Release of a new version of the Census of Canada, 1881 database

Library and Archives Canada is pleased to announce the release of a new version of the Census of Canada, 1881 database. This second general census covered the seven provinces and one territory that were then part of Confederation: British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and the Northwest Territories.

This new version includes suggestions for corrections that were received from users in recent months, as well as revised district and sub-district information.

PS 8000 collection of early 20th-century digitized Canadiana

To mark Canada Book Day, we take a closer look at the PS 8000 collection of early 20th-century Canadian publications available in the Electronic Collection of Library and Archives Canada. PS 8000 is the standard classification for Canadian literature, one of the core strengths of our holdings.

To browse this collection

• Click “Search the Electronic Collection” on the left side of the screen
• Choose “Any keyword” from the drop-down menu in the first search box
• Enter “PS 8000” in the second field as the search term

This search produces a list of pre-1926 Canadian publications that have been digitized and are accessible online. Other key terms can be used to further refine the search (e.g. world war and poetry).

Figure 1: Search screen for Electronic Collection

Figure 1: Search screen for Electronic Collection

For other online resources, consult our blog articles on how to find digitized publications Part I and Part II.

Also, explore our Flickr album for a selection of cover images of these publications.

Yesterday Once More: Canada’s Music Industry in Portraits

Do you have a favourite popular musician or rock group from the last three or four decades of the 20th century? There’s a good chance you’ll be able to find their photographs documented in the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) Portrait Portal.

The Portal contains photographs taken between 1963 and 2000, selected from LAC’s RPM fonds, an archive that includes thousands of Canada’s and the world’s most popular artists and bands. It also features actors, music and entertainment executives, broadcasters, politicians and sports figures rubbing shoulders with music industry greats. These portraits have been digitized and added to the Portrait Portal as part of LAC’s ongoing digitization initiatives.

What is the significance of the RPM archive to the Canadian music industry?

Founded in Toronto in 1964, RPM was a Canadian weekly trade publication that focused on the Canadian music recording and radio industries. In 1964 it established the RPM Gold Leaf Awards (also referred to as the Maple Leaf Awards), which would soon evolve into the JUNO Awards. RPM was among the parties that lobbied for Canadian content regulations in the broadcast media, and it inaugurated the RPM MAPL logo (with MAPL standing for music, artists, production, lyrics) that has been widely used to identify the Canadian content of commercial sound recordings. The periodical ceased publication in 2000.

According to Cheryl Gillard, a Library and Archives Canada music specialist, the collection of RPM photographs, now available online through the Portrait Portal, “allows anyone, anywhere to take a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of the music industry. Also, for the first time, the Portal’s collection of RPM photos allows less high-profile but historically important Canadian music professionals to be documented and honoured.” This collection showcases Canadian popular culture and reflects the interconnection between the music industries in Canada and the United States.

You can search for photographs of popular musicians in the LAC Portrait Portal simply by entering the name of your favourite band or musician into the keyword search field.

For more information about Canada’s music industry, check out LAC’s RPM database, which contains the digitized versions of the music charts in RPM Weekly from 1964 to 2000. The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) website is also a great place to search for a list of past JUNO award recipients—and more!

Battle of Vimy Ridge – April 9 to 12, 1917

For Canadians, the Battle of Vimy Ridge brings to mind the joint effort of all of the Canadian units that fought together for the first time to achieve victory. In a way, it was our very first national military victory, and, as such, a tremendous source of pride.

In spring 1917, Allied Command tasked Canadians with the difficult mission of taking Vimy Ridge and driving back the Germans, who had controlled it almost continuously since the beginning of the First World War.

Barrage map [cartographic material]: [Vimy Ridge region, France]

Barrage map [cartographic material]: [Vimy Ridge region, France] (source)

The Canadian officers spent weeks developing their tactical attack down to the last detail. The soldiers rehearsed their attack behind the lines using a model to represent the battlefield so they would be familiar with the terrain where they would be fighting. The role of the artillery was also meticulously planned in preparation for its famous “creeping barrage,” an artillery bombardment that pressed forward against the enemy at a timed pace as a curtain of fire ahead of the advancing troops.

29th Infantry Battalion advancing into “No Man’s Land” through German barbed wire and heavy fire during the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

29th Infantry Battalion advancing into “No Man’s Land” through German barbed wire and heavy fire during the Battle of Vimy Ridge. (source)

The attack that ignited the Battle of Vimy Ridge was launched on Easter Monday, April 9, 1917, at 5:30 a.m. Four Canadian divisions overran the German positions, with three achieving their primary objectives in less than an hour. The highly-trained men were able to advance rapidly, thanks to the formidably effective heavy artillery fire. Nevertheless, the Germans offered fierce resistance: it took four days of heavy combat for the Canadians to finally seize full control of the famed Vimy Ridge.

The battle claimed the lives of 3,598 Canadian soldiers, with over 7,000 more wounded.

(W.W. I – 1914-1918) As the Canadians advanced, parties of Huns left their dug-outs, only too glad to surrender – Vimy Ridge. April 1917.

(W.W. I – 1914-1918) As the Canadians advanced, parties of Huns left their dug-outs, only too glad to surrender – Vimy Ridge. April 1917. (source)

Visit our Flickr album for more photographs.

Library and Archives Canada Announces the Opening of Two Exhibitions

Library and Archives Canada continues to display the richness and diversity of its collections with the opening of two exhibitions.

In Saskatchewan, the Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatoon is hosting the I Know You by Heart: Portrait Miniatures exhibition until June 2, 2013. The exhibition highlights the intimate, personal nature of portrait miniatures, and the reasons that such images are commissioned and created. Find out more about the conservation of these portraits on Library and Archives Canada’s YouTube video.

In Quebec, the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau is presenting the exhibition Double Take: Portraits of Intriguing Canadians until October 14, 2013. Discover portraits of Canadians who have left—and are still leaving—their mark on our country and our culture. Tune in to Library and Archives Canada’s podcast for an overview of the featured works and the stories behind them.

By presenting exhibitions such as these, Library and Archives Canada is able to make original works of documentary heritage accessible in galleries, museums and other community venues to Canadians across the country.

Keep following this blog to stay informed about upcoming events.

Access to Information and Privacy legislation or Donor restrictions and how they affect your access to our collections

Did you know that both government and non-government records held in the archival collections of Library and Archives Canada (LAC) are subject to access restrictions?

For federal government records, the Access to Information Act gives Canadian citizens the right to access information. It is also important to note that, in Canada, there is no “30-year rule” that applies to government documents, even if such rules exist in other countries.

For archival fonds or collections donated by private individuals, there will often be restrictions on research access. These are sometimes called “Donor restrictions.”

For access to both federal government records and documents donated by private individuals, legal mechanisms are involved and must be respected without exception.
So when you need to consult restricted material at LAC, you must factor into your project deadlines the time required to process your request. Processing time will vary based on the request and the materials involved.

For more information on restrictions and how to request access, please consult the Discover the Access Codes for Archival Records at Library and Archives Canada Part I and Part II pages on our blog.