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Gordon Watts Reports
Column published: 16 December 2008
By: Gordon A. Watts   Biography & Archived Articles

Gordon A. Watts
Topics in this column include:
  • Ancestors in the Attic seeks staff genealogist
  • Digitization projects
  • Library and Archives Canada and
  • RSS comes to Library and Archives Canada
  • New at Library and Archives Canada
  • Merry Christmas

Scroll down this page to read the complete articles...

Ancestors in the Attic seeks staff genealogist

If you are an amateur or professional genealogist seeking to take your hobby or profession to another level, producers of the Ancestors in the Attic television show are searching for a staff genealogist for its upcoming fourth season.

The successful applicant will assist the shows research team with the extensive genealogical and historical investigations required to solve the genealogical stories aired each season; and will appear on-camera with host Jeff Douglas, to help submitters solve their family mysteries.

If you are interested in becoming part of the successful Ancestors in the Attic team please send your resume by mail to:
    Dugald Maudsley
    Producer, Ancestors in the Attic
    Primitive Entertainment
    585 Bloor Street West
    Toronto, ON, M6G 1K5
Or via email to: Click here to view the full Call for Applications.

Digitization projects

Two of the most frequent questions that I am asked relate to when we will see more digitized Census records for Canada, and will they be indexed when we do see them. The following chart shows a list of digitization projects currently under way by Library and Archives Canada, in collaboration with, that will be posted on the LAC website as time and resources permit. Some of the time frame estimates for nominal indexes being available on LAC might seem unduly distant, however you might remember that some of the nominal indexes affected are currently available on other websites, such as that for Automated Genealogy. ProjectsDigital Images To be created Digital Images Available on Collections-
Nominal Index To be createdNominal Index Available on Collections-
Available on
Canadian Passenger Lists Yes Fall 2008/Winter 2009 Yes Fall 2008/Winter 2009 September 2008
1851 CensusAlready exists Already online Yes Estimated
summer 2011
1861 Census Yes Estimated
summer 2009
Yes Estimated
summer 2009
1871 Census Yes Estimated
summer 2009
Yes Estimated
summer 2009
1881 Census Already exists Already online Already exists NA NA
1891 Census Yes Winter 2008 Yes Winter 2008 August 2008
1901 Census Already exists Already online Yes Estimated
summer 2011
1906 Census Already existsAlready online Yes Estimated
summer 2011
1911 Census Already existsAlready online Yes Estimated
summer 2011
1916 Census Yes Winter 2009 Yes Estimated
summer 2011

Library and Archives Canada and

Running a close second (actually third) to the questions referred to in the article above are questions relating to Library And Archives Canada's relationship with, and posting of Canadian Census records on that are not yet available on our own Library and Archives web pages (most notably those for 1891).

The table in the previous article (slightly modified) was 'borrowed' from the LAC Whats New webpage, posted 11 December 2008. The main thrust of this webpage has to do with 'Collaborative Arrangements' - specifically the Library and Archives Canada agreement with The page includes an overview of the agreement, and includes some Q"A that answers some, but not all, of the questions asked of me.

I have not seen the agreement between LAC and From viewing the chart above however, it would seem that part of this agreement may include an unspecified period between posting of nominal indexes on, and the time of their appearance on LAC webpages. This would seem to be confirmed when reading a statement released by LAC 10 November 2008, part of which reads as follows:
    "As part of the agreement, will digitize and index microfilm and original records held by LAC and make these available to members. All of the digitized records will eventually be available free of charge to users of the LAC website."
One might hope that "eventually" is not an excessively long time.

RSS comes to Library and Archives Canada

Those interested in keeping up with what is happening at Library and Archives Canada now have a new way of doing so. LAC has recently incorporated an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feed for external clients to use.

The first RSS Feed, now active, is "What's New at LAC". Coming soon is "The Portrait Gallery of Canada". Other RSS Feeds will be added starting this month. The RSS Feeds will showcase updated products, new acquisitions, new descriptions, new finding aids, events, and other information that might be of interest to LAC clients.

To access RSS Feeds you require a RSS Feed reader. Instructions on how to obtain one are included on the LAC website at

New at Library and Archives Canada

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is pleased to announce the launch of an online database, Immigrants to Canada.

The database contains Canadian immigration records held at LAC, many of which relate to immigrants from the British Isles arriving in Quebec and Ontario; also included are references to settlers in other provinces. Through this new database, researchers can access references to lists of immigrants and other types of records created before 1865, such as declarations of aliens and names of some Irish orphans.

Click here to visit the Immigrants to Canada database.

Merry Christmas

This column will be the last I write for the year 2008. My daughter and I will have Christmas dinner with my girlfriend Stella and her family. On Boxing Day I travel to Calgary to spend some time with my son and his new family.

As I do each year at this time, it being the season, I wish each of my readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Whether you say 'Merry Christmas', 'Happy Hanukkah', or whatever other greeting your tradition or faith might suggest for this time of year, I wish each and every one of you the very best. I wish for you, what you wish for me.

If you are traveling to be with family or friends for the Holidays, I urge you to do so safely. Take the time to arrive safely, and to return home the same way. A few minutes, or hours, difference in travel time is not worth the heartache and suffering that could result from being involved in an accident because you are in a hurry.

Until next time.

Gordon A. Watts

Your comments regarding this newsletter, and suggestions for future articles are welcome. Click here to send me a message with a subject line of "Gordon Watts Reports".

To view back issues of Gordon Watt's columns, visit Gordon's biography page where all of his archives articles are available.

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