05 January 2008

Pre-ordering materials at Library and Archives Canada

Many folks, especially those interested in Canadian genealogy, are unaware that there is a system in place for ordering materials prior to a visit to Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa. These can be either archival or library materials, although an even more convenient way to consult books is by inter-institutional loan, usually through your local library.

Ordering materials in advance is explained here. You can have have them placed in a locker or otherwise made accessible so you can get to them during all hours the building at 395 Wellington in Ottawa is open (8am - 11pm on weekdays, 10am - 6pm on weekends.)

Unfortunately anecdotal evidence is that the system fails with frustrating frequency. You make it into the building only to find the assigned locker unaccountably empty or material unavailable. This may be a biased impression as satisfied clients rarely mention their good experience, but I've experienced similar inconvenience when materials I order while in the building where not placed in my locker by the date promised.

If you have experience with ordering using this system, either good or bad, please leave a comment so it can possibly be raised at the Services Advisory Board.

You may also be interested to read a relatively new blog, Canada Genealogy, or, 'Jane's Your Aunt' by M. Diane Rogers. Diane writes about Canadian Genealogy & Women's History: Current Ideas, Information & Projects. The most recent post as I write is about the delay in promised client consultations by LAC. I have been told informally to expect an open consultation meeting at 395 Wellington sometime toward the end of January.


Anonymous said...

Try and pre-order online.

Try it.

Dare you.

The "system" for doing so is a circular web-navigation purgatory which doesn't end until you close your browser.

JDR said...

So I tried it.

I ordered a book using the form at http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/the-public/005-2021-e.php

The order was placed at 7:15 pm, the next day at 11:46 am I received an email that it was available. I went in that afternoon and consulted it. No problem.