Tuesday, January 28, 2014

NEWS FLASH! Library and Archives Canada to Digitize 640,000 First World War Service Files

As part of the commemoration of the centennial of the First World War, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) announced in its News section that it is undertaking the digitization of 640,000 personnel service files of the First World War’s Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) members with a view to ensuring the long-term preservation of these frail paper documents.

The first quarter, beginning with the letter A through D, will be closed as of March 2014 and will be available on-line as of Summer 2014.

At the end of the project, expected in 2015, Canadians will be able to research high-quality digital copies of the 640,000 newly digitized service files from the comfort of their own home.

To read more about the project, go to http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/Pages/digitization-cef-service-files.aspx


Curtis Pilon said...

That's quite a daunting task! I wonder how many people would be doing the scanning. Though it's good that even CEF service records are being converted in preserved in digital copies. I hope this trend spreads to other fields as well!

Curtis @ Spectrum Information

Elizabeth Lapointe said...

Hi, Curtis,

I was to the LAC last weekend to look at some of the files, and there are about 20 pieces of paper per file.

Some of the papers are in good condition, and some are not. Many are written in pencil (they are faded), and in different coloured inks.

There are pay sheets, the service record of where they fought, sick reports, discharge papers, and death notice, if applicable.

Let me know how you do when they are released. The first bunch are expected this summer.