Canadian company directories held at Library and Archives Canada

There are over one million companies in Canada. They include banks, grocery stores, pharmacies and department stores and we interact with them on a daily basis. If you need information about companies’ origins or how they were organized at varying points in time, the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) collection has a number of published resources to help you find what you need. With more recent information often accessible in online directories and business resources, you may find LAC’s resources more useful for historical research. This post will focus mainly on directories, a significant source of information about companies.

A company directory, whose title may change frequently in the course of its lifetime, provides factual, publicly available information that is published annually in a single resource. Directories may also differ in content and comprehensiveness. Print directories generally cover a larger time period than other formats, such as online or microform.

Well-known directories include the white pages telephone companies publish. Yellow Pages can be used to locate companies by name or line of business. LAC, meanwhile, has a historical collection of telephone books on microfilm, some dating back to the 19th century. The microfilm includes an index. A printed index is also available for consultation in the reference room on the 2nd floor of our facility at 395 Wellington Street.

Another important resource is the Financial Post family of directories, published by MacLean-Hunter Limited since the late 19th century. The FP Survey of Predecessor & Defunct Companies provides information on the status of companies including incorporation, bankruptcies and dissolutions, as well as dates and jurisdictions.

Other directories from this publisher are:

Also part of this collection is the Financial Post, later the National Post, a major Canadian business newspaper. An index for the first half of the 20th century has been published separately.

City directories include large bodies of company information and allow searches by company address, name and line of business. Names of company directors are sometimes included. Many city directories have sections dedicated to company listings and advertisements. The bibliography that follows can be used for retrospective searching. LAC has a comprehensive collection of city directories for consultation on site. Additional information on this collection can be found on the LAC website.

Other helpful directory titles include the series of directories of Dun & Bradstreet of Canada, Scott’s Directories (various titles covering manufacturing, industries, etc.), and the Canadian Trade Index. In addition, the microfiche set Annual reports and financial statements of Canadian companies includes information on both public and private companies.

If you wish to continue your company research online, helpful options include:

Furthermore, provincial company registrars, whose details can be found in the Corporations database of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (formerly Industry Canada) are useful for finding information on difficult-to-locate companies.

Please note that many of these financial services companies have adapted their resources to the digital era and digitized copies of their print editions. Historical reports on the companies are also preserved and are available in both print and digitized formats.

If you have any additional questions regarding Canadian company information, we would be happy to assist you with your research!

Finding Garneau: the importance of archival accessibility

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) houses many national treasures and endeavours to make its collections visible and accessible to the public. One of the projects conducted this summer was aimed at increasing accessibility to Quebec and French Canadian literary fonds, namely the fonds of Hector de Saint-Denys Garneau.

A colour image of a handwritten poem.

Undated manuscript of Un poème a chantonné tout le jour by Hector de Saint-Denys Garneau (MIKAN 4817952). Explore this and other digitized poems.

Garneau was an influential French Canadian writer who wrote in early 20th-century Quebec. He died of a heart attack in 1943, and his posthumous work Poésies complètes (1949) and his Journal (1954) made him an important literary figure of modern Quebec. When LAC acquired his fonds in 1993, visibility for the collection was needed. While Giselle Huot’s text, Œuvres en prose: Édition critique établie (1994), has been an important scholastic link to this fonds, a detailed online finding aid in LAC’s main research database, MIKAN, was needed to help researchers explore the life and works of this important poet.

A colour image of a notebook with “The Peerless Registered Exercise Book” on the cover containing handwritten annotations and inscriptions in Greek.

Cover of de Saint-Denys Garneau’s homework notebook, undated (MIKAN 4817981). Explore other selections from his notebooks.

Now that the finding aid has been entered into MIKAN, researchers can now view a description of each individual item in the fonds from the comfort of their own home and know what is in an archival box before they order it. This finding aid opens a window on the author’s life, his relationships and artistic processes—unveiling a little more of the beautiful handwritten poems and letters of Hector de Saint-Denys Garneau.

New books in the Genealogy Services Collection at 395 Wellington Street—March 2016

Here is a list of our recently acquired genealogy publications. You can consult them in the Genealogy and Family History Room located on the 3rd floor at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa. The link to the AMICUS record gives the call number you need to find the book on the shelves. Please note that CD-ROMs must be pre-ordered.

If you’re just starting out in genealogy, you should check out our Genealogy and Family History section.

Happy exploring!

Church, Cemetery and other indexes

La population des forts français d’Amérique, XVIIIe siècle : répertoire des baptêmes, mariages et sépultures célébrés dans les forts et les établissements français en Amérique du Nord au XVIIIe siècle : volume 3 – Détroit by Marthe Faribault-Beauregard (AMICUS 4941584)

Fegan’s homes newsletters. Volume 10: the Red Lamp 1913-1920 compiled by Douglas V. Fry & Fawne Stratford-Devai (AMICUS 32667771)

Arnprior area death notices, 2000-2007: compiled from Arnprior newspapers and funeral home notices [electronic resource] by Andriend Schlievert

Naissances & sépultures de Cabano, 1901-1939, St-Elzéar, 1933-1940, St-Honoré, 1871-1940, St-Louis du Ha! Ha!, 1878-1940 by Cécile de Lamirande (AMICUS 43564794)

Répertoire des baptêmes Saint-Sauveur, 1853-2013 by Société d’histoire et de généalogie des Pays-d’en-Haut (AMICUS 43711495)

Registres paroissiaux de Saint-Adelme de 1930 à 2014 : avec l’historique de quelques familles (extrait du livre du 50ième anniversaire de Saint-Adelme), (paru en 1981) et photo de mariage et d’anciens de chez-nous compiled by Madona Ouellet (AMICUS 43249438)

Inhumations sous l’église Sainte-Famille de Boucherville by Gilles Senécal (AMICUS 43918276)

Répertoire des mariages Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, mise à jour 1972 à 1992 : 70 établissements by Jacques Gagnon (AMICUS 40910246)

Family histories and dictionaries

The Linossier and Montagnon family pioneers in the Interlake region: homesteading – R.M. of Eriksdale, Manitoba, Canada by John Paul Linossier (AMICUS 43525032)

Dictionnaire généalogique des familles Thériault : descendance de Claude, 1601-2011 by Camille Albert (AMICUS 39364192)

Les premiers Audet dit Lapointe d’Amérique by Guy Saint-Hilaire (AMICUS 43306689)

The legend of four Weber brothers by Tim Campbell (AMICUS 43188991)

Les Filles du Roy de 1663 : recueil de biographies des 36 premières Filles du Roy arrivées en Nouvelle-France by Irène Belleau (AMICUS 43919407)

L’Association des Saindon de l’Amérique du Nord : Le recueil (AMICUS 34986778)

Mariages Larocque = Larocque marriages [electronic resource] by Charles G. Clermont (AMICUS 43727175)

Local histories

Mercier fête son histoire : des histoires de familles by La Société du patrimoine et de l’histoire de Mercier (AMICUS 43223569)

Très-Sainte-Trinité, Rockland : regards sur notre histoire, vision vers l’avenir : 125e anniversaire, 1889-2014 by Corporation de la communauté Sainte-Trinité (AMICUS 43474887)

Did your ancestors come from Hungary?

Do you want to know who your first Hungarian ancestor was and when he or she left Hungary and arrived in Canada? Are you curious about your Hungarian origins?

If so, our website is a great place to begin your research. Here you will find a page dedicated to genealogical research on the Hungarians. This page provides you with historical information, archival documents and published material from the Library and Archives Canada collection, 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 the passenger lists.

“Great Fun…”—A Letter from the Honourable George Brown

The slow process of Canadian Confederation largely progressed by way of debates and conferences— a series of delicate negotiations, deliberations and compromises. The hard work of the politicians paid off after the Charlottetown Conference of 1864, which resulted in a general agreement and a commitment to hammer out more details at a further conference a month later in Quebec City.

But it wasn’t all long hours of serious toil.

The Honourable George Brown, journalist and former member of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada, was one of the most famous delegates to the Charlottetown Conference. Ever since he himself had been converted to the idea of Canadian Confederation, Brown had been deeply involved in the negotiating process. He detailed his engagement with the councils, debates and conferences of Confederation in his correspondence with his wife, Anne. Sometimes, as in the case of the Charlottetown Conference, Brown’s letters are the only record we have of the proceedings, since no official minutes were taken at Charlottetown.

A black-and-white photograph of a man sitting at a desk, holding a letter.

George Brown, ca. 1880 (MIKAN 3213216)

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Images of Sugar Shacks now on Flickr

A black-and-white photograph showing three people eating maple taffy on snow.

People tasting maple taffy at a sugar bush.

The collection of maple sap and the production of maple products has evolved from the early practices of First Nations communities, such as the Ojibwa and Iroquois. The bark of a maple tree is pierced, the sweet sap is collected, and then the excess water is boiled off leaving a syrup. The syrup can be used as a sweetener or cooking additive. Neighbouring First Nations communities most likely taught French colonists how to process maple sap. The maple industry has evolved technologically over the years, but its core process of tapping trees and collecting sap has remained basically the same. Today, Quebec provides a majority of the maple syrup products on the global market. Numerous sugar shacks new and old fuel the world’s desire for this tasty treat.

Tracing Historical Legislation at Library and Archives Canada

Are you thinking of doing some research on Canada’s past laws? Although current legislation is available on the Justice Laws website, the Reference Team at Library and Archives Canada (LAC) frequently assists clients in tracing historical legislation. While it might seem like a daunting task, with the right tools it often proves easy and interesting.

Most research of this type will require consulting one or more of the following sources:

  • Statutes of Canada (S.C.): The S.C., also known as the annual or sessional statutes, include the text of all acts and amendments passed during a given session of Parliament, in both official languages. The annual statutes for 2001 onwards are available on the Justice Laws website. You may access the earlier S.C. here at LAC or at many public and academic libraries.
  • Revised Statutes of Canada (R.S.C.): The R.S.C. represent the periodic revision of all current laws to incorporate any amendments. Any subsequent modifications to legislation will be carried out on the basis of these new, revised statutes, preventing the Table of Public Statutes (see below) from becoming too unwieldy. The latest revision occurred in 1985 and had previously been carried out in 1886, 1906, 1927, 1952 and 1970. The R.S.C. are also available to consult here at LAC, as well as at select public and academic libraries.
  • Table of Public Statutes: This useful resource lists all of the amendments to and repeals of legislation from either the previous revision or from the date of a law’s enactment, whichever is more recent. Modifications since the most recent revision in 1985 are also found on the Justice Laws website. For any legislation or amendments prior to 1985, the table will be at the end of the annual editions of the Statutes of Canada.

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