Posts Tagged ‘archives’

Advocate for Archives: Share your Story on the Usefulness of Archives

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

The Archives Association of Ontario has shared the following request with the research and archival community. As archives are a major source of information for genealogists, you may have a story you wish to share as well. If you do, please send an account of your experience to the President of the AAO at president@aao-archivists.ca .

Here is their unabridged message:

“I have been contacted by the office of NDP MP Pierre Nantel, the Official Opposition Critic for Heritage, in order to gather evidence to advocate for a government commitment to archives. I have summarized the request I received from Mr. Nantel’s office below.

Quebec’s TVA network recently started reporting on the cuts to archives and are covering Mr. Nantel’s related questions in the House. Essentially they are looking to make the issues at hand as understandable as possible to the public. For example, he cites the following story from a TVA news report ” Library and Archive’s website shows internationally-renowned Quebec artists Luc Plamondon accepting a Juno, with a subtitle that says “an unidentified man with a Juno”! (http://tvanouvelles.ca/lcn/infos/national/archives/2012/12/20121203-210205.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter) This is an easy-to-understand issue for the media and the public, and can be directly attached to the Harper Govt’s cuts.”

Mr. Nantel would like positive examples of historically significant items or documents that have been discovered by archivists or in archives. Things that would not have been discovered or celebrated if it wasn’t for archives/archivists (ie. if we’re all suffering cuts, there won’t be anyone to discover, interpret, or preserve this material). As a bonus, if you can provide an example of something related to the War of 1812 this would allow Mr. Nantel to “demonstrate that the Government’s interest in 1812 is all about show and no substance – and that real investment in our history has to involve the professionals that do the research.”

Please don’t limit yourselves to projects that were accomplished through NADP although these examples are still relevant. You can send me your examples by responding to this email (president@aao-archivists.ca). There is some urgency to the matter as Mr. Nantel’s office wants to continue the wave of support generated from the TVA.”

Cuts at Library and Archives Canada will Affect Genealogists

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Recently several cuts were announced by Library and Archives Canada (LAC). These cuts will affect the ability of LAC to provide a high level of service to researchers and will affect the public’s ability to access records housed at LAC. Additionally, LAC has announced cuts to programs that support archives throughout Canada, which will affect the ability of these organizations to continue to make Canada’s documentary history accessible.

What do these cuts mean?
Our access to Canada’s documentary history, as well as its continued preservation, has been put in jeopardy.

How will these cuts affect genealogical researchers?
1. LAC will be reducing their hours, restricting the public’s access to knowledgeable archivists and reference staff, and genealogical inquiries will require appointments.

2. The inter-library loan program will be cancelled as of February 2013. Previously researchers could request that documents be sent to their local library, free of charge. Examples of these documents included microfilms of passenger lists and census records, or published books held in the library collection. The cancellation of this program means that researchers must travel to Ottawa to view these records, or hire a researcher in the Ottawa area to access the records for them.

3. The number of staff employed at LAC is being reduced by approximately 20%. Not only does this mean a reduction in service to researchers, it will also affect LAC’s ability to catalogue books, describe archival collections, and digitize the collection.

4. LAC’s collection mandate is changing. Previously LAC’s role was to preserve Canada’s cultural and historical heritage, but now the focus has shifted to preserving the documents of the federal government. This means that private business records and the documentary history of ordinary Canadians are no longer being actively collected. Already several important pieces of Canada’s Aboriginal and military history have been acquired by private collectors both inside and outside of Canada.

5. Small and medium-sized archives throughout the country have been dependent upon funding administered through LAC. The elimination of this funding puts their ability to preserve their collections at risk. This funding, in the past, has allowed these institutions to properly describe archival records, digitize collections, create archival exhibitions, and hire new archival professionals.

If these changes concern you:
Write a letter to: your MP, the Minister of Canadian Heritage & Official Languages, the Prime Minister, and/or your local newspaper. Outline how these cuts will affect your ability to research and access Canada’s documentary history.
Members of Parliament:
http://www.parl.gc.ca/MembersOfParliament/MainMPsCompleteList.aspx?Language=E

Reminder: New Hours at the Archives of Ontario

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

The new extended hours at the Archives of Ontario starts in one week.

Starting Tuesday February 8, 2011, the hours will be as follows

Monday, Wednesday, Friday                 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Tuesday and Thursday                             8:30 am – 8:00 pm
Saturday                                                        10:00 am – 4:oo pm

These hours are being offered on a trial basis.

Let’s make sure we show the Archives how much we need them.

For more information, visit the Archives of Ontario website