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Gordon Watts Reports
Column published: 02 December 2005
By: Gordon A. Watts Biography & Archived Articles
In Memorium - William 'Bill' Davidson
It is with great regret we advise of the passing of William "Bill" Davidson, husband of Muriel M. Davidson, Co-chair of the Canada Census Committee, on 22 November 2005. Bill was 92 years of age, and had been resident in Sunnybrook Hospital, Toronto, since 26 March 2001. He died five days after the celebration of their sixtieth Wedding Anniversary.
We offer our most sincere condolences to Muriel and family. Bill's obituary follows:
In their own words
With Remembrance Day having just passed, it seems appropriate that I have recently become aware of a website designed to let Canadians and their families tell their war-time experiences in their own words and images. The Canadian Letters and Images Project is doing just that with a permanent online archive to preserve Canada's wartime correspondence, photographs, and other personal materials, from the battlefront and from the homefront. The story told of Canadians at War has frequently been one of great battles and great individuals. The stories of 'ordinary' Canadians, and the richness of their wartime experience, is all too frequently ignored or forgotten.
The Canadian Letters and Images Project was initiated in August 2000 by the Department of History at Malaspina University College in Nanaimo, British Columbia. In November 2003 the History Department at The University of Western Ontario became a partner in the project. The partnership between Malaspina and Western has ensured that more material can made available to the public through the Project web site.
The objective of the Canadian Letters and Images Project is to let Canadians tell their personal wartime stories in their own words and images. To do this the project seeks contributions of letters, diaries, photographs and other personal materials, from the battlefront and from the homefront. They have created a website where Canadians can share with one another the more personal side of a country at war.
In describing the project they state:
The Canadian Letters and Images Project is an online educational resource of the Canadian war experience freely available to students, scholars, and the general public. We do not edit correspondence or select portions of collections, but include if at all possible all materials submitted to us. Our place is not to judge the historic merit of one person's experiences over those of another; we instead let those words and images from the past tell their own story.
In order to make the materials in the project available, The Canadian Letters and Images Project works closely with individuals across the country and elsewhere. Most of the materials found in this Project come from private families who have generously shared those materials with us. As an electronic archive we do not keep any of the materials, but borrow them for copying and archival scanning before returning them to the lending family. All incoming materials as of July 1, 2003 are scanned not only as jpegs for the web site but also scanned as high resolution tiffs for future preservation."
Contributions can be made payable to "The Malaspina Foundation/Letters and Images Project". The Malaspina Foundation is a registered charitable organization and tax receipts will be issued for all donations.
To view the collections, or for more information on how to contribute materials or to aid the project financially, visit their website at: http://www.mala.bc.ca/history/letters/
Online Census interest remains high
I recently received some statistics from Library and Archives Canada relating to number of visits to the online Census databases. As with any new database placed online, the number of visits tapers off after an initial flurry. As can be seen from the following charts however, interest in using the online Census databases remains high.
The numbers in the following charts may at first glance appear lower than expected. Unlike many statistics that show numbers of 'page hits', which could result in numbers in the millions, the statistics provided by LAC show 'numbers of visits'. In the numbers shown here a visit includes all the activity of one visitor's browser to a web site, within certain time constraints. A visit is a series of page views, beginning when a visitor's browser requests the first page from the server, and ending when the visitor leaves the site or remains idle beyond the idle-time limit. A 'visit' could therefore include a great many 'page hits', making the numbers shown here lower than might have been expected.
For the second chart, detailing visits for the first few days after launch for the Census years, the figures for 1901 and 1906 were compiled by the same version of the statistical program and will be directly comparable. The figures for the 1911 Census were compiled by an updated version of the statistical program and may not be directly comparable with the figures for the 1901 and 1906 Censuses.
1911 Census microfilm now available
Many who may not have the capability or desire to access and browse the online Census records provided by LAC have been awaiting information about the availability of microfilm for records of the 1911 Census of Canada.
Microfilm is now available for inter-library loan, or for purchase by libraries, genealogical societies, or others. Information on how to do this is now available on the LAC website. For your information I have extracted the following from their website.
Information on how to purchase microfilm is available at http://www.collectionscanada.ca/archivianet/020206/02020603_e.html#Purchasing%20microfilm
Information on how to borrow microfilm is available at: http://www.collectionscanada.ca/archivianet/020207_e.html
NY Eastern District naturalization records index
The Italian Genealogical Group has recently placed on their website an Index of US Naturalization records issued between 1865 and 1956 by the Eastern District Courts of New York. The index includes records from Kings (Brooklyn), Queens, Richmond (Staten Island), Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
It contains over 600,000 records. This index is a "work in progress" and will be updated from time to time. For further information, and to search the Eastern District Court of NY Naturalization Database visit:
http://italiangen.org/EDN.stm Click on their 'databases' link for other information and sources of interest.
Until next time.
Gordon A. Watts email@example.com
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