Monthly Archives: June 2014
Step back in time: Library and Archives Canada helps the National Gallery of Canada recreate a First World War exhibition experience
When Canadian troops joined the action on the western front, there were no official military photographers. The front line was unsafe for commercial photographers, and officers and men were not allowed to use personal cameras. As a result, there are no official photographic records of Canadian participation in early battles, such as the Second Battle of Ypres, in April 1915.
The Canadian War Records Office, established in January 1916, immediately recognized the importance of photography, both for keeping a lasting documentary record of the war and for boosting morale. The first official Canadian war photographer was appointed in April 1916. That same year, the first of several immensely popular exhibitions of official Canadian war photographs was unveiled at the Grafton Galleries, in central London.
Today, Library and Archives Canada’s (LAC) holdings include most of the negatives created by Canada’s official war photographers, preserved in their original glass plate format. These are some of the most poignant, horrifying, and yet compelling images in LAC’s photography collection.
The Great War, the Persuasive Power of Photography, a new exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada, curated by Ann Thomas, incorporates many of these negatives in the near-exact recreation of one entire room from the second Grafton Galleries exhibition, held in 1917. The room, which is designed to put the modern viewer in the shoes of a viewer from 1917, features a dramatic to-scale reproduction of a photograph of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, called the largest photograph ever made during its time. It also includes a cropped version of this photograph of Canadian troops after the battle.
Canada’s official war photographers:
- Captain Henry Edward Knobel (April 1916 to August 1916)
- William Ivor Castle (August 1916 to June 1917)
- William Rider-Rider (June 1917 to December 1918)
See other images reproduced for the room or visit the exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada from June 27 to November 16, 2014.
New Books in the Genealogy Services Collection at 395 Wellington
In our previous article, we discussed what you can do at 395 Wellington before your appointment. One of the suggestions was to head to the third floor where the Genealogy and Family History Room is located. There you will find reference works, finding aids, atlases, family histories, and ethnic and local histories—sources that are only the beginning in your exciting search for ancestors.
In this article, we are pleased to share a list of our recently acquired publications. The AMICUS link gives the call number where you will find the book in the stacks.
And if you’re just starting out in genealogy, you should check out our Genealogy and Family History pages.
L’ancêtre des familles Kirouac en Amérique, son épouse et leurs fils : synthèse d’une recherche généalogique effectuée de 1978 à 2013, by François Kirouac (AMICUS 42037458)
Barthélemy Verreau, premier Verreau en Nouvelle-France, by Jean-Marie Verreault (AMICUS 42159688)
Les 100 ans de Taschereau, by the Comité du 100e anniversaire de Taschereau (AMICUS 41969714)
Dictionnaire généalogique des familles Audet et Lapointe, 1663-2013, by the Association des descendants de Nicolas Audet dit Lapointe (AMICUS 42155162)
Généalogie de la famille Bournival, by Gilbert Bournival for the Regroupement des Bournival d’Amérique (AMICUS 42214888)
George Goodson Knowlton: His Ancestors and Descendants, by Doreen A. Smillie (AMICUS 42001478)
Hanrick / Handrick / Hendrick Family of County Wicklow, Ireland and West Québec, Canada, by Della Hendrick Dupuis (AMICUS 42445077)
Labossière : descendant, 1878-2006, by the Labossière Family Association (AMICUS 42095787)
Les mariages Dumas du Québec et des régions avoisinantes, by Michèle Dumas (AMICUS 42178843)
Munchinsky Family History, by George Muchinsky (AMICUS 40824981)
Ethnic and Local Histories
Aneroid and District, 100 Years, 1913-2013, by the Aneroid History Book Committee (AMICUS 42001472)
Beaver Tales from Castor & District, by the Castor and District History Book Committee (AMICUS 41170264)
Les filles du Roy (1663-1673) : Champlain, Batiscan, Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade, edited by Jean-Pierre Chartier (AMICUS 42039279)
Irish Palatine Pioneers in Upper Canada: Commemorating 300 Years, 1709-2009, by the Ontario Genealogical Society (AMICUS 40681965)
Municipal Records in Ontario: History and Guide, by Fraser Dunford (AMICUS 40681952)
Neubergthal: A Mennonite Street Village: A Sense of Place with Deep Roots, edited by Rose Hildebrand and Joyce Friesen (AMICUS 42247304)
Répertoire des mariages (1895-1986), baptêmes (1895-1986), sépultures (1895-2012), St-Jean-Baptiste de Cap-aux-Os : avec notes marginales, edited by Donat Fournier, Serge Ouellet, Élaine Réhel (AMICUS 42202061)
Victory and Beyond, by the Beechy History Book Committee (AMICUS 39465589)
Newfoundland images now on Flickr
Images of Children in Indigenous Cultures now on Flickr
We are pleased to inform you that more than 24,000 references about money scrip (certificates) given to Métis family members were recently added online. These cancelled land scrip certificates were once issued to the Métis by the Department of the Interior in exchange for the relinquishment of certain land claims. A scrip would be issued “to the bearer” and could be applied to the purchase of, or as a down payment on, any Dominion lands open for entry in Manitoba and the Northwest Territories. These scrip were awarded to Métis heads of families and their children in the amounts of $240, $160 and $80.
How to find references
- Go to the search screen for Archives Search—Advanced.
- In the drop-down menu, select “Finding aid number” and then in the box, enter 15-24.
Find colour photos of Canadian Second World War soldiers
Did you know that Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has rare colour photographs from the Second World War? During that time period, colour film was a new and untested medium for most professional photographers. These images were captured on Kodak Kodachrome film by members of the Canadian Film and Photo Unit (CFPU) in the days and weeks following D-Day, on June 6, 1944.
The CFPU, formed in 1941, was under the command of Captain William Abell of Winnipeg and was staffed by enlisted Canadian men and women. Their goal was to capture images of Canadian military personnel in action, which would then be released by the Department of National Defence to various media outlets. Today these images provide an invaluable record, in living colour, of Canadian servicemen and servicewomen, as well as changing photographic technologies and techniques.
The images are part of a larger set of 1,200 digitized Second World War colour photographs that can be viewed through LAC’s online database. Included are photos of various subject matter, such as Canadian troops in England, France, Holland, Germany, Italy, and on bases and in training in Canada; portraits of notable military figures; the Canadian Women’s Army Corps; troop entertainment; hospital transport ships; and the Canadian role in liberation/occupation duties as photographed by CFPU member Ken Bell.
Search the collection
LAC’s complete digitized collection of colour images from the CFPU includes over 2,000 additional digitized colour images dating to 1961. To view them, consult the ZK prefix. To search within this collection, go to Advanced Archives Search and search using “ZK prefix” and the search term of your choice. An electronic finding aid for the ZK prefix sub-series is also attached to this record and can aid in locating specific images. To learn more about using finding aids in your research, read Discover Finding Aids – Part Two.
Kodachrome colour images of D-Day
Expanded Version of the Service Files of the Second World War – War Dead, 1939-1947 Database
Library and Archives Canada recently launched an updated and expanded version of the Service Files of the Second World War – War Dead, 1939-1947 database. Researchers can now access more than 1000 digitized genealogy packs of service files for Canadian servicemen and servicewomen killed in action during the Second World War.
More search fields
The database, available on the Library and Archives website through the Military Heritage portal, can now be searched using an increased number of access fields. These include: first and last name of the enlisted person, service number, date and place of birth, date and place of enlistment. By using these search features, Canadian students participating in Lest We Forget, a national project that gives them the opportunity to research the life stories of Canadian servicemen and servicewomen, will be able to quickly identify service files related to their community.
What kind of information can I find in these records?
The digitized service files contain documents and correspondence pertaining to enlistment and appointment, training and qualifications, awards and medals, medical history, and wills and insurance. Researchers can expect to find records such as the Canadian Active Service Force attestation paper, a Record of Service with information on training and education before and during service, documents from the Department of National Defence Estates Branch, and grave registration and post-war exhumation reports.
More information on the Killed in Action database
Along with details of service, this database offers a window into the lives of those who served and the families they left behind. Throughout the Second World War (1939-1945), Canadian men and women served in great numbers with the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Air Force, and Royal Canadian Navy. From a population of just over 11,000,000 in 1939, Canada saw more than 1,159,000 of its citizens enlist. The price of victory was high: approximately 45,000 Canadians and close to 1000 Newfoundlanders lost their lives during and immediately following the war. In addition to these, more than 55,000 servicemen were wounded and countless civilians experienced the suffering and loss brought about by war. While providing a valuable resource for research, the KIA database helps to tell the story of those who served, fought, and died in a war that stretched across the globe.
The TD Summer Reading Club is back!
The TD Summer Reading Club 2014 was officially launched on June 3rd in Ottawa, Ontario, with the participation of the project partners: TD Bank Group, Toronto Public Library and Library and Archives Canada. The purpose of this program is to encourage children to read using fun and accessible activities that build their confidence and fire their enthusiasm for reading — all summer long.
Children and parents can take inspiration from the theme, Eureka!, to invent, build and reimagine the world while reading captivating books at their local library. Across the country, over 2000 public libraries are participating in the Club, and over 600,000 children register enthusiastically for the program every summer.
The TD Summer Reading Club provides free program materials, including a magazine for children aged 6 to 12; a young children’s booklet for preschool-aged children; and a notebook, a poster and awesome stickers that children can collect over the summer. Of course, the Club also provides lots of suggestions for reading!
Registering for the Club is free. Simply inquire at your local library to find out whether it offers the program. The Club’s website also offers a range of online games and activities.
This year, the TD Summer Reading Club will focus on sharing and creativity. It will be a great opportunity for the young participants to use all their ingenuity and take on the challenge with their family and friends!