A Brief Introduction to Archival and Published Material Research

Archival Documents

Archives Search provides general information on all of our archival documents, such as maps, correspondence, photographs, diaries and audiovisual material. However, some of our holdings are also described individually in detail (down to the item level).

For example, the documents in the Transport Canada collection are described broadly in this database and include some airplane accident reports, which are described in more detail.  However, in the majority of cases, you will only find general references to these accident reports.

Published Documents

Library Search functions similarly to the Archives Search. It provides general descriptions of published material, such as newspapers, books, or magazines in our holdings.

For example, in the case of magazines, you will only find general information about the publication (title, publisher, etc.), but you will not find a complete list of all the years that we possess. In addition, the description does not include the titles of the articles that are published in the magazine.

Additionally, your research may prove unsuccessful if the keywords used are not recognized by the search engine. If this happens, try searching using a synonym or an alternate spelling of the keyword.

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

4 thoughts on “A Brief Introduction to Archival and Published Material Research

  1. Good Afternoon

    I would like to source and review the following primary sources of information. I am in the process of researching and developing a topic for enactment as part of the Bicentennial activities at Fort York in Toronto. I am pretty certain that at least 2 of the 5 references can be found at the national Archives in Ottawa. I’m not sure about the other 3.

    1) Published correspondence, diaries, journals and memoirs
    Smith, Michael. A geographical View of the Province of Upper Canada and promiscuous remarks on the government. Trenton: Moore and Lake ; William & David Robinson, 1813. (page 98).

    2) National Library and Archives of Canada, Ottawa: MG 24, C1 Diary of Joseph Willcocks May 1800-August 1802.

    3) Cuthbertson, Bennett. A system for the complete interior management and economy of a battalion of infantry. London: J. Millian, 1779. (page 113). [Period Military Manuals, Regulations and Treatises]

    4) Library and Archives of Canada, Ottawa: MG24F128 vol. 1, Grant Papers, Jasper Grant to Thomas Grant, 7 August 1808; MG19 F1, Claus Papers, vol. 4, Garden Book of Catherine Claus.

    5) Alexander Wood to James Leslie, 11 Nov 1812 and 29 Aug 1812, quoted in Firth ed., Town of York; 1793-1815 lxxxviii.

    Is it possible for a person to order resources for viewing from the National Archives (if they are archived there) a few business days in advance of actually attending the National Archives to read and review the document?

  2. Some of these documents, having been published, are also available through interlibrary loan. Numbers 1 and 5 (“A geographical view . . .” and “The Town of York . . .”) are definitely part of LAC’s library collection and you can ask your local library to borrow them from us for you. There may also be copies in other libraries closer to you.

  3. Pingback: Did you know that not everything is available online? | Library and Archives Canada Blog

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