19 May 2020

Suggest a New LAC Co-Lab Challenge

Co-Lab is a Library and Archives Canada crowdsourcing tool aiming to make their content more accessible and usable through transcription, translation, tagging and description. LAC is actively seeking your ideas for challenges,

How do I suggest an idea for a challenge?We would love to hear your ideas! Please send us an email at bac.co-lab.lac@canada.ca with your suggestions. Make sure to include a reference number, MIKAN number or e-copy number for the record you are interested in seeing in a Co-Lab challenge.
I took up the challenge of making a suggestion and found one appropriate for the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

At present, there is no database of those who served in the Canadian forces during the War. The best source, service files, are restricted access. There is a source for those who served in Europe in the lists of repatriated servicemen and servicewomen. They are on open access microfilms for the Directorate of Movements at LAC in the range C-5630 to C-5650. A few of those are on Heritage, C-5636, C-5639, C-5649 and C-5650 but don't appear to be repatriation lists. The rest were not open (category 90) when those four were made available to Canadiana. They are open now.

As a start on this project, I've suggested to LAC the repatriation list for the Mauretania which transported 6,011 passengers to Halifax arriving on 10/11 December 1945. Reference:RG24-C-24-a. File number: HQC 63-303-1029. Microfilm reel number: C-5643.

What do you think? Would you help with the transcription?

When I get a response from LAC I'll post again.

If you have other suggestions for Co-Lab challenges don't hesitate to email to LAC.


Nancy in Kingston said...

I've already suggested (about a year ago) to LAC that they get volunteers to link the names from their databases Land Petitions of Upper Canada, Land Petitions of Lower Canada, and Upper Canada Land Petitions (archived) to at least the starting frame of each entry. Right now you have to find the appropriate microfilm from their listing, and then just keep moving ahead until you find the right person. It can take several minutes of guessing where to go (e.g. I usually move ahead by about 100 frames and see what number I've arrived at, then go forward or back) before you find the right page as given in the Petition database. Then, of course, you have to download each individual image; go to the next page; download that image; etc. It would be wonderful if (a) each land record's images were collected into one pdf file, and (b) there was a direct link from the Petition database to the PDF file. I did have a response from an LAC archivist, saying this was something that they have considered in the past -- but my sense was it was considered too big a project to undertake. But at least they could get volunteers to create links to the exact image number on the microfilm for the start of each record.

Glenn W said...

Interesting idea. Please keep us posted and add my name to your list of potential helpers.