Friday, 24 October 2014

Wilson's Canadian Military Guides Online

Barbara Wilson, a widely admired military archivist who passed away earlier this year has received further fitting tribute with new online availability at the Library and Archives Canada website of two of her finding aids.

Guide to Sources Relating to the Canadian Militia, 1855–1988
Guide to Sources Relating to Canadian Naval Vessels, 1909–1983.

The Canadian militia guide is divided into two parts: Infantry, Cavalry, Armored and; Artillery. For each militia unit it draws together references from the following archival fonds:
Militia and Defence (Record Group 9; RG9)
National Defence (Record Group 24; RG24)
Governor General’s Office (Record Group 7; RG7)
War Office 32 (Manuscript Group 13; MG13).

The Canadian Naval Vessels guide is an alphabetical order list, by vessel name, taken from National Defence (Record Group 24; RG24).

I'd like to be able to add that the information in the guides is linked to an online file of the document referenced. Alas.  Even the descriptions are tantalizingly brief. For example, under HMCS Ottawa one resource is Movements, 1943-1945 at RG24 vol. 6810, file S.8700-353/18. A shrewd guess would be it's about the ship's movements. But there are also "proceedings" which have information on a ship's movements.

How do you get hold of a file? See Consulting and Borrowing Material and remember that most original archival documents in the LAC collection must be consulted on-site.

Finally don't overlook Barbara Wilson's finding aid Guide to Sources Relating to Units of the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

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