Block review reaches 25 million pages!

Library and Archives Canada’s Block Review project has just reached another important milestone—25 million pages opened. Since 2010, the project’s goal is to make previously-restricted archival Canadian government records available to the public. The Block Review Team takes a sample from each group of records and assesses the risks involved in sharing them. Since the project started, many Canadian historical records have been opened including those relating to Canada’s 1967 Centennial celebrations, along with early trade and foreign affairs records.

Of particular interest is the recent release of the first group of records from the Department of the Environment dating from 1969 to 1972. These records originate from the department’s Environmental Management Service and the Lands Directorate as well as registry material from the Policy Planning and Research Service. Over 300,000 pages are now open, with a focus on water pollution in the Great Lakes in the late 1960s, solid waste issues confronting municipal governments, and Canada’s relationship with NATO on environmental issues. These records would be of particular interest to researchers studying Canada’s early environmental knowledge and advocacy.

Frequently Asked Questions for the Personnel Records Unit

Are you looking for the service number of a former service person?

If so, you must contact Library and Archives Canada by telephone to speak with an analyst from the Personnel Records Unit. The toll-free numbers are 1-866-578-7777 or Service Canada at 1-800-O-Canada (1-800-622-6232).

The Personnel Records Analyst will ask you to provide the full name and date of birth of the former service person. Most military service numbers can be released over the telephone. However, service numbers issued after February 1, 1968, remain protected and are not provided or confirmed over the telephone.

To learn more about ordering this type of record, read the Library and Archives Canada Blog post – How to Order Military Records from the Personnel Records Unit.

Which documents are needed to receive benefits?

Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) is the department that administers services and benefits to former military service personnel and their families.  Since numerous services and benefits are available, VAC may require a variety of documents to determine eligibility requirements.

With respect to benefit applications, Library and Archives Canada can assist in providing copies of the required documents from the military personnel records of former service personnel.

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