Glenn Wright

Library and Archives Canada: Overlooked Treasures for Family History and Genealogy

Accessing some archival records is not always easy – descriptions can be vague and mean little or nothing to most researchers. How can we overcome this? How can we uncover the full potential of our documentary heritage as found in archives, large and small, all across Canada and even beyond our borders? Our own national archives is a case in point.

In spite of a much improved website, easier access and detailed archival descriptions, there are treasures to be found. This lecture is in the form of stories based on little known or little used records in the archives – life insurance, military pensions, railways and immigrants, missing prairie settlers, a 1917 census, a vengeful mother and more. The stories are meant to entertain and inform, and suggest that we all have a great deal to learn from archives and the records held there. As dedicated researchers, it is incumbent upon us to be informed and let our curiosity lead us, so that we understand the full potential of any archival resource. To turn a common phrase on its head, it is time we think inside the box.