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”.

Opa! Did Your Ancestors Come From Greece?

Do you wonder who your first Greek ancestor was and when he or she left Greece and arrived in Canada? Are you curious about your family’s Greek heritage?

If so, the LAC website is a great place to begin your research. For instance, you will find a page specific to genealogical research for the Greeks. It provides you with historical background, LAC’s archival collections and published material, as well as links to other websites and institutions.

If your ancestor came to Canada between 1865 and 1935, you might find his or her name on passenger lists.

Tip

Tracing your Greek ancestor in Canada is the first step. Joining a genealogical society  is an ideal way to begin your genealogy research.

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

What’s New? The Release of a New Video Tutorial

Black and white drawing of a man sitting in front of a computer screen that is displaying a family tree, diary, photograph and mapOur rich and varied holdings are just a click away. Tune in to our video to start your online search today!

This video is the first in a series of tutorials that provides useful tips and recommends tools to help you discover and access archival records, genealogical resources and published materials at LAC.

The tutorial series is just one of a number of LAC modernization initiatives that focuses on providing you with quick and useful information about our services.

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

“Time Travel” Research Tools: Discover Canadian Mail Order Catalogues

Reference specialists at Library and Archives Canada often wish they had a time machine where they could just dial in a year and away they would go!  While this is just fanciful thinking, Library and Archives Canada’s online collection of Canadian Mail Order Catalogues is a “time travel” research tool. This site provides an opportunity to discover English and French mail order catalogues, from a number of different stores, from the 1880s to the 1970s.

These department store catalogues provide a detailed record of many aspects of everyday life over the last century.  They contain everything from household furnishings and furniture, to all manner of clothing and accessories, kitchenware, patent medicines, toys, tools, and sporting equipment.

These catalogues can be used to identify and date collectables and memorabilia; to price household items from a certain time period; to establish the approximate dates of photographs by studying fashion trends; or to research props, sets and costumes for theatre and film. The possibilities are endless.

Whether you browse the catalogues for research purposes or just for fun, we hope that you will enjoy the trip back in time.

Tip

You can navigate each catalogue page by page or search all the catalogues by keyword.  For example, the results of a search for the keyword “hockey” will include a wonderful image of hockey sweaters from the Eaton Automne et hiver 1950–1951 catalogue.

Tidbit

To convert catalogue prices into today’s dollars, the Bank of Canada’s Inflation Calculator [www.bankofcanada.ca/rates/related/inflation-calculator/] is a handy tool.

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

Did Your Ancestors Come From Ireland (Eire)?

Do you wonder who your first Irish ancestor was and when he or she left Ireland and arrived in Canada? Are you curious about your family’s Irish heritage?

If so, the LAC website is a great place to begin your research. For instance, you will find a page specific to genealogical research for the Irish. It provides you with historical background, LAC’s archival collections and published material, as well as links to other websites and institutions.

If you know your Irish ancestor came to Canada before 1865, the following three databases are great starting points for your research:

If your ancestor came to Canada between 1865 and 1935, you might find his or her name on passenger lists.

Tip

Tracing your Irish ancestor in Canada is the first step. Tracing your ancestor in Ireland will require more research as the county where he or she came from in Ireland might not be known. Joining a genealogical society is an ideal way to begin your genealogy research.

Don’t forget to listen to The Shamrock and the Fleur-de-Lys, our podcast about the mass immigration of Irish settlers to Quebec in the 1800s.

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

Discover Finding Aids – Part Two

As we discussed in our first article “Discover Finding Aids”, finding aids are tools that provide information about the archival documents held in a fonds or a collection. One of the most common types of finding aid is the content list. It typically provides general file-level reference information. In Archives Search, a content-list finding aid for a fonds or a collection can appear in a number of ways:

  1. It can be attached to the fonds-level description as a portable document format (.pdf file). This is generally true for collections or materials acquired from private individuals (usually identified by collection codes beginning with “MSS”) as in the example below:
A two-column, black-and-white image of a search result in Archives Search. The left column displays the word “Finding aid.” The right column displays the result with a link to a pdf finding aid.

Mikan 103625

  1. It may also be accessed by clicking on the hyperlinked number found beside the “consists of” text. This is generally true for collections of materials acquired from government departments (usually identified by collection codes beginning with “RG”).
A two-column, black-and-white image of a search result in Archives Search. The left column displays the words “Series consists of.” The right column displays the words “7893 lower level description(s).”

Mikan 133700

  1. Sometimes the content list is only identified by a number in the text paragraph, which can be found beside the Finding aid field label in a fonds, collection, series or sub-series description.
A two-column, black-and-white image of a search result in Archives Search. The left column displays the words “Finding aid.” The right column displays a brief written description of the content list.

Mikan 106943

Content lists simply identified by number generally exist in paper format only and must be consulted in person (or copies must be obtained). Numbers beginning with MSS (e.g., MSS0211) most often refer to content lists for collections or materials acquired from private individuals. Finding aids composed of numbers separated by a hyphen (e.g., 12-13) usually refer to content lists for collections of materials acquired from government departments.

This concludes “Discover Finding Aids – Part Two.” You can now read the Archives Search results to help you locate the finding aids.

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

How to Search for Images Online

Did you know that you can search for images in our collection online, simply by using a “copy negative number”?

What is a copy negative number?

Copy negative numbers are used to identify a photograph or a work of art in our collection. They usually start with a C-, a PA-, or an e number, such as:

  • C-041979
  • PA-005001
  • e002505688

Copy negative numbers are usually included along with the image in the photo credit in books, articles or online.

So what do you do if you have found a copy negative number, in a book or online, and would like to know if Library and Archives Canada holds this image? How do you get to the image’s description in our database?

It’s simple, just follow these tips:

You can search Archives Search by copy negative number; however, there is a trick to it…

  • C- and PA- numbers must have six digits after the hyphen in order for our database to recognize them.
  • Zeros should be added at the beginning of a shorter number to create a number with six digits. For example, if you see PA-5001 you need to enter PA-005001.
  • Copy negatives starting with an “e” do not follow the six-digit rule (they do not require a hyphen either).
  • Look under the heading entitled “Conditions of Access” for the copy negative number starting with C- or PA-, or under “Terms of Use” for e numbers.
  • You will need the copy negative number to order a photographic reproduction or a digital image of a work of art.

For more information, read our blog post How to Find Photographs Online for other quick hints to help you search for photographs.

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

What Can Canadian Directories Do for You?

Canadian directories have long been a valuable resource at Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and can be used for a variety of purposes. Before telephone books came into use, Canadian directories (sometimes simply referred to as city directories), were used as a tool for advertising and marketing within a community and were intended to facilitate communication between buyer and seller.

Our collection includes national, provincial/territorial, county and city directories from across Canada, primarily from the 19th and 20th centuries. Genealogists are frequent users of the directories as they provide opportunities to track a person within a given time period and place. An individual’s address, occupation and the names of other household members are only a few of the gems that lie ready to be discovered within their pages.

Canadian directories are a popular tool for genealogists but they aren’t the only ones who can benefit from this resource! These directories have many other excellent uses.

Canadian Directories can…

  • help determine the urban development of an area
  • be used to determine the history of a building
  • showcase advertisements from a certain time period that can be a valuable source of information about the services, products and entertainments available to Canadian society
  • provide information on the companies that were active during that time period
  • furnish a list of city officials
  • supply researchers with population statistics for that time period
  • offer the names and locations of important community institutions such as schools, churches, etc.

Useful Resources

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

How to Search for Birth, Marriage and Death Records

Did you know that there are two sources for finding birth, marriage and death records?

From early times to the present, baptisms, marriages and burials have been recorded in church parish registers. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, provincial and territorial governments introduced the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths.

As civil registration is not a federal jurisdiction, Library and Archives Canada does not hold copies of birth, marriage and death certificates, but….

…help is at hand!

To learn about how to find these records from other sources, visit our pages on vital statistics: births, marriages and deaths.

Many genealogical societies and individuals have indexed parish registers and published the result of their work. These publications are called “Church Indexes” (known as “répertoires” in French-Canadian genealogy).  Most of the volumes are for marriages but also exist for baptisms and burials.

We hold many of these indexes; here’s how to find them in our collection:

Use AURORA to search not only our collection, but the holdings of libraries across Canada.

1. On the Basic Search screen, select “Title Keyword” from the drop-down menu.  Enter your search terms, such as a place name (province, town, township or county) plus a term for the kind of information you are looking for.

Examples:

  • Trois-Rivières marriages or Trois-Rivières
  • mariages Edmonton cemeteries
  • Collingwood deaths

2. On the Basic Search screen, select “Subject Keyword” from the drop-down menu.  Enter your search term, such as a place name (province, town, township or county) and the word genealogy or genealogies or registers. Note that subject headings for each publication are in English and French, so you may use the language of your choice.

Examples:

  • Saskatchewan genealogy
  • Russell genealogies
  • Niagara registers

Did you know?

Published material, such as books, may often be borrowed via interlibrary loan*. Simply provide the bibliographic citation, along with the AMICUS number, to your librarian, and they may request it from LAC.

 

(*) 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!