As a mother of younger children, I've always found that the summer is the most difficult time for me to continue my family tree research. The idea of a lazy summer afternoon beckons and suddenly I'm off on an adventure, hiking, swimming, or cottaging. But I've also found that mobile devices have made it easier for me to sneak in some research time. As long as I have a strong signal, I can sneak moments in while sitting on my deck sipping a nice cold iced tea, or while my husband drives us to a summer road trip destination.
Thinking of back to school, I thought this month it might be helpful to share some links to resources you might not have thought about - your local post-secondary institutions. Most Ontario university archives hold not only records on their students, but also very broad local history sections. Each of them has been steadily working at putting their resources online - and you must not forget to consider them in your research. If the records you're looking for are not online, then summer is the perfect time to consider a road trip. If you're not sure that they'll have what you're looking for after checking their website, make sure to Ask a Librarian before you go.
Here are a few of my Ontario favourites:
- Algoma University - houses research for the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre and "a vast collection of documents chronicling the experiences of residential school Survivors."
- Brock University Digital Repository - includes "diaries, correspondence, photographs, legal documents, original maps, sketches, reports and much more ranging from the earliest settlement of the Peninsula to the present time."
- Carleton University Library - houses the Ottawa Resource Collection - which documents the history of Ottawa through maps, government information, history books, images and more.
- Lakehead University Library - has a wonderful digitized section of local photographs that can be searched by location, collection, and subject.
- McMaster University Library - holds the archives of the Anglican Diocese of Niagara including marriage, birth, and burial records for more than 100 parishes. The records are not currently online, but you can use the data on the website to plan your next visit.
- Queens University Archives - the Dr. H.C. Burleigh fonds includes "genealogical research on over 1,000 families with roots in the Kingston area." If you are researching family in Kingston, this collection is a must-visit.
- University of Toronto Archives - includes the Women in Medicine oral history collection - a digital collection of audio clips that you can access online.
- Wilfred Laurier Archives - is "the official repository of the records of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada." This collection includes records of individual parishes, personal papers and other documents.
Did you find one of these resources useful? I'd love to feature your find in our next newsletter! Respond to this email with details of your find. Read on to find a new video that will help you find land records, and some upcoming webinars that may be of interest.