For our Canadian posters - Library and Archives Canada slowly reopening

Discussion in 'Canadian' started by Chris C, Jul 7, 2021.

  1. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

  2. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    LAC is continuing with the "open reservations two weeks in advance" with 3 hour time slots, up to four slots/week.

    However I have hit a sort of bureaucratic snag: you need an up to date card in order to file a material retrievals request. My card expired last year during the pandemic. The link to an online form(?) to renew is broken.

    Every time previously I seem to remember being able to make a request even with an expired card (but I could be wrong), and then renewed when I was in the archives. So - fair warning if there is anyone else planning to visit - check your card NOW.

    I've left a message but I might try to call again a bit later anyway. We'll see if they can do anything to help...
    JimHerriot likes this.
  3. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    It turns out that when you use an expired card, one of the URLs the website provides to renew your card is incorrect. (It looks like a data entry error.) Staff got in touch with me and gave me the correct link, which is User Card Registration - Library and Archives Canada
    17thDYRCH and ecalpald like this.
  4. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    Sooo I just got a call because I left a message. In all the kerfuffle I forgot to request material and my appointment got canceled. The lady on the phone told me they are operating at reduced staff (40-50%) so they really do need all that time (two weeks) ahead of appointment to locate and transport the material. Usually that just takes a couple of days.

    So I can't visit the archives next week, but I might be able to arrange it in September. I'm going to try to console myself in part by going to the Aviation and Space Museum with my father, which has lots of old planes.
  5. DDingwall

    DDingwall Junior Member

    All of their websites seem to be dead links now as well.
  6. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    You're right. How does THAT happen?

    It has to be temporary...
  7. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    Hi DDingwall - the website seems to be back. There is a notice that they were upgrading computers.
  8. Gary Kennedy

    Gary Kennedy Member

    I recently got back in touch with the Canadian researcher I've used in the past and he was able to visit on Friday for me. It was not a brilliant haul (not due to his efforts, they were longshots on my part) and he mentioned it was hard to ask for anything other than what you'd pre-ordered. I also tried the online ordering service a while ago, placed an order on 11 June and got the estimate back on 11 Sep, so about 12 weeks. I'd asked my researcher to have a look for me as well (it turned out to be what I thought it might be, rather than what I hoped it could be...) so I won't be placing the order to see how long that part may take.

    The search page has been up and down for a few weeks now, the Heritage reels look to be unaffected.

    Chris C likes this.
  9. FusiliersDieppe

    FusiliersDieppe Anything related to Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal

    Great news! Never went but I'm planning on it, anything someone new should know before booking? It's still a three hours drive for me...
    Chris C likes this.
  10. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    Ironic that you should post this week and remind me about this thread. It's worth noting that for some reason LAC has clawed back their opening days on only 3/week and there is a petition to the House of Commons to get them to restore it.

    Sign this Petition - Petitions
  11. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    Well, that's going to be a long day. Right now - you'll learn this if you look at the booking system - you have to use eventbrite at 10am on a Monday to request a time slot for the period two weeks later. The time slots are 3 hours 9-12 or 1-4 (IIRC). Once you book, you have 24 hours to submit a request for the material you want to look at.

    One thing you could do now - any time - would be to request a user card/number with them, because you have to give your user number when you submit a request for material.

    Another thing would be to make a list (a spreadsheet?) of the files/boxes you want to take a look at. It's also very useful to update their state when you've looked at them - maybe you will want to look at them again. And personal take notes about what was in the box.

    I should note one thing there - you request a file, but LAC will bring you the box that contains that file and others.

    Hopefully in 2022 things will become easier. Before COVID the archive was open 5 days a week and you could also go in on the weekend if you asked them to put your boxes in a locker. A weekend visit might not be the best thing for your first visit though, as there will be on archivists on site to help you with any questions you have.

    One thing I didn't know when I started was that if you are looking at documents that are stapled together, and the staples are making it difficult to take photos of the pages, you can ask the archivists to remove the staples. They also have tripods for cameras, and cloth-covered "sand weights" you can use to safely keep a page flat for photographing.

Share This Page