Open Datasets – What’s New?

Library and Archives Canada is in the process of extracting from outdated storage devices, and then preserving, the datasets of studies undertaken by federal departments. The studies covering a wide range of topics, such as the environment, health and immigration, are being made available on the Open Data portal. To learn more about the structure of the data see our blog Open Data: Providing access to historical Government of Canada studies.

Here is a summary of the datasets we have made available over the past few months. Curious about what these studies discovered? Check them out on the Open Data portal

  1. Longitudinal study of immigrants – 1969–1971 arrivals
    This longitudinal study investigated the economic and social adaptation of immigrants to life in Canada.
  2. Canadian airmen of the First World War
    This file includes personnel information for all traceable Canadian airmen who served in the First World War in the British flying services.
  3. Results of Canadian Federal Elections 1974, 1979, 1980, 1984, 1988
    These files contain the voting records for each polling station, electoral district and province for all candidates in Canadian federal elections.
  4. Canadians and Work
    These studies were undertaken in the 1970s and relate to Canadians and work. They include national surveys undertaken to assess job satisfaction and work ethic, Public Service Staff Relations Board pay-rate surveys and an employment study assessing the employment adjustment processes of Canadian graduates in the physical sciences.
  5. Environment – Fire and Water
    • The Test fire, fuel moisture and weather observations datasets contain information collected between 1931 and 1961 about weather, fuel moisture and test fire behaviour measurements for eleven field stations across Canada.
    • The 1968-1979 Canadian Oceanographic Identification Centre dataset includes taxonomic data used to produce group, genus, and species catalogues for the Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific freshwater areas.
    • The St. Lawrence River studies were undertaken between 1974 and 1976 to describe the water properties, pollution levels and sediment quality of the St. Lawrence River.

Home Children: A guide to sending organizations and receiving homes

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is pleased to announce the launch of the Guide to Sending Organizations and Receiving Homes.

This guide is an indispensable starting point for researching records about Home Children who came to Canada from the British Isles between 1869 and 1932. With this guide, you can discover what records are held at LAC and other institutions in Canada and in the British Isles. The guide also contains background information on the various organizations and useful links to websites for researching Home Children. The guide was originally compiled over many years by the genealogy staff at LAC.

Start consulting the guide now!

Launch of “War of 1812” Database

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is pleased to announce the launch of a new online database, War of 1812.

This online database allows you to access more than 45,000 references to names of people who were involved in the War of 1812. Names of Canadian men and women who served were taken from LAC’s unique and vast collection of records, including:

  • muster rolls
  • pay lists
  • claims
  • certificates of service
  • land grants
  • medal registers

Start searching the War of 1812 now!

Launch of “Carleton Papers―Book of Negroes, 1783” Database

Library and Archives Canada is pleased to announce the launch of a new online database, Carleton Papers―Book of Negroes, 1783.

This online database allows you to access close to 3,000 references to names of Black Loyalists. Names were taken from the Book of Negroes, a register containing details about Black Loyalists evacuated from the port of New York at the end of the American Revolution (1776–1783); their final destination was Nova Scotia.

Start searching the Carleton Papers—Book of Negroes now!

Launch of “Carleton Papers―Loyalists and British Soldiers, 1772–1784” Database

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is pleased to announce the launch of a new online database, Carleton Papers―Loyalists and British Soldiers, 1772–1784.

This online database allows you to access more than 54,000 references to names of Loyalists and British soldiers. Names were taken from the British Headquarters Papers, New York―also known as the Carleton Papers―which include a variety of documents about Loyalist soldiers, civilian refugees, as well as British and German soldiers who settled in Canada after the American Revolution (1776–1783).

Start searching the Loyalists and British Soldiers now!

For more information, please contact us.

Newly Digitized Microfilms on the Héritage Portal

Our project partner, Canadiana.org, recently added the following digitized microfilms to the Héritage website. Please note that the titles have been translated for convenience, but the records are still in the language of origin. Searching in the original language will improve search results.

Adjutant General Branch, Medals, 1935–1937
Alexander Whyte Wright: Knights of Labour correspondence and miscellaneous items
Andry Zhuk Collection: Newspapers, journals, serials publications and other printed material
Appendices to the Journals
Arthur Meighen: Series 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, correspondence and finding aid
Bastican Iron Works fonds Continue reading

New version of the “Home Children Records” Database

Library and Archives Canada is pleased to announce the launch of a new version of its online database, Home Children Records.

This online database has been extended to include more than 245,000 entries for British children sent to Canada between 1869 and 1932. Names have been indexed from a variety of sources, such as records from sending organizations, publications, governmental and private records.

Start searching home children records now!

Launch of “Ukrainian Immigrants, 1891–1930” Database

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is pleased to announce the launch of a new online database, Ukrainian Immigrants, 1891–1930.

This online database allows you to access more than 14,700 references to names of Ukrainians who arrived in Canada and the United States between 1891 and 1930. Names were taken from passenger lists held at LAC for the following Canadian and American ports:

  • Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • Montréal and Québec, Quebec
  • Saint John, New Brunswick
  • New York, New York
  • Portland, Maine

Names were also taken from notes about early Ukrainian settlers and pioneer families in Canada gathered by Dr. Vladimir Julian Kaye (1896–1976).

Start searching immigrants from Ukraine now!

Naturalization Records, 1915-1951 database – 2015 Update

Library and Archives Canada is pleased to announce the release of a new version of the online database Naturalization Records, 1915-1951. The nominal index has been extended with the addition of more than 68,000 names and now covers the years from 1915 to 1944, inclusively. Work is ongoing to extend the nominal index to 1951, and volunteers are welcome to help. Those interested should write to Cdn-Nat-Coord@jgs-montreal.org.

This database is one of the few Canadian genealogical resources specifically designed to benefit researchers having roots other than British. The reference numbers indicated in the database can be used to request copies of the original naturalization records, which are held by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Library and Archives Canada would like to thank the Jewish Genealogical Society of Montreal and its volunteers, without whom this project would not have happened.

Self-portraits by women artists in Library and Archives Canada’s collection

Until the beginning of the last century, official self-portraits by women artists were rare, compared to those created by men. This was, in large part, because few women worked and were recognized as professional artists during the early periods. But it is also because many self-representations created by women were in non-traditional formats—hidden within amateur sketchbooks, or private diaries… even stitched or sewn.

A few of Library and Archives Canada’s (LAC) most interesting sketched and painted examples are currently on display as part of The Artist Herself: Self-Portraits by Canadian Historical Women Artists, a new exhibition co-curated by Alicia Boutilier of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre and Tobi Bruce of the Art Gallery of Hamilton.

The exhibition deliberately expands the traditional definition of ‘self-portrait’; most of the works it showcases would not have been considered self-portraits at the time they were created.

It includes this page from the private sketchbook of Katherine Jane (Janie) Ellice (1813–1864), an accomplished amateur artist and wife of an official with the North West (fur trading) Company. Ellice used the reflection from a mirror on the wall of her ship’s cabin to capture a quick, and very private, image of herself aboard ship.

Watercolour sketch shows the artist and her sister, dressed in nightwear, reclining in a bunk of their ship’s cabin.

Mrs. Ellice and Miss Balfour reflected in the looking glass of their cabin on board the H.M.S. Hastings (MIKAN 2836908)

It also includes Canoe Manned by Voyageurs Passing a Waterfall, by Frances Anne Hopkins (1838–1919), another ‘fur-trade wife’—but one who would develop something of a professional artist career. Hopkins’ enormous voyageur-themed canvases often include representations of herself that seem almost incidental. It’s believed that she appears, in this painting, as a passenger in the canoe:

Painting shows a group of fur trade workers steering a Hudson’s Bay Company canoe past a small waterfall; the artist and her husband may be passengers seated in the middle of the canoe.

Canoe manned by voyageurs passing a waterfall (MIKAN 2894475)

These are only a few examples, from LAC’s collection, of historical self-portraits made by women. It’s worth noting that the collection also includes many others, both historical—and modern.

The Artist in her Museum was created by contemporary Métis artist Rosalie Favell in 2005.

Colour digital print shows the artist, full-length, and flanked by a mammoth, a beaver, and an artist’s palette. She draws aside a red curtain to reveal a gallery of mounted black-and-white photographs.

The Artist in her Museum, 2005. © Rosalie Favell (MIKAN 3930728)

Favell used digital technology to manipulate an iconic American self-portrait from the 19th century. By putting her own image in place of the original sitter, Favell appropriated a classic work, assigning new meanings within an older convention.

Modern self-portraits, like Favell’s, compare intriguingly with the historical self-representations showcased in The Artist Herself. Today’s more relaxed and expanded definitions of portraiture allow contemporary artists to successfully play within the genre. They also allows us to look back, with fresh eyes, on the self-representations created by women in the past.

Visit the exhibition in Kingston between May 2 and August 9, 2015. Stay tuned for further dates as the exhibition tours nationally, before closing in Hamilton during the summer of 2016.