Hidden Treasures – Winnie the bear

Discovering hidden treasures in our institution’s vast collection of archival material is one of the exciting benefits of researching at Library and Archives Canada (LAC). Recently, two previously undescribed photographs of the bear mascot Winnie, the famous Canadian inspiration for A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh stories, were found and made available online.

A reference technician from LAC was searching for First World War photographs taken in March 1915 of the 15th Canadian Battalion in the trenches of Neuve-Chapelle, France. The technician consulted the usual sources (online database, onsite Finding Aids, and contact cards from the Department of National Defence photographic collection) and found a description of a possible and unexpected item in the personal collection of Horace Brown.

The photographs from this collection were retrieved from storage; some of them were very small and difficult to view. One seemed to be of a soldier wearing a very odd hat. Further investigation with the aid of a lighted magnifying glass revealed the “soldier” was actually a bear cub and the curious headgear was its ears! A second image of the bear cub was also identified in the collection. A bit of sleuth work revealed that Horace Brown, a member of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, had been stationed at Salisbury Plain, England during October and November 1914, at the same time as Lieutenant Harry Colebourn with his mascot, Winnie.

Although many photographs exist of the famous bear in the Manitoba Archives and private collections, these were the first ones to be identified in LAC’s holdings. The images may now be viewed by all Winnie the bear (and Winnie-the-Pooh) fans here and here on our website.

Harry Colebourn with Winnie the bear - Salisbury Plain.

Harry Colebourn with Winnie the bear – Salisbury Plain. (Source)

Harry Colebourn with Winnie the bear - Salisbury Plain.

Harry Colebourn with Winnie the bear – Salisbury Plain. (Source)

Sicilian Campaign (July and August 1943)

During the Second World War, Allied maritime traffic in the Mediterranean was under constant threat of Italian and German attack. In an effort to turn the tide, at the Casablanca Conference in January 1943, the Allies proposed an invasion of Sicily, code named “Operation Husky.”

Two Canadian soldiers on board a warship.

Canadian troops en route to Sicily. Source

After long months of preparation, Allied troops, made up of American, Canadian, British, French, Australian and South African units, landed in the night of July 9 to 10. The 1st Canadian Infantry Division and the 1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade were under the command of Major-General Guy Simonds. Canadian troops fought in difficult conditions, dealing with very hilly terrain and temperatures of over 40 degrees Celsius.

Six soldiers advancing past a tank on a narrow road. Three other soldiers are positioned on top of the tank.

Personnel of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry advancing past a Sherman tank, Valguarnera, Italy, July 19, 1943. Source

From their landing point on the Sicilian beaches near Pachino, Canadian troops advanced toward the interior of the island, taking part in the battles at Grammichele, Piazza Armerina and Valguarnera. The towns of Leonforte and Assoro, situated in good strategic positions at the top of hills, put up a strong defence, but the Canadians prevailed in the end. A total of 562 Canadian soldiers lost their lives during this campaign.

The Sicily landing opened the way for the Allies to launch the Italian campaign a few weeks later.

Library and Archives Canada holds a large collection of military documents relating to Operation Husky and the Sicilian Campaign. Other examples can be accessed via the links below.

Discover also:

To view more photos, please visit our Flickr album.

July 15, 1870: Manitoba joins Confederation

Before becoming a province, Manitoba was the stage for many events and pivotal moments in Canada’s history. Pending the transfer of Rupert’s Land to Canada, the federal government sent survey crews led by Lieutenant Governor William McDougall to map the Red River area in 1869. The Métis became concerned about the redistribution of land to future settlers and the effect this would have on their own lands.

The Métis group’s leader, Louis Riel, declared that the survey was a menace and established a “National Committee” of which he became secretary and John Bruce president. On October 25, 1869, Louis Riel was ordered to appear in front of the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia to explain himself. Riel indicated that the “National Committee” would prevent the entry of McDougall or any governors into Red River unless the union with Canada was based on negotiations with the local population.

In November, Riel proposed a first provisional government to replace the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia as part of the negotiations for the transfer of Rupert’s Land.

Drawing of a panoramic view of Fort Garry, 1868.

Fort Garry, Red River Settlement, 1868, the administrative centre for the provisional government. (c105625)

In January 1870, 20 English and 20 French representatives of the Red River Settlement met to debate a List of Rights and endorse Riel’s second provisional government. The fourth version of the List of Rights became the basis of the Manitoba Act.

Members of the Métis Nation Provisional Government , 1870.

Councillors of the Provisional Government of the Métis Nation, 1870. (http://central.bac-lac.gc.ca/.redirect?app=fonandcol&id=3194516&lang=enge011156794)

The secretary of the Provisional Government, Louis Schmidt, moved to accept the Manitoba Act, and enter the Dominion of Canada, on the terms proposed in the Confederation Act. The motion was passed.

In his closing statements, Louis Riel underlined the significance of the vote:

I congratulate the people of the North-West on the happy issue of their undertakings (cheers). I congratulate them on their moderation and firmness of purpose; and I congratulate them on having trust enough in the Crown of England to believe that ultimately they would obtain their rights (cheers). I must, too, congratulate the country on passing from under this Provisional rule to one of a more permanent and satisfactory character.1

The Manitoba Act went into effect on July 15, 1870.

1 http://www.gov.mb.ca/chc/archives/leg_assembly/pdf/leg_assembly_transcript.pdf

Related documents:

How to read AMICUS records—Part 2

Our previous article on this topic explained how to decode an AMICUS record for books, documents and reports (monographs). Today’s article provides you with tips on decoding an AMICUS record for journals, magazines, newspapers or any type of ongoing publication (serials).

To help you better understand, the numbers on the image correspond to the fields described in the article.

Screen capture of the AMICUS full record with corresponding fields (source: AN1538070)

1. AMICUS No.: Keep track of this number! You will need it to request issues of the serial, whether you place a request for retrieval before visiting Library and Archives Canada (LAC) or once you are on site.

2. NLC (National Library Collection) Copies: Provides key information on which issues of the serial record are available in our collection. It is essential to distinguish between the LAC holdings for the serial found in NLC Copies (No. 2) and the description of the publishing history of the serial found in the Description (No. 3). The complete run of a serial is sometimes unavailable at LAC or may be available in a microform version. If a microform version exists, it will be included as a link in Relationships (No. 6).

The following punctuation marks are used to describe serial holdings:
Punctuation Mark Meaning Example
Hyphen   An unbroken range of holdings v. 1-30 means the library has each issue of the serial from volumes 1 to 30 in its holdings.
Square brackets  [ ] Incomplete holdings [1950] means that holdings include some issues published in 1950.
Question mark  ? Uncertain holdings information v. 18-42? means that holdings may include volumes 18 to 42.
Slash  / A single physical item with two connected volumes v. 12/13 indicates that volumes 12 and 13 are contained in a single physical item.
Comma  , A gap in the holdings v. 1-3, 5 means the library has volumes 1 to 3 and 5 but not volume 4.
Semicolon  ; A publication break (not a gap) in the holdings v. 1-3; 5- indicates that after volume 3 the publisher jumped to 5 without publishing volume 4.

3. Description: Indicates when the serial began publication.

4. Frequency: Specifies how frequently the serial has been published over the years.

5. Notes: Offers additional information about the serial, such as where it has been indexed and its alternate titles.

6. Relationships: Provides links to related versions, for example, in other languages or in other formats, such as a journal available online or on microfilm. In this case, you will find a link to the online version of this journal held in our electronic collection.

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

How to read AMICUS records—Part 1

Have you ever used our AMICUS library catalogue to try to find a book and were unsure about how to decode the information?

Here are tips on decoding an AMICUS record for books, reports or documents (monographs). To help you better understand, the numbers on the image correspond to the fields in the article.

Screen capture of the AMICUS full record with corresponding fields (source: AN 3041155)

1. AMICUS No.: Keep track of this number! You will need the AMICUS No., the name(s) of the author(s) and the title of the work to place a request for retrieval before visiting Library and Archives Canada (LAC) or once you are on site. Immediately below the AMICUS No., the type of record is specified; this tells you if the record is for a book, a report or a document (monograph), or a journal, a magazine, a newspaper or any type of ongoing publication (serial).

2. NLC (National Library Collection) Copies: Indicates the number of copies available at LAC. If you do not find NLC copies in the record, start your search over and make sure that you are searching the LAC catalogue only, not the entire database. As we are a closed stack library, the shelf location information is for internal purposes only and is not useful to you. Please note that preservation copies are presently unavailable.

3. Description: Tells you the number of pages and if the work contains illustrations or maps.

4: Notes: Provides additional information about the work, for example, other title information, additional information on the contents, whether it contains bibliographic references.

5. Relationships: Provides links to related versions of the work, for example, in other languages or in other formats, such as online or on microfiche.

6. Numbers and Classification: Generally of interest to other libraries only. The call numbers are suggestions for other libraries and are not LAC call numbers.

7. Subjects: Provides the standardized subject headings assigned to the work. Click on any subject heading to find additional materials on that topic.

Stay tuned for an upcoming article on how to read AMICUS records for journals, magazines, newspapers or any other type of ongoing publication (serials).

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

Eight Heritage Films – Snapshots of Canadian Life – Now on YouTube

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) announces the release of eight heritage films on its YouTube channel. Canadians can now discover and enjoy with ease the following short films:

The films served as a successful method to inform and influence the public. They were used to achieve many goals, from enticing potential immigrants, to increasing industrial investment, to encouraging the public to embrace changes. Perhaps most interesting however, is what these films reveal about how Canadians pictured themselves in the early part of the 20th century.

As part of its ongoing commitment to providing Canadians with quick and easy access to their documentary heritage, LAC will release three more sets of films on its YouTube channel in the coming months. Stay tuned!

You can also find archived versions of the films on other media on the Virtual Silver Screen page.