Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has announced they will be digitizing 640,000 service and personnel records of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF).After being housed at LAC, these files are the most heavily consulted collection and the amount of research being conducted through the use of the paper documents and LAC is anxious to digitize them to preserve the originals for future generations.
Unfortunately, this project will require closure of portions of the collection, starting with letters A through D being closed March 2014 and expected to be available digitally online sometime in the summer. LAC will be unable to provide personal consultation and copying services from the closed collections.
This collection in particular is of interest to me because of my research into our two family members who were killed in WWI: Philias Joseph Albert Emery, who was missing and assumed killed during the preparations at Vimy Ridge; and Joseph Turmaine, who was missing in action and assumed dead at the battle of Courcelette.
The project is expected to be complete sometime in 2015.
LAC requests that interested parties consult the Fact Sheet: Digitization of Canadian Expeditionary Force Service Files.
This digitization project is expected to triple the digitized content LAC already has available online for free.
New content being added to the Héritage website will include, in part: Civil Secretary’s letter books of Upper Canada; despatches from the Colonial Office; general index to the Public Archives of Canada; Heir and Devisee Commission; Lower Canada, declarations of aliens; port records; and Upper Canada land books and sundries.