Thursday, 3 November 2011

Ottawa Citizen on Save Library and Archives Canada campaign

Chris Cobb continues on the LAC beat this week for the Ottawa Citizen with coverage of the Canadian Association of University Teachers campaign to save Library and Archives Canada.

In an article Professors decry cuts to Library and Archives Cobb reports that "According to staff who have contacted the Citizen, morale at LAC is low."

No wonder. Not only are jobs threatened but the pride staff once felt in the organization has evaporated under the present regime.

The idea that "modernization includes digitization and acquisition of representative samples of documents and artifacts rather than a ‘comprehensive inclusive collection coordinated by expert librarians and archivists'" should ring alarm bells for genealogists.

Keeping only a few representative pages of the census, for example,  rather than a complete data set would mean Canadians having no ability to find their ancestors in a family group.

Will modernization mean destroying military records, just like those we use to investigate ancestors who served in the CEF in WW1, for those who served in Afghanistan?

Why not go the whole way and delete the WW1 service files online, except for a sample? Why not do it during Remembrance Week just to make the point?  If the current policies being pursued by Daniel Caron and company had been in place and adopted by his predecessors a sample of the records would be all we'd have left.

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