Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Internet Archive - Canadian Resources

There is so much to discover on Internet Archive for Canadian material!

In the special Canadian Libraries section you'll find collections such as: city directories, school yearbooks, teacher magazines, farm magazines, special associations and a very good collection of rare books.

https://archive.org/details/toronto - the landing page for Canadian Libraries on the Internet Archive. From their 'About' information, they indicate that Internet Archive Canada has digitized almost 522,741 collections all pertaining to Canadian resources. My count shows that over 75 libraries and special archives have contributed material.

Some examples: (Click Here for a list of the participating Canadian Libraries)
The Canadian Rose Society Collection (anything and everything to do with growing roses), the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT Bulletin), the yearbooks of Elmwood School in Ottawa (an independent International Baccalaureate World School with beginnings in 1915.) The Richard Charles Lee Canada-Hong Kong Library (focussing on Canada-Hong Kong).

VIP!! The United Farmers Association deserves special mention as a unique resource for those searching for farm families across the country. Many who are currently farming subscribe to this publication which provides news pertinent to everyday rural life. Some of the earliest issues include United Farmers of Alberta Fonds shows various publications of the magazine, including conference proceedings which has lists of names.

Tip: Clicking on the magnifying glass - 'search inside' -  
opens the digitized image in a much bigger format 
and is much easier to read.    Sorting the list by Title puts the issues in date order.

In one example, at the very end of the publication, Delegates in Attendance at Seventh Annual Convention shows 4 pages of an alphabetical list of names and further along, the Alberta Women's Convention also shows names of women in attendance, mostly married women. Both of these lists show their affiliated 'union' [sic]  location (not necessarily place of residence), however this would help pinpoint the location of their residence.

Some issues of the UFA of Alberta provide a special page devoted to a mini biography of individual farmers that also highlights their farm operation.

Another very good collection is the CIHM Monograph Collection provided by the University of Alberta Libraries - very important and very early collection of items from the UofA archives (original format is microfilm).


  • Ontarian families [microform] : genealogies of United-Empire-Loyalist and other pioneer families of Upper Canada by Chadwick, Edward Marion, 1840-1921 
  • Family record of the name of Dingwall Fordyce in Aberdeenshire [microform] : showing descent from the first known progenitor of either name -both direct and collateral : with appendix containing notices of individuals and families incidentally referred to by Fordyce, A. D. (Alexander Dingwall), d. 1894
  • missionary society publications
  • numerous city directories, ie: Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec, Toronto 

Lastly, under the University of Alberta collection : Alberta Homestead Records 1870-1940 organized by Reel No. which takes a fair bit of detective work to search. So you'd have to be very persistent and doggoned determined to find your family in this collection!

Note: The Alberta Genealogy Society has a valuable index to Homestead Records here:

I do not have a subscription, but I believe this collection is now on Ancestry, search their Card Catalogue for Alberta Homestead Records. Although I'm not sure, why does their title indicate the years as 1870-1930? Who's collection title is correct?

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