Sunday, April 5, 2015

LACs Long Road To Digitization of WW1 Records

On a number of occasions I have requested records of First World War Soldiers only to receive a reply that they are unable to provide copies of the records due to the fact that the particular records are pending digitization. Today, I went through many of the 1,291 causalities of Charlotte County NB and find a very interesting trend. It appears that only those soldiers that I requested in the last few years have been digitized and most of which I had to pay a cost to duplicate the records and have them mailed to me. To be clear, I am not complaining about the cost aspect but I am upset that only records are being requested, are they actually being digitized. A sort of "well, someone is already paying for these records to be placed on a copier so we might as well digitize them at the same time". Now, I am only half way through search through the list of Charlotte County causalities but it was such an interest trend that I needed to share.

I am anxious for LAC (Library and Archives of Canada) to complete this project but, as I have mentioned earlier, it couldn't have come at a worst time. Being told that records are not accessible due to digitization when you're completing a project to mark the 100th year anniversary of the war is a major disappointment. How many others are out there, who are only now researching a great-great-grandfather, are being told to "check back". And now, for me, to find out that their efforts are stalling out and that they are not even close to being half way completed is yet again another disappointment. We are at a great moment to celebrate these great men and what they did for our country, let's not lose this opportunity to remember.

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