Thursday, 14 March 2013

Ancestry Canadian City Directories Bonanza

There are nearly 8.3 million records in the Canada, City and Area Directories, 1819-1906 database new on Ancestry.ca. It's the 7th largest in terms of Canadian record count.
What's available? Lots, with an emphasis on central Canada. I counted 42 directories for Toronto from 1837 to 1900; 39 for Montreal from 1819 to 1901; 32 for Halifax from 1859 to 1901; 25 for Ottawa from 1863 to 1898; 22 for London (ON) from 1856 to 1901; 7 for Victoria (BC) from 1860 to 1890; one for Calgary for 1885.
The indexing was automatically created using text recognition (OCR) software. That means there will be more errors and omissions than in a typical manually transcribed database; the trade-off is that we would likely never seen such a collection if costly manual transcription had been chosen. I wouldn't be surprised if only one or two out of five occurrences of any given word were captured.
The original images were acquired through canadiana.ca

3 comments:

Grant Davis said...

Happy Blogiversary!

Jane MacNamara said...

Worth a mention that digitized Toronto directories are also available for free--some on the Toronto Public Library site and others on archive.org. These versions were also indexed by OCR, but are quite easy to page through, and they're alphabetical after all. You'll find a consolidated list of links to Toronto directories at http://wherethestorytakesme.ca/toronto-city-directories/

Kevin McGinn said...

The Montreal Directories are available as well from the Quebec Archives - sorry for the French link, couldn't find the English translation button, but the interface is fairly self explanatory.

http://bibnum2.bnquebec.ca/bna/lovell/