Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Right to Know Day: LAC highights (almost) 100 projects

Today "40 countries celebrate Right to Know Day, which aims to raise awareness of an individual’s right to access government information, while promoting freedom of information as essential to both democracy and good governance." Who knew?

Library and Archives Canada is part of the celebration with the launch of launch a new web page dedicated to the proactive opening of government records under the Block Review Initiative. It links to a "listing of the first 100 projects for which records are now open and more easily available to researchers."

What's there?

When I looked there were 94 projects listed, not 100. What happened to the other six? The total pages in the 94 items is 7,535,135 which is the number claimed to be in the 100.

The two largest items, accounting for more than 1,000,000 pages each, are two Central Registry Files for the Department of Trade and Commerce.

Two items more likely to be of genealogical interest.

- 130,000 Veterans Affairs Canada, Death Cards (1921-1963). They have been online for a few years, not indexed but arranged in alphabetical order, and can be accessed at www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/mass-digitized-archives/veterans-death-cards-ww1/Pages/veterans-death-cards.aspx/.

- 50,500 Department of Veteran's Affairs, War Service Records Division, RG 38, Ban. No. 2009-00126-5, Boxes 1-101. MIKAN 3912956, There's a finding aid, lacking in much detail,  at https://goo.gl/bLNJoR. Many of the boxes hold statistical information, but not all. For example:
9. Nominal Roll and Documents for the Royal Canadian Machine Gun Corps. 1939/03/15. File.
RG38-D-10. Volume/box number: 432.
and
30. Alphabetical Nominal Rolls - Faber - Hyvonen. N.D. File.  RG38-D-10. Volume/box number: 427. 
Thanks to Glenn Wright for advice on these military files.

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