Saturday, 10 December 2011

Recent improvements to public services at LAC?

Recent days have seen an increase in LAC communications. I'll quote the latest item in full, they likely won't mind!

Recent improvements to public services at Library and Archives Canada
Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is committed to providing services and tools that allow you to discover, engage with, and share your documentary heritage. Thanks to client feedback, we identified service issues and discussed how best to address them. Here are the resulting improvements for 2010-2011.

Better search: We made some changes to the LAC website so you can access our rich and varied holdings quickly and easily. You will find helpful tips on how to use the Archives Search tool in our Search Help section.

New research guides: We added research guides to the LAC website to help you find materials on a range of topics, including Canadiana keyword searching in AMICUS the national catalogue of published materials; internment camp records; and ethnocultural groups. Most of these are available at:
More records online: We digitized many more resources, which are now available to you on the LAC website. These include materials in popular research areas, such as genealogy, family history, and military history. Access the complete list here.

Access to previously restricted materials: Recent legal decisions enable us to grant more public access to important collections: Second World War Service Files and all photographs in private collections to which donors or copyright holders allow access "for archival purposes."

Canada’s history and heritage is just a click away.
This is welcome progress over the past two years, 2010-2011. It's good communications to remind people of the things the organization has achieved, perhaps things overlooked when announced the first time around. 

Unfortunately not everything goes smoothly when you check it out.  I tried the Archives Search and got the response

Archives Search Result

We are experiencing technical difficulties. Please try again later. Library and Archives Canada regrets the inconvenience.

The wording on the Second World War Service Files suggests there's information on other's aside from those who died during the conflict.  Not the case, and even for those the information online is little different from what's been available elsewhere for years.

That's from LAC. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission site, online for many years, gives:

From LAC you get the reference, RG 23, and the volume. You do not get the Grave Memorial Reference and Cemetery given by the CWGC.

LAC have started to add the complete service files for WW1 soldiers as scanned copies are requested, and paid for, by clients. I got a notice a few days ago that my great uncle's file is finally linked. Progress. 

1 comment:

Mary Anne said...

Progress indeed. If glacial ...