you have ordered via AMICUS), to the Published Material return shelf located near the Consultation Office.
  • Consult the Special Collections staff for access to the National Map Collection (NMC) microfiche.

DON’Ts:

  • Don’t place self-serve microfilm reels in your locker. When self-serve microfilm reels are not being used, they must be available for other clients.
  • Don’t disobey the Copyright Act by making digital copies of newspapers less than 100 years old. For more information, please consult the rules posted by each photocopier.
  • Don’t leave microfilm reels at your work station or on top of cabinets.

For more details, be sure to ask our on-site Consultation staff. They are ready to answer any additional questions you may have.

Happy research!

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

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!

New Digitized Reels: War of 1812 Records

We are pleased to announce that you can now access 73,000 new images of War of 1812 records on its website.

Discover these valuable resources and other miscellaneous records for the War of 1812 with the Microform Digitization research tool. This tool allows you to browse these records page by page.

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) holds a unique and vast collection of records about the Canadian men and women who were involved in the War of 1812. Muster rolls, paylists, claims, certificates of service, medal registers, maps, paintings, and published sources are featured in LAC holdings that document this key event.

With these images now online, you have easy access to records for:

  • Board of Claims for War of 1812 losses, 1813–1848, Series RG19 E5A
  • Lower Canada militia nominal rolls and paylists, Series RG9 1A7
  • Upper Canada militia returns, nominal rolls, and paylists, Series RG9 1B7

For more information on recent announcements at LAC, visit “News“.

New Digitized Reels: Border Entry Records

We are pleased to announce that you can now access 121,302 new images of immigration records on our website, with the Microform Digitization research tool.

Before 1908, people were able to move freely across the border from the United States into Canada. Beginning in that year, entry ports were established along the border. From 1908 to 1918, and from 1925 to 1935, border entry records were compiled in a list format to record the names of immigrants.

By providing these images online, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is now offering all immigration records containing nominal information for immigrants from 1865 to 1935 in its custody. Discover these valuable resources with the Microform Digitization research tool, which allows you to browse, page by page, the border entry records.

For more information on recent announcements at LAC, visit “News”.

How to Order Newspapers on Microfilm via Interlibrary Loan

If you read our post on How to Find a Canadian Newspaper on Microfilm, you already know what newspapers we have! Now you might ask: “How can I access them?”

Easy! Borrow any newspaper on microfilm from our collection through interlibrary loan (ILL)*.

For example, to access all the issues of the Montréal Journal for June 1904, just follow these steps.

  1. Go to our Microform Holdings section that lists localities by province. Then, select Montréal to find the Montréal Journal.
  2. Record the information provided for that daily newspaper. In this case: Journal.NJ.FM.1147 16 dé 1899- 7 mr 1905 AN 7046754.
  3. Go to your local library and consult a librarian to order the newspaper for a specific date. He or she will need the information you recorded earlier to retrieve your newspaper.
  • Title: Journal
  • Place of publication: Montréal (to avoid getting the Journal for a different city)
  • AMICUS Number: AN 7046754
  • Dates you need: June 1904

The following information is not needed:

  • Microfilm reel number (only required for archival material on microfilm, not newspapers)
  • Shelf number (e.g., NJ.FM.1147)
  • Entire date span (e.g., 16 dé 1899- 7 mr 1905)

Did you know?

  • The loan period is four weeks (eight weeks for Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and outside Canada), including travel time.
  • Each person can borrow 12 reels at a time per title.
  • If your date range is covered on more than 12 reels, you must order those for the remaining dates once the first set of reels has been returned and checked-in.
  • There are no renewals.
  • If you are searching a wide range of dates, start by requesting six reels, then ordering another six a couple of weeks later. This will give you enough time to access the reels you have on hand while others are on the way.

Happy reading!

(*) Update: End of Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Services

ILL services at Library and Archives Canada (LAC) will end in December 2012. Users of LAC‘s current services should note the following dates:

  • November 13, 2012: End of loan requests from international libraries.
  • November 16, 2012: End of renewals. All items loaned after this date will be non-renewable.
  • December 11, 2012: End of loan requests, location searches, and ILL-related photocopying services.

LAC‘s ILL listserv (CANRES-L) and Canadian Library Gateway will also be archived in December 2012.

LAC will continue to facilitate interlibrary loan activities among other institutions through the ILL form in AMICUS, and through ongoing administration of Canadian Library Symbols.

Through our modernized service channels, LAC will emphasize increased digital access to high-demand content. LAC is working with Canada’s ILL user community in order to inform this approach to accessing the institution’s unique holdings.

For more information, please visit “Interlibrary Loan at Library and Archives Canada“.

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

How to Consult Material that Is Not Yet Available Online

For Archival Material – Use Archives Search

When searching for archival material (i.e., diaries, photographs etc.), use Archives Search. You will be able to search database records, known as “archival descriptions”. Sometimes the contents of the record have not yet been digitized. When this is the case, use one of the following methods to consult the material:

  • In person at 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa: Please order any material that you may require, at least five days prior to your visit, by using our Request for Retrieval of Documents Form.
  • Via interlibrary loan*: If the material you require is available in microfilm format, you may borrow the microfilm reel(s) by interlibrary loan. Locate the alpha-numeric reference number, indicated in the archival description (e.g., C-1234) and provide this number to your local librarian.
  • Ordering reproductions: If you require an item in our collection that has not yet been digitized, follow the steps outlined in our blog post: “How to Order Digitized Reproductions and Help Build the Digital Collection” to order reproductions.

For Published Material – Use Library Search/AMICUS

When searching for published material (i.e., books, newspapers, etc.), use either our Library Search or, for more search features, use our AMICUS catalogue. The search results will often be database records (known as “bibliographic records”) and not full-text online documents. There are three ways you may consult the material:

  • In person at 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa: You may order published materials in advance of your visit. Please contact us by telephone and select option 8 in the automated menu. You may request up to five items per day.
  • Via interlibrary loan*: Most published items can be borrowed by interlibrary loan through your local library. Please provide your librarian with the item’s AMICUS number.
  • Ordering reproductions: If you require an item in our collection that has not yet been digitized, follow the steps outlined in our blog post: “How to Order Digitized Reproductions and Help Build the Digital Collection” to order reproductions. Please note that copyright protection may limit what we can reproduce.

(*) Update: End of Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Services

ILL services at Library and Archives Canada (LAC) will end in December 2012. Users of LAC‘s current services should note the following dates:

  • November 13, 2012: End of loan requests from international libraries.
  • November 16, 2012: End of renewals. All items loaned after this date will be non-renewable.
  • December 11, 2012: End of loan requests, location searches, and ILL-related photocopying services.

LAC‘s ILL listserv (CANRES-L) and Canadian Library Gateway will also be archived in December 2012.

LAC will continue to facilitate interlibrary loan activities among other institutions through the ILL form in AMICUS, and through ongoing administration of Canadian Library Symbols.

Through our modernized service channels, LAC will emphasize increased digital access to high-demand content. LAC is working with Canada’s ILL user community in order to inform this approach to accessing the institution’s unique holdings.

For more information, please visit “Interlibrary Loan at Library and Archives Canada“.

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

Upper Canada Land Petitions Database Update

Library and Archives Canada is pleased to announce a major update to its online  Upper Canada Land Petitions (1763–1865) database.

  • All suggestions for corrections received from users since the original launch in September 2010 have been integrated into the database.
  • More than 5,000 references to land petitions occurring in the Upper Canada Sundries have been added to the database.

Through this updated online database, researchers can access more than 82,000 references to petitions for grants or leases of land created by individuals who lived in present-day Ontario between 1763 and 1865.

Furthermore, Library and Archives Canada is pleased to announce the addition of the digitized images of the Upper Canada land petitions from 326 microfilm reels, representing 357,831 new images to its website. Through the “microform digitization” research tool, users can browse the microfilm reels page by page.

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!