Did Your Ancestors Come From the Netherlands (Holland)?

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

You will find on our website a specific page about genealogical research for the Dutch. It provides historical background, main LAC archival collections and published material and links to other websites and institutions.

If your Dutch ancestor came to Canada before 1865, a good starting point would be to consult the three following databases:

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


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

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


Lights, Camera, Action! Searching for Film, Video and Sound Recordings

If you’re looking for information about audiovisual recordings in the archival collection of Library and Archives Canada, use our Film, Video and Sound database, which contains details on individual audiovisual recordings that cannot be found in our Archives Search.

If you are looking for published audiovisual recordings, such as commercial film or television production, use Library Search.


  • It is not yet possible to view the recordings online. Please see our blog post on How to Consult Material that IS Not Yet Available Online for details.
  • In the Film, Video and Sound database, the statement No consultation copies available indicates that a consultation copy must be made before you can consult or order a copy of the document. This will take approximately six weeks.

*Please consult our clarification regarding this article.

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

Handle with Care: How to Handle Archival Boxes Properly

We have all carried a box or two in our lives. Some, we are more careful with, like our grandmother’s china. Others, like a box of winter clothes we are anxious to put away, may not require such care. Think of archival boxes as you would your grandmother’s precious china. The box of records you are given to consult may contain documents that are hundreds of years old and one of a kind. To help us continue to preserve and protect these documents, our consultation staff have prepared a quick list of Do’s and Don’ts to guide you in the proper care and handling of archival boxes and their contents:


  • Hold the box with two hands, using one hand to support the bottom of the box.
  • Keep the box close to your body when transferring it from one surface to another. Bring the box to the consultation staff immediately if you suspect it contains mould.
  • Take one file at a time out of the box.
  • Close the lid once you have retrieved your file.
  • Make sure that the entire record rests on the surface of the table and that no part hangs over the edge.
  • Inform the consultation staff if you notice that the box is damaged. Staff will make arrangements to re-box it.
  • Use only pencils near archival documents.
  • Use the blue flags provided in the research areas to bookmark a page.
  • Use the carts provided to move a box from the table to the returns cart, to the lockers or back to consultation staff.


  • Place the container on the floor.
  • Rearrange the order of the documents in the file or the box.
  • Use hand lotion or hand sanitizer while handling the box or its contents.
  • Use metal clips or sticky notes on the documents.
  • Use the box handles, as this action could damage the box and the material inside.
  • Lean on the records.

If you have any questions while consulting archival documents, please feel free to ask the staff at the consultation desk who will gladly help you out.

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

Remembering the Titanic at LAC – Part III: Canadians on the Titanic

A postcard of a large ship on the ocean

A postcard of the “Ill-fated Titanic”, circa 1912 (e004155512_s1)

The Titanic set sail on April 10, 1912, with 2,227 passengers and crew onboard; on April 15, 1912, the tragic collision with an iceberg claimed over 1,500 lives, mostly among the second and third class passengers.

Among the first class passengers were two Canadian businessmen; Charles Melville Hays and Harry Markland Molson.

Charles Melville Hays was born in 1856 and educated in the United States. He worked on several railways in the U.S.A. before coming to Canada in 1896. He was the General Manager of the Grand Trunk Railway, from 1896 to 1909 with the exception of a period in 1901 when he was president of the Southern Pacific Railway. In 1905 he became president of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, which was largely his own creation. In 1909, he was appointed president of the Grand Trunk Railway and retained this office until his death on the Titanic.  Charles was the husband of Clara J. Gregg and father of four daughters.  Learn more about Hays in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.

Harry Markland Molson, also born in 1856, was the great grandson of John Molson, founder of the famous Canadian brewery.  He lived in Montreal and was former Mayor of Dorval and a member of the board of directors for the Molson Bank. You can learn more about the Molson family by reading the Dictionary of Canadian Biography online.

Library and Archives Canada has some records relating to both these gentlemen:

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

Remembering the Titanic at LAC – Part II: Published Materials

A postcard of a large ship on the ocean

A postcard of the “Ill-fated Titanic”, circa 1912 (e004155512_s1)

The sinking of the Titanic was a source of inspiration for musicians and filmmakers and Library and Archives Canada has some interesting pieces of audio-visual and music material in its collection! Let’s continue exploring:


  • Titanic [music], words by Charles Lavell, music by Norman Fraser, 1912 (OCLC 498649021)
  • Men be British!, words and music by C.A. Frame, 1912. (OCLC 1007608738)
  • The ice king’s bride: song, words by Cecil E. Selwyn, music by Arthur A. Penn, 1913.  (OCLC 1007535382)
  • The loss of the Titanic : song, words and music by Arthur S. Leslie, 1912 (OCLC 1007608969)
  • Back to Titanic , original music composed and conducted by James Horner. Includes My heart will go on performed by Céline Dion, (OCLC 1006762159)
  • Titanic [music]: a voyage in piano music by Rebekah Maxner (OCLC 758437127)

Films and Audio Recordings

  • G. Kleine collection R8745-0-3-E,3 film reels (7 min). Collection consists of short documentary clips about skating in Montreal, skating on the canal and the sinking of the Titanic .
  • The discovery of the Titanic [sound recording] by Robert D. Ballard, with Rick Archbold, 1989. (OCLC 1032981850)
  • Titanic troubles [sound recording], part of The time capsule series of books by Ouita Petty, 1996, (OCLC 79684269)
  • Titanic [sound recording]: survivors in their own voice (1915-1999), (OCLC 226950845)


  • RMS Titanic : the first violin : the life and loss of  the Titanic’s violinist, John Law Hume by Yvonne Hume with a foreword by Millvina Dean, Titanic’s last survivor (OCLC 766386309)
  • Poems that will interest everybody [microform]  by Angus McLaughlin (OCLC 53656650)
  • The wreck of the Titanic by Andrew O’Malley* (OCLC 433993426)
  • Titanic disaster : report of the Committee on Commerce,  United States Senate, pursuant to S. Res. 283, directing the Committee on Commerce to investigate the causes leading to the wreck of the White Star liner Titanic : together with speeches thereon by Senator  William Alden Smith of Michigan, and Senator Isidor Rayner of Maryland (OCLC 560852846)

*E-copy available.

For information on how to order published material, please read our post “How to Consult Material that Is Not Yet Available Online”.

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


Remembering the Titanic at LAC – Part I: Archival Records

A postcard of a large ship on the ocean

A postcard of the “Ill-fated Titanic”, circa 1912 (e004155512_s1)

One hundred years later, the sinking of the Titanic continues to fascinate and captivate people as perhaps the most famous sea-faring disaster in modern history.  The Titanic was billed as the most grandiose and extravagant ship ever built; it was the pride of the White Star Line. “Not even God himself could sink this ship”, claimed one employee at its launch.  Nonetheless, on its maiden voyage, the Titanic hit an iceberg off the coast of Newfoundland and sank on April 14, 1912.  More than 1500 lives were lost.

Did you know?

Within Library and Archives Canada’s collections you can find some interesting records about the Titanic . In fact, over the next few days, The Library and Archives Canada Blog will help you discover some of these records, which deal directly with the sinking of the Titanic and subsequent rescue activities.  These records can be found in our archival government records collection:

Stay tuned for more information on the Titanic over the next week, as we help you discover Library and Archives Canada’s collection.

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

Census Search Tips and Tricks

Genealogists researching census records may encounter various challenges, including:

Spelling variations

  • Indexers may sometimes have trouble making out enumerators’ handwriting or interpreting records when they are in poor condition
  • Enumerators’ ability to spell and transcribe the information they received correctly may greatly influence search results
  • Enumerators occasionally translated names into their mother tongue or transcribed them phonetically. Accordingly, French-Canadian names like Jean-Baptiste or Marie-Anne might be translated as John Baptist or Mary Ann

Date variations

  • Many dates of birth may also be inaccurate. For example, our ancestors sometimes had trouble remembering their children’s exact date of birth and even their own

Inaccurate information

  • The household member interviewed by the enumerator might have provided incorrect information, which will also influence search results

Help is at hand!

Over the years, genealogists at Library and Archives Canada have come up with research tricks. Here are a few that are sure to help:

  • If you located your ancestor in the 1901 census, for example, but have trouble finding him or her in the 1911 census, just jot down the names of your ancestor’s neighbours from the 1901 census, then try to find them in the 1911 census. With luck, your ancestor will have stayed at the same address, and you will easily trace him or her
  • If you are having difficulty finding an ancestor, try limiting your search criteria; for example, if your ancestor has an uncommon name or surname, search for him or her using only that name
  • You may find information about your ancestor in a city directory if he or she lived in a large city. If this is the case, try searching the directory of the city your ancestor lived in to confirm his or her residence there. Read our blog post What Can Canadian Directories Do for You? to learn more
  • Our Genealogy and Family History section provides search tips and a list of abbreviations found in censuses

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