Friday, September 26, 2014

LAC: online data dumps continue NOW UPDATED

I used to be in the habit, from time to time, of borrowing Library and Archives Canada microfilms through interlibrary loan, so that I could consult them in my local library system rather than having to travel to Ottawa.  So I was among those victimized by LAC's seemingly deliberately punitive decision to abolish interlibrary loans of microfilm a few years ago. (Okay, maybe not deliberately punitive. Probably they just did not give a damn.)

I have not forgiven them.  But if you look at the LAC blog from time to time, you have to be impressed by the volume of microfilmed collections now being digitized and made available online. They don't say (that I have seen, anyway) what proportion of their microfilm collection is now available, or when the rest will be, or why they could not have phased out microfilm interlibrary loan of specific items as they were digitized. Who knows -- the blog never says -- if there is a systematic way to determine whether your target material is or is not available online now or might soon become available?

But there is a lot of stuff coming online.  This is a sample from the alphabetical listing of a recent LAC data-dump to the Heritage part of the Canadiana website:

  • ... Department of Trade and Commerce: from the 1961 central registry system
  • Department of Transport: Records 1897 – 1947 (Register of Wrecks)
  • Diamond Jenness: hand-written diaries and typescript of diaries, 1913-1916
  • Directorate of Internment Operations
  • Emily Carr fonds
  • Finding aid for the land records (RG 1) of Lower Canada and Upper Canada and Canada
  • France. Archives nationales, Section moderne: Série F15. Hospices et secours
  • France. Colonial Archives: A Series, Actes du pouvoir souverain
  • France. Colonial Archives: B Series, outgoing mail  ... 
Okay, it probably does not include the film you need right now, or the one I need right now, for that matter. So let's still be bitter.  But here comes the future.

(Image source)

Update, September 27:  Jonathan Scotland advises:
You may already by aware of this, but if not, it is possible to have LAC microfilm/fiche material scanned and put online by request. The major benefit is that the service is free. The biggest draw backs are the amount you can order (five reels per order per month) and how long it takes (up to eight weeks). The files are then posted to the Canadiana site.
 The order form is available here (N.B. be sure to select the digital copies by email link when going through the order process):
 Thanks, Jonathan!

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