Wednesday, 30 June 2010

ACC Omnibus Edition: Canada Day Special

Happy Canada Day

In this omnibus issue:

WVR Australia taken over by FMP
The Times Digital Archive via BANQ
London Lives (1690-1800)
Attn LAC: Being Accountable
Family Chronicle: July/Aug 2010
Self Publishing
Canada's Constitution on Display

WVR Australia taken over by FMP
As of the end of May the website for World Vital Records (Australia) is taken over by Find My Past (Australia). The new FindMyPast.com.au website has 35 million records for Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands and Papua New Guinea. Look for Australian directories, government gazettes, post office directories and other publications.

The Times Digital Archive via BANQ
A surprise to me is that residents of Quebec who register with the Library and Archives of Quebec (BANQ) gain free remote access to the Times Digital Archive, 1785-1985, something not accessible at Ontario libraries, or even Library and Archives Canada. The digital archives of the Globe and Mail are only available at BANQ physical locations.

London Lives (1690-1800)
If you had ancestors in London prior to 1820 try a search on the free fully searchable London Lives database www.londonlives.org/of 240,000 manuscripts from eight archives and fifteen datasets, giving access to 3.35 million names. Crime, poverty, and illness; apprenticeship, work, politics and money; how people voted, lived and died; all this and more can be found in these documents.

Attn LAC: Being Accountable
At a telephone conference call of the former LAC Services Advisory Board members we learned that the organization intends re-instituting the Board, with a goal of having the new and renewed members in place by September. That reflects the organization view that the Board has been helpful.
The imperative for the composition to be Politically Correct, with regions and client groups adequately represented, means that the Board grew to more than 30 members, which is both expensive and unwieldy. It was all too easy for client issues that LAC management deemed to be lower priority to be buried. An example is the issue of Canadian Pacific employee files held in Calgary, raised as something LAC should attempt to acquire on numerous occasions, only to be repeatedly ignored.
Further, because the Board met infrequently the agenda tended to the strategic. That's not necessarily bad although deliberation sometimes got lost in governmental gobbledygook. What was missing was a mechanism to deal with smaller more operational, and sometimes niggling, issues. At TNA this is addressed through a Users Forum, with minutes and supporting documents placed on the organization website www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/get-involved/user-forum-meetings.htm. If LAC wants to be more responsive to its clients this is the model for a mechanism it might well adopt.

Family Chronicle: July/Aug 2010
The new issue of Moreshead Magazine's flagship publication arrived on Tuesday. The feature article, highlighted with a cover photo, is "Researching Civil War Ancestors: locating records for lesser-known battles and skirmishes". The issue has articles on the US Federal Census, Revolutionary War Service, and Social Security Applications so should sell well from US news-stands.

On US records, I notice that Ancestry have updated their U.S. Compiled Revolutionary War Military Service Records, 1775-1783 database, and added the Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900.

Self Publishing
Popular Ontario genealogist-entrepreneur Rick Roberts spoke on self-publishing at the Upper Canada Book Fair last weekend. You can review his slides at http://globalgenealogy.com/pdf/perth2010.pdf along with additional information on ISBN and CIP. Rick will likely be repeating some of the information in a pre-conference session he is giving at the BIFHSGO conference, 10-12 September 2010, www.bifhsgo.ca.

Canada's Constitution on Display
On Canada Day Canada's constitution goes on rare display from 10am to 3pm at 395 Wellington. Could this be a prelude to a permanent display of this and other national historic documents, in the same way that TNA exhibit the Domesday Book and other historic documents.

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