Japanese Canadian internment: 40,000 pages and 180 photos digitized by the DigiLab

By Karine Gélinas

The DigiLab has hosted over forty projects since its launch in 2017, and two of those were carried out by Landscapes of Injustice. Landscapes of Injustice is a seven-year humanities project led by the University of Victoria to research and make known the history of the dispossession and deportation of Japanese-Canadians in 1942.

In total, over 40,000 pages of textual material and a little more than 180 photos were digitized by the two researchers with Landscapes of Injustice. Some of the documents are now available online for all to consult. Below is a sample of material now accessible.

Photographs relating to Japanese Canadian internment

To see all the photos that were digitized, you can search for “Photographs relating to Japanese-Canadian internment” in our Collection Search tool.

View of a small town surrounded by mountains. In the foreground are multiple buildings and in the background on the left are rows of smaller houses.

Evacuee homes in Lemon Creek, BC (e999900291-u)

A man is standing in front of a large, tilted shelving unit filled with Japanese characters used in a printing press.

Some of the thousands of Japanese typeface characters used for The New Canadian, a newspaper that was published every week in Kaslo, BC. The offices are now in Winnipeg, Manitoba. (e999900358-u)

Three women, one of whom is a nurse, are standing around a kitchen island with trays, dishes and bottles of milk on the surface and utensils hanging from the rack that runs down the middle of the unit.

The modern kitchen of the Greenwood camp hospital. (e999900255-u)

Textual documents

Case files

Related links

Interested in the DigiLab?

If you have an idea for a project, please email the DigiLab with an overview of your project, the complete reference of the material you would like to digitize, and any extra information you know about the collection. Material must be free from restrictions and copyright.

After we verify the condition of the material to ensure it can be digitized safely, we will plan time for you in the DigiLab. We will provide training on handling the material and using the equipment, and you will be able to digitize and capture simple metadata.

We hope to hear from you soon!


Karine Gélinas is a project manager in the Public Services Branch at Library and Archives Canada.

Images of Working Dogs now on Flickr

Working dogs learn and perform tasks to support and sometimes amuse their owners.

A black-and-white photograph of a boy with his dog harnessed to a two-wheeled cart. The cart is loaded with dried cod.

Dog cart loaded with cod “Ready for market,” Gaspé, Quebec [e010861908]

A black-and-white photograph of a circus dog jumping from a platform on a tall pole. Four men below hold a large blanket to catch the falling dog.

Professor Gentry’s diving dog, Toronto Industrial Exhibition, Ontario [PA-068465]

Regardless of whether they are purebreds or mixed breeds, these dogs are trained to do a variety of jobs very well. Some of the jobs include pulling carts and sleds, herding livestock, hunting, as well as providing valued services to the community such as policing, search and rescue, therapy, and guarding homes, businesses and buildings.

A black-and-white photograph of 11 dogs pulling a sled through the snow. Two men are supporting and balancing the weight of a large canoe on the sled.

A dog team on Gordon Bay, Hudson Strait, Nunavut [PA-121599]

A black-and-white photograph of a man with his four dogs wearing pack harnesses.

Dogs carrying packs ready for the trail, Valley of the Firth River, Yukon [PA-044646]

The breed chosen often depends on what the job requires; however, most dogs share common canine traits of strength, discipline, intelligence and loyalty.

A black-and-white photograph of a dog harnessed to a small two-wheeled passenger cart. A girl sits on the cart and holds the reins to her dog.

A girl driving a cart at Harvey’s, Toronto, Ontario [PA-069924]

Visit the Flickr album now!

Images of Cartes-de-Visite now on Flickr

A carte-de-visite is a type of calling card popular during the mid- to late 19th century.

A black-and-white photograph of Napoléon Bourassa’s left profile.

Napoléon Bourassa [e008302188]

The card consisted of a photographic print glued onto a cardboard backing. These cards were inexpensive and easy to produce, and varied slightly in size. Cards were commonly given out to friends and family during holidays or for special events. Collectors, at the time, put their cards into albums. Images were not limited to family and friends—famous individuals from the past were also featured on cartes-de-visite.

A black-and-white photolithograph of two dogs, one large and one small, looking out from the entrance to a doghouse.

Two dogs [e011196678]

A black-and-white photographic portrait of 27 young girls wearing medals and seated around a nun.

Group of girls wearing medals seated around a nun [e010969237]

A black-and-white photographic portrait of a dog resting on a chair next to a boy and a man holding a rifle.

Hunter with a boy and dog [e011196672]

Visit the Flickr album now!

Images of Sweaters, Jackets and Coats now on Flickr

A black-and-white photograph of a woman sitting outside knitting a traditional Cowichan sweater. A boy and a girl sit next to her on the grass.

Ms. Pat Charlie knits a Cowichan sweater, British Columbia [e011176278]

Canada is a large and geographically diverse country with a wide range of seasons. Temperatures can vary from 40 degrees Celsius to minus 50 degrees. With the changing temperatures and environmental patterns across the country, Canadians naturally like to discuss the weather.

A black-and-white photograph of a tailor adjusting a suit jacket on a tailor’s mannequin.

Tailor adjusting a suit jacket on a tailor’s mannequin, Montreal, Quebec [e004666235]

A black-and-white photograph of a woman standing straight to model a military uniform consisting of a Norfolk jacket, skirt, and black shoes.

Woman wearing a Norfolk jacket, skirt, and black shoes [PA-063849]

During the autumn and winter months, clothing options get included in the conversation. Sweaters, jackets and coats come out with the cooling temperatures, first one at a time, then to be layered one on top of the other.

A black-and-white photograph of a woman wearing a coat and standing at the side of a road in front of her car.

Madge Macbeth wearing a coat and standing at the side of a road in front of her car “Amaryllis” [e008406104]

Visit the Flickr album now!

Images of Automobiles now on Flickr

A black-and-white photograph of an early automobile parked outside of a barn.

An early automobile [PA-013110

Henry Seth Taylor built the first automobile in Canada in 1867. At the time, all automobiles, whether produced domestically or imported from the United States, were unique luxury items only a few could afford.

A black-and-white photograph of a man, a woman and six children in a convertible car parked in front of a house.

A man, a woman and six children pose in an automobile parked in front of David Gillies’ home in Carleton Place, Ontario [PA-059307

In 1904, the Ford Motor Company of Canada Limited started operations, and by 1913 there were approximately 50,0000 automobiles on Canadian roads. Following in Ford’s footsteps, General Motors and Chrysler eventually opened up Canadian plants to manufacture automobiles.

A black-and-white photograph of an automobile coming off the factory production line. There are groups of men on either side of the vehicle.

Last civilian passenger car built at the General Motors plant, Oshawa, Ontario [e000760672]

Domestic automobile manufacturing companies could not compete with the American companies and were eventually bought out, or went bankrupt. However, the Canadian subsidiaries of American companies flourished, and by 1923 Canada became the second largest producer and exporter of automobiles and parts.

A colour photograph of two men guiding the frame of a red station wagon onto a moving production line.

Lowering car onto production line tracks, Ford Motor Company of Canada [e010975565]

Today Canada continues to be a major producer and global exporter of automobiles and parts. The industry is the largest manufacturing sector in the country.

Visit the Flickr album now!

Images of Restaurants now on Flickr

A black-and-white photograph of the exterior of a restaurant located on a dirt road in a remote area.

Restaurant at Entrance, Alberta [PA-100223]

The growth of restaurants correlates with the growth of cities. As trade routes expanded in ancient China and the Roman Empire, travelling merchants stopped at public eateries, such as inns, for rest and nourishment as they brought their merchandise to cities from the surrounding areas. Within a growing city’s confines, taverns and inns became the principal location for people to find simple local food, drink and shelter.

A black-and-white photograph of a woman carrying a tray with a teapot and cups on it as she exits a restaurant kitchen.

A server at Diana Sweets carries a tray with a teapot and cups out of the kitchen, Toronto, Ontario [PA-068091]

A black-and-white stereoscopic photograph of dozens of waiters standing at two rows of tables with chandeliers overhead, inside the Windsor Hotel, Montreal, Quebec.

Dozens of waiters standing at two rows of tables with chandeliers overhead, Windsor Hotel, Montreal, Quebec [e011093681]

It was not until the mid-18th century in France that luxury and specialized restaurants opened for those who could afford them. These early restaurants offered a greater variety of meat, vegetable and drink options on their menus, prepared in ways that were more elaborate. Other countries followed suit, and restaurant culture flourished throughout Europe and beyond.

A black-and-white photograph of the exterior of Nick's Chicken Barbecue restaurant. A neon sign in the window advertises “Good Food” and “Beer & Wine”.

Nick’s Chicken Barbecue restaurant, Quebec City, Quebec [PA-080674]

Restaurant options are plentiful in Canadian cities today, with cuisine from around the world offered at varying prices.

Visit the Flickr album now!

Images of the Steel Industry now on Flickr

A black-and-white photograph of workers supervising the pouring of molten steel into moulds.

Workers supervise the pouring of molten steel at the Atlas Steel Company, Welland, Ontario [e000760732]

Steel is an alloy mainly of iron ore with some carbon. Its production is a major industry in Canada, currently concentrated in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec.

A black-and-white photograph of three women railroad workers wearing heavy work clothing and gloves while posing with their shovels.

Portrait of three railroad workers posing with their shovels, Stelco Steel Company of Canada, Hamilton, Ontario [e000762848]

A black-and-white photograph of a worker standing beside a furnace directing the pouring of molten steel into a ladle.

Worker stands beside a furnace directing the pouring of molten steel into a ladle, Stelco Steel Company of Canada, Hamilton, Ontario [e000760223]

Steel is a versatile material and is used to make a variety of products, such as barrels, fasteners, structures, home appliances, vehicle parts and even food containers. Like aluminum, steel is easily recycled for reuse. Many of Canada’s steel plants make steel from scrap.

A black-and-white photograph of a worker holding a pyrometer over his eyes to measure the temperature of molten steel.

Worker uses a pyrometer to measure the temperature of molten steel at the Sorel Steel plant, Quebec [e000760214]

Semi-finished steel blooms, slabs or billets are processed into shapes by rolling or forging for commercial and industrial products. Steel was first manufactured in Canada in the 1880s. By the early 1900s, manufacturing centres were established in Hamilton and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and Sydney, Nova Scotia. Production of steel increased during the Second World War and rapidly expanded during the postwar period.

Visit the Flickr album now!

Images of Chickens now on Flickr

A black-and-white photograph of a small boy. To the boy’s left is a white rooster on top of a pedestal.

Portrait of Henri Groulx, Lachine, Quebec [MIKAN 3194088]

Chickens are domesticated birds that we use for eggs and meat. There are a number of chicken producers and egg-laying hatcheries in each province. According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ontario and Quebec have the highest concentration of producers followed by British Columbia and Alberta respectively.

A colour photograph of a man placing water dishes in an enclosure for chicks.

A man provides water for chicks in one of the Marshall Chicken Ranch hatcheries, Toronto, Ontario [MIKAN 4301626]

A black-and-white photograph of two women inspecting eggs, as they move along a conveyor belt, and placing them in cartons.

Ms. Hines and Ms. Dominey preparing eggs for consumers, Port Williams, Nova Scotia [MIKAN 4948583]

Chickens are not migratory, have a small territorial range, and cannot swim or fly well. People easily captured the birds and brought them along when moving to new locations. Domestication happened quickly. From family use to businesses servicing large urban populations, chickens have proven to be extremely versatile in terms of care and breeding.

A black-and-white photograph of a man feeding chickens next to their coop.

Poultry raising, Oromocto, New Brunswick [MIKAN 3643515]

Visit the Flickr album now!

Images of Lobsters now on Flickr

A black-and-white photograph of a man holding up a large lobster with his left hand.

Dougal Doucette holds up the first large lobster of the season, Miminegash, Prince Edward Island [MIKAN 3612492]

The crustaceans known as lobsters include clawed and spiny (or rock) lobsters, as well as reef, slipper, furry (or coral) and squat lobsters.

A black-and-white photograph of a coastal village, with lobster boats in the background, lobster pots in the middle distance, and floating markers in the foreground.

Lobster pots and markers on shore, Sandford, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia [MIKAN 3191692]

A colour photograph of two men, two women and a child around lobster traps as they look at some lobsters.

Two men, two women and a child beside lobsters and traps, Fundy National Park, New Brunswick [MIKAN 4293000]

The best-known lobster in Canada is the clawed Homarus americanus, found along the Atlantic coastline and the continental shelf from Labrador to North Carolina. This is the only species found naturally in Canadian waters. The largest Homarus americanus weighed over 20 kilograms and was caught off the coast of Nova Scotia in 1977.

A black-and-white photograph of a man helping a little girl sitting at a table with her lobster meal.

Jane Petrie and her lobster dinner, Prince Edward Island [MIKAN 4949865]

Considered a delicacy, lobster is a valuable seafood export for Canada. Exported around the world, the Homarus americanus is sent to markets in the United States, Japan, China and the European Union.

Visit the Flickr album now!

Images of the aluminum industry now on Flickr

Aluminum is one of the most widely recycled and used metals in the world, as it is light, strong, flexible, and non-corrosive.

A black-and-white photograph of a woman and two men lifting and maneuvering aluminum blocks with chains out of moulds.

Workers lift aluminum blocks out of moulds of the chemical production process (CCP) machine, Aluminum Company of Canada, Kingston, Ontario [MIKAN 3196454]

The aluminum industry started in Canada at the turn of the 20th century in Shawinigan, Quebec, when the Northern Aluminum Company established its first smelter.

A black-and-white photograph of three women working in unison to carry a long sheet of aluminum over their heads to the inspection table.

Workers carrying a sheet of aluminum to the inspection table at the Aluminum Company of Canada, Kingston, Ontario [MIKAN 3196474]

A black-and-white photograph of four women working together to stack square aluminum sheets onto a pallet.

Workers at the Aluminum Company of Canada stack aluminum sheets on a platform for the annealing furnace, Kingston, Ontario [MIKAN 3196034]

Over the next 50 years, along with name changes, mergers, and partnerships, a smelter and refinery network evolved in Canada. According to Natural Resources Canada, there are nine smelters in Quebec and one smelter in Kitimat, British Columbia. The refinery is situated in Saguenay, Quebec.

A black-and-white photograph providing an overhead view of an aluminum forge used to produce bomber propellers. There are several large pallets of propellers in the foreground.

View from an overhead crane of an aluminum forge producing bomber propellers at the Aluminum Company of Canada, Kingston, Ontario [MIKAN 3198113]

Canada is the world’s third largest primary aluminum producer after China and Russia.

Visit the Flickr album now!