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Article posted: March 20, 1998
Masters & Doctoral Theses As Sources
By: Ryan Taylor, Biography and Archived Articles
Masters and doctoral theses are a useful source of historical (and often genealogical) information which many researchers ignore. They can be very informative and the information in them has been carefully examined for correctness.
Theses from Canadian universities are routinely microfiched by the National Library in Ottawa. The fiche version is available on interlibrary loan at no cost, and is easily transported through the mail.
You can find the theses in the National Library's bibliography entitled Canadiana. Many of them also appear in databases such as FirstSearch, which has contributors from around the world. If you doubt the usefulness of this source, I can vouch for it personally.
I recently discovered a thesis from Queen's University in Kingston about two successful Methodist evangelists from the nineteenth century. One of them was my great-grandfather's first cousin. The thesis included information about his boyhood which I did not know. The thesis also told me about the hymnbook published by these two men, and that also was available in microfiche form.
For more information about theses in microfiche at the National Library, you can contact the reference desk there at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do You Have Photographs You Can't Identify?
Do you have photographs you can't identify? I suppose we all do. One help in starting to use these pictures is knowledge about the photographer.
Three newly published books can aid this search:
The Ontario Photographers List 1851-1900 ($30) by Glen C. Phillips contains references to places in the provinces which had studios, who ran them and when. There is a name index.
A supplement, The Ontario Photographers List, volume II, 1901-1925 ($25) adds more names. http://globalgenealogy.com/Books/107002.htm
The Three Prairie Provinces, British Columbia and Yukon are covered in his The Western Canada Photographers List, 1860-1925 ($30). It uses the same format. http://globalgenealogy.com/Books/107004.htm
All three are available from GlobalGenealogy.com at 613-257-7878 or click on the hot links above for more informaiton.
Books By Ryan Taylor
Across The Waters, Ontario Immigrants Experiences 1820 - 1850 - by Frances Hoffman & Ryan Taylor, 1999. Riveting first-hand accounts of the immigration and settlement experience, taken from the diaries and letters of 150 immigrants.
Routes To Roots, The Best of Ryan Taylor's columns from the Kitchener Waterloo Record, by Ryan Taylor 1997
More Family History Research Resources