Discover the Access Codes for Archival Records at Library and Archives Canada – Part III

Earlier blogs (Part I and Part II) on restricted records explained the various codes that govern access to Canadian federal government records at Library and Archives Canada. In Part I, we learned that access code “32” beside a reference to a particular archival container means that the material is restricted under the provisions of Canada’s Access to Information Act and Privacy Act. However, that doesn’t mean that all of the container’s contents are restricted.

Each year, many files in archival containers are requested by researchers, and in many cases those files are open. But in order for an entire archival container to have access code “90,” meaning that it is open for research, all the files in that particular container must be open. Even if one file or just part of one file is restricted, the code against the container remains 32 – closed. However, researchers wishing to access a container marked code “32” have the right to submit a request for the material they need.

It is quite possible that the file or files to be consulted have already been reviewed and are accessible. The only way to know is to order the ones you wish to see. Library and Archives Canada’s Access to Information and Privacy staff will examine the request, and if the particular file or files requested have been previously reviewed and opened, you will receive them in an “interim” archival container.

For more assistance, you may ask Library and Archives Canada’s consultation staff or Access to Information and Privacy team.

How to Find Digitized Publications – Part II

In our post on “How to Find Digitized Publications”, we promised to  share more recommendations from our reference specialists about where to find digitized publications. The following sources point to a wealth of  publications from across Canada and from specific regions.

CANADA-WIDE SOURCES

Internet Archive – Text Archive [http://archive.org/details/texts]
The Internet Archive Text Archive contains a wide range of historical texts, academic books, government publications, fiction, popular books and children’s
books. The Internet Archive includes many digitized federal government and parliamentary publications from Library and Archives Canada’s collection.

  • Tip:
    Once you have found a work of interest, you can then use full-text searching options provided by the website.

Canadiana Discovery Portal [http://search.canadiana.ca/]
The Canadiana Discovery Portal allows you to search the digitized collections of libraries, archives and museums from across Canada. The Portal includes a
wide range of historical materials such as books, journals, newspapers, government documents, photographs, and maps.

Our Roots: Canada’s Local Histories Online [http://www.ourroots.ca/]
Our Roots is a wonderful resource for family history research. This extensive collection of digitized local histories, including historical publications,
from across the country permits full-text searches for family names, place names and events.

REGIONAL SOURCES

Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec – Digital Collection
[http://www.banq.qc.ca/collections/collection_numerique/index.html?language_id=1]
Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec offers extensive collections of digitized materials including newspapers, magazines, municipal directories,
books and musical scores, reference works, maps and plans, and images.

  • Tip:
    The Municipal Directories collection
    [http://www.banq.qc.ca/collections/collection_numerique/index.html?categorie=1]includes the Lovell’s Montréal directories starting in 1842.

Peel’s Prairie Provinces [http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/index.html]
Peel’s Prairie Provinces is an indispensable research resource on Western Canada and its history. It includes a bibliography with over 7000 fully searchable digitized books [http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/bibliography/], many dating back to the earliest days of exploration in the region.

Island Archives.ca at the University of Prince Edward Island [http://islandarchives.ca/]
A growing repository of records and images held in Prince Edward Island’s libraries and museums. Of particular interest are the digitized newspapers [http://islandarchives.ca/inewspapers] and maps [http://islandarchives.ca/imaps].

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

Discover the Access Codes for Archival Records at Library and Archives Canada – Part II

In our post “Discover the Access Codes for Archival Records“, we reviewed four of the most common access codes 90, 32, 10, and 18. However, there are other access codes that you may encounter while undertaking your research. They include access codes 96 and 99.

Restrictions vary (Code 96)

Access code 96 indicates that within a group of records there exists more than one type of access condition. For example, since the Department of Transportation fonds (RG12) contains records that are open (code 90) and others that are restricted (code 32), the fonds-level access condition are indicated by “restrictions vary” (code 96).

A sample record description in the Archives Search database displaying access code 96: RESTRICTIONS VARY.

Access code 96 can be applied to more than just fonds-level descriptions. It can also be linked to series, sub-series and accessions. However, it does not apply to individual volumes and files.

Remember

Access code 96 usually means that there are more specific descriptions available for the records you are researching. In some cases, these records can be accessed by simply clicking on the “lower level descriptions” link in the “Fonds consists of” section of a record description.

A sample record description in the Archives Search database displaying the FONDS CONSISTS OF ROW.

In other cases it will be necessary to consult a printed finding aid. To learn more, read our post Discover Finding Aids.

To be determined / closed pending processing (Code 99)

Access code 99 means that the access conditions for a group of records have yet to be determined. Usually this is because the records are being processed. In the following example, while the photographic material is open, the access conditions for the textual records have yet to be determined:

A sample record description in the Archives Search database displaying access code 99.

Open, no copying (Code 95)

Access code 95 indicates that the records are open and can be consulted, however, at the request of the donor, the records cannot be copied or reproduced.

A sample record description in the Archives Search database displaying access code 95.

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

Do you want to search only LAC collections… or those of many libraries across Canada?

Have you been using Library Search and noticed that you’re seeing results for materials that aren’t actually held by Library and Archives Canada (LAC)? Are you wondering how to limit your search to just materials in LAC’s collection?

Library Search is built on AMICUS, the Canadian national catalogue. As a national catalogue, AMICUS lists published materials held not only at LAC, but also those located in over 1,300 libraries across Canada.The default search option for Library Search is to search everything in AMICUS, not just LAC’s collections. This means that by default, you search all holdings listed in all the libraries that contribute to AMICUS. If you want to search only what LAC holds, change the “Search in:” option to “LAC Catalogue”:

Colour image of the Library Search function in Library and Archives Canada’s Library Search database.

Library Search function in Library and Archives Canada’s Library Search database.

You can also limit your results from the results page using the “Found in:” option on the right-hand side of the search results:

Image of the Library Search function displaying various locations and search result numbers

Image of the Library Search function displaying various locations and search result numbers.

The LAC catalogue does contain a small number of catalogue records for items we do not hold. We include the catalogue records for reference purposes. If you do not see “NLC Copies” near the top of the catalogue record, it is possible we do not hold that item. If you’re unsure whether or not we hold an item, please use our Ask Us a Question form to request clarification.

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

How to Search for Images Online

Did you know that you can search for images in our collection online, simply by using a “copy negative number”?

What is a copy negative number?

Copy negative numbers are used to identify a photograph or a work of art in our collection. They usually start with a C-, a PA-, or an e number, such as:

  • C-041979
  • PA-005001
  • e002505688

Copy negative numbers are usually included along with the image in the photo credit in books, articles or online.

So what do you do if you have found a copy negative number, in a book or online, and would like to know if Library and Archives Canada holds this image? How do you get to the image’s description in our database?

It’s simple, just follow these tips:

You can search Archives Search by copy negative number; however, there is a trick to it…

  • C- and PA- numbers must have six digits after the hyphen in order for our database to recognize them.
  • Zeros should be added at the beginning of a shorter number to create a number with six digits. For example, if you see PA-5001 you need to enter PA-005001.
  • Copy negatives starting with an “e” do not follow the six-digit rule (they do not require a hyphen either).
  • Look under the heading entitled “Conditions of Access” for the copy negative number starting with C- or PA-, or under “Terms of Use” for e numbers.
  • You will need the copy negative number to order a photographic reproduction or a digital image of a work of art.

For more information, read our blog post How to Find Photographs Online for other quick hints to help you search for photographs.

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

How to Find Digitized Publications

Now, more than ever, you can access print publications online. The trick is finding them. So, our reference specialists at Library and Archives Canada (LAC) offer the following tips to help you discover published works that are just a click away!

Library Search

Get started with our Library Search tool. Just follow these easy steps to find Canadian published materials digitized by LAC and other libraries across the country.

  1. Go the Library Advanced Search screen.
  2. Select the Title Keyword search option and enter keywords from the title of a book that interests you.
  3. Search in: Canadian Libraries.
  4. From the Format dropdown menu, select Online.
  5. Click the Submit button. This will open a new page with your search results.
  6. Select any relevant search result to access the full record with the description of the book.
  7. Click on the link in the description to access the digitized version of the book.

Early Canadiana Online

Our reference specialists recommend the Early Canadiana Online (ECO) [www.eco.canadiana.ca/?usrlang=en] digital library as the go-to source for 19th century published material. Offering a vast online collection, ECO not only lets you search for specific works, but it also allows full-text searching. Some of the digitized content in ECO is only available to subscribing institutions, so ask your local library.

Here are a few tips for searching the ECO collection:

  1. Use the Advanced Search screen to narrow your search.
  2. To find specific titles, select the title option from the Search in drop-down menu.
  3. From the Find documents matching drop-down menu, select the option all terms in close proximity when searching the full-text of the digital library. This ensures that your search terms occur close together, not on separate pages of the full document.

Our next post on How to Find Digitized Publications will cover the following sources:

Also, stay tuned to find out about some regional digitization initiatives that provide access to provincial and local materials.

Do you have any sources you like to use? If so, share them with us!

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

Discover the Access Codes for Archival Records at Library and Archives Canada

Have you ever ordered an archival record only to find out that it is restricted? Archival records may be subject to access restrictions. To find out if a record is open or restricted, you must identify its access code. When you are in the Archives Search database, you can find these codes in the “Conditions of access” section of records descriptions (see image below):

A black-and-white three-column table of a record description in the Library and Archives Canada Archives Search database. On the left is the title “Conditions of Access,” in the middle is the volume number(s), and on the right is the access code “90: Open”.

A sample record description in the Library and Archives Canada Archives Search database. Note the conditions of access in the right column.

The most common access codes are 90, 32, 18 and 10.

Open Records (code 90)

Any records that are unrestricted and directly available for consultation are marked as “90: Open.”

Government Records (code 32)

Some government records must be reviewed according to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act beforebeing made available. Records restricted under these laws are identified as “32: Restricted by law.” For an example, please consult the Operational records of Prairie Northern Region record description.

To request restricted government records, follow the instructions on our Access to Information and Privacy page.

Private Records (codes 18 and 10)

Records that are “18: Restricted” can be accessed through an application procedure established by the donor. These restrictions affect what you can consult, as well as what you can copy.

Records that are “10: Closed” cannot be consulted. In some cases, restrictions on closed records are set to be reviewed after a date specified by the donor.

To find out what files are restricted in a private fonds, consult the PDF document linked under “Conditions of Access” in the fonds description. For an example of this type of document, please see the Lester B. Pearson fonds description.

The next post, Discover the Access Codes for Archival Records at Library and Archives Canada – Part II, will review other access codes that apply to archival holdings. Until then, let us know if you have any questions or comments. We would love to hear from you!