Why Consult Newspapers on Microfilm?

We have already discussed how to find Canadian newspapers on microfilm; and you might have wondered why we have to turn to microfilm in the first place? Aren’t these newspapers available online?

The short answer is that only some of them are (*). Most newspaper editions available electronically for free are limited in their content, and the issues usually start only in the 1980s. If you are interested in full-page content and original layouts, or need to access older issues, some major dailies like the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and the Winnipeg Free Press offer historical versions in PDF format for a fee. As well, your local library may subscribe to a particular daily, or you may also purchase access yourself.

Another option is to access Library and Archives Canada’s newspapers on microfilm, an extensive collection that:

  • includes major newspapers, as well as local, labour, ethnic and student papers;
  • allows you to research aspects of newspaper publishing, such as design, layout and advertising, not contained in the electronic versions; and
  • provides access to content excluded in the electronic versions, including photographs, classifieds and obituaries.

Come visit us in Ottawa to consult these newspapers on microfilm and discover our collection, or contact us for more information.

* The following are examples of free digital newspaper collections:

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

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – Caricatures, stamps and other documents!

Colour photograph of Queen Elizabeth II in a crowd, smiling.

Queen Elizabeth, 1990 Source

In addition to photographs, you can also find in the collection of Library and Archives Canada (LAC) caricatures, stamps, audiovisual materials and, of course, books; all of which illustrate and discuss Queen Elizabeth II.

Caricatures

As a public figure, Queen Elizabeth II is the subject for editorial cartoonists. Here are a few examples from the caricatures collection at LAC, some of which are digitized and available online:

Philatelic Documents

A vast number of stamps with Queen Elizabeth II as the main theme were issued. The first one dates from 1932 when she was only a child. The Canadian Postal Archives (Philatis) database, which is accessible from the LAC website, is where you can find Canadian stamps that relate to Elizabeth, Princess and Queen. Moreover, a search using the keywords “Queen Elizabeth II, philatelic” in our Archives Image Search database provides access to over 30 online records.

Audio-visual

The LAC collection includes many films and sound recordings of Elizabeth II. Although these recordings are not available online, you can easily discover our collection by making a keyword search of the Film, Video and Sound Recordings database, which is found on our website.

Here are a few examples:

Publications

Don’t forget our large published collection! To find a publication about Queen Elizabeth II, consult AMICUS.

In the meantime, here is a publication (in PDF format) available online:

A Crown of Maples: Constitutional Monarchy in Canada. Canadian Heritage, Gatineau, 2008 (archived) [PDF 55.9MB].

Stay tuned for our next and final blog on The Queen, which will focus on government records and private archives.

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

Remembering the Titanic at LAC – Part II: Published Materials

The sinking of the Titanic was a source of inspiration for musicians and filmmakers and Library and Archives Canada has some interesting pieces of audio-visual and music material in its collection! Let’s continue exploring:

Music

  • Titanic [music], words by Charles Lavell, music by Norman Fraser, 1912 (AMICUS No. 18261190)
  • Men be British!, words and music by C.A. Frame, 1912. (AMICUS No. 23424302)
  • The ice king’s bride: song, words by Cecil E. Selwyn, music by Arthur A. Penn, 1913.  (AMICUS No. 22493644)
  • The loss of the Titanic : song, words and music by Arthur S. Leslie, 1912 (AMICUS No. 23430367)
  • Back to Titanic , original music composed and conducted by James Horner. Includes My heart will go on performed by Céline Dion, (AMICUS No. 23393515)
  • Titanic [music]: a voyage in piano music by Rebekah  Maxner (AMICUS No. 39465379)

Films and Audio Recordings

  • G. Kleine collection R8745-0-3-E,3 film reels (7 min). Collection consists of short documentary clips about skating in Montreal, skating on the canal and the sinking of the Titanic .  (MIKAN 189395)
  • The discovery of the Titanic [sound recording] by Robert D. Ballard, with Rick Archbold, 1989. (AMICUS No. 8749059)
  • Titanic troubles [sound recording], part of The time capsule series of books by Ouita Petty, 1996, (AMICUS No. 16078395)
  • Titanic [sound recording]: survivors in their own voice (1915-1999), (AMICUS No. 33891610)

Books

  • RMS Titanic : the first violin : the life and loss of  the Titanic’s violinist, John Law Hume by Yvonne Hume with a foreword by Millvina Dean, Titanic’s last survivor (AMICUS No. 40112009)
  • Poems that will interest everybody [microform]  by Angus McLaughlin (AMICUS No. 19488790)
  • The wreck of the Titanic by Andrew O’Malley* (AMICUS No. 3767902)
  • Titanic disaster : report of the Committee on Commerce,  United States Senate, pursuant to S. Res. 283, directing the Committee on Commerce to investigate the causes leading to the wreck of the White Star liner Titanic : together with speeches thereon by Senator  William Alden Smith of Michigan, and Senator Isidor Rayner of Maryland (AMICUS No. 6660067)

*E-copy available.

For information on how to order published material, please read our post “How to Consult Material that Is Not Yet Available Online”.

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

 

How to Search for Birth, Marriage and Death Records

Did you know that there are two sources for finding birth, marriage and death records?

From early times to the present, baptisms, marriages and burials have been recorded in church parish registers. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, provincial and territorial governments introduced the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths.

As civil registration is not a federal jurisdiction, Library and Archives Canada does not hold copies of birth, marriage and death certificates, but….

…help is at hand!

To learn about how to find these records from other sources, visit our pages on vital statistics: births, marriages and deaths.

Many genealogical societies and individuals have indexed parish registers and published the result of their work. These publications are called “Church Indexes” (known as “répertoires” in French-Canadian genealogy).  Most of the volumes are for marriages but also exist for baptisms and burials.

We hold many of these indexes; here’s how to find them in our collection:

Use our AMICUS catalogue to search not only our collection, but the holdings of libraries across Canada.

1. On the Basic Search screen, select “Title Keyword” from the drop-down menu.  Enter your search terms, such as a place name (province, town, township or county) plus a term for the kind of information you are looking for.

Examples:

  • Trois-Rivières marriages or Trois-Rivières
  • mariages Edmonton cemeteries
  • Collingwood deaths

2. On the Basic Search screen, select “Subject Keyword” from the drop-down menu.  Enter your search term, such as a place name (province, town, township or county) and the word genealogy or genealogies or registers. Note that subject headings for each publication are in English and French, so you may use the language of your choice.

Examples:

  • Saskatchewan genealogy
  • Russell genealogies
  • Niagara registers

Did you know?

Published material, such as books, may often be borrowed via interlibrary loan*. Simply provide the bibliographic citation, along with the AMICUS number, to your librarian, and they may request it from LAC.

(*) Update: End of Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Services

ILL services at Library and Archives Canada (LAC) will end in December 2012. Users of LAC‘s current services should note the following dates:

  • November 13, 2012: End of loan requests from international libraries.
  • November 16, 2012: End of renewals. All items loaned after this date will be non-renewable.
  • December 11, 2012: End of loan requests, location searches, and ILL-related photocopying services.

LAC‘s ILL listserv (CANRES-L) and Canadian Library Gateway will also be archived in December 2012.

LAC will continue to facilitate interlibrary loan activities among other institutions through the ILL form in AMICUS, and through ongoing administration of Canadian Library Symbols.

Through our modernized service channels, LAC will emphasize increased digital access to high-demand content. LAC is working with Canada’s ILL user community in order to inform this approach to accessing the institution’s unique holdings.

For more information, please visit “Interlibrary Loan at Library and Archives Canada“.

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

How to Consult Material that Is Not Yet Available Online

For Archival Material – Use Archives Search

When searching for archival material (i.e., diaries, photographs etc.), use Archives Search. You will be able to search database records, known as “archival descriptions”. Sometimes the contents of the record have not yet been digitized. When this is the case, use one of the following methods to consult the material:

For Published Material – Use Library Search/AMICUS

When searching for published material (i.e., books, newspapers, etc.), use either our Library Search or, for more search features, use our AMICUS catalogue. The search results will often be database records (known as “bibliographic records”) and not full-text online documents. There are three ways you may consult the material:

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

How to Find a Canadian Newspaper on Microfilm

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has over 2,300 Canadian newspapers dating back to the mid-1700s, which you can access on microfilm reels or microfiche cards. Begin your research with our Geographical List, which provides the titles of community newspapers held at LAC for a given time period.

For example, to find news coverage of Queen Elizabeth II touring Rimouski,Quebec, in November 1951, on her first royal visit to Canada as Princess Elizabeth, you would follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Geographical List and select Quebec.
  2. A list of localities will appear for Quebec. Select Rimouski – Sweetsburg. You will find a list of 14 newspapers for Rimouski,Quebec, with titles appearing in red. Each title is followed by a shelf number (e.g., NJ.FM.2006), a range of dates* (e.g., ja 2001–nov 2004), and an AMICUS number (e.g., AN 9745700).
  3. The fourth title, L’Écho du Bas St-Laurent, shows the range of dates 3 mr 1933–29 av 1970. This means that LAC has that newspaper on microfilm from March 3, 1933, to April 29, 1970.
  4. Now that you have found a newspaper likely to have covered the event in 1951, write down the AMICUS number—in this case AN 7419576. You will need it to order the microfilm reel for consultation.

In the meantime, if you need more information on how to use the Geographical List or how to read an entry, visit our page on Microform Holdings.

*Ranges of dates refer to newspapers held at LAC, not the period of time they were in print.

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