Are you curious to discover what battles an individual fought in? Or what a unit did during the First or Second World War? Or maybe what regions a person travelled through with their unit?
If so, you have two main options, Published Histories and War Diaries. This post will focus on Published Histories.
For an easy-to-read overview of the unit’s activities, we recommend starting with Published Histories. These books are often called “regimental histories.” They cover the history and activities of the unit. The level of detail varies for each history. Some books include a variety of information such as pictures, maps, lists of unit members, and quotes from unit members.
The Advantages of Published Histories:
- easier to read than War Diaries
- contain a variety of information
- can usually be sent to your local library via interlibrary loan*
You can search for these on our Library Search database by using the unit’s name.
For other suggestions of books on military units, we recommend our online exhibition, entitled From Colony to Country: A Reader’s Guide to Canadian Military History.
Our next post will discuss your second option: War Diaries.
(*) 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!