Discover Library and Archives Canada

de Library and Archives Canada

Each month, the Discover Library and Archives Canada podcast will explore Canada’s documentary heritage, covering one or more of the following topics: Aboriginal peoples, transportation, immigration, genealogy, military and peacekeeping, and government.

Episodios

Treasures Revealed: Episode 3

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For our next Treasures Revealed episode, we speak with LAC Government Records Archivist, and past Discover Library and Archives Canada host, Geneviève Morin. She will tell us about the marriage of art and science in early 20th century Canadian botany.

Treasures Revealed: Episode 2

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In this episode of Treasures Revealed, LAC Head Photo Conservator Tania Passafiume will tell us about her discovery in the collection of a very rare type of early photograph called a pannotype. She will explain what it is, how it was made and what makes it so special and rare.

Treasures Revealed: Episode 1

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In this new podcast series, Treasures Revealed, we’ll speak to a Library and Archives Canada employee and highlight an item that they consider a real “treasure” in the collection. For this first episode, we hear about a letter that Dominion Archivist Arthur Doughty wrote seeking reimbursement for an odd expense in 1908.

LAC is a gold mine!

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Near the Alaskan border with Canada, nestled along the Klondike River in Yukon, sits the Klondike region. On August 16, 1896, local miners discovered gold there. When news reached the United States and southern Canada the following year, it triggered a stampede of prospectors, forever changing the landscape of the Northwest and of North America. Eventually, one by one, miners sold out to large companies such as the Yukon Consolidated Gold Corporation, which amassed a huge collection of valuable geological data, including maps and technical drawings that are now in the LAC collection. Our guests on today’s episode, Jeff Bond and Sydney Van Loon from the Yukon Geological Survey, discuss how mining was done in the Yukon Territory and how they are using the maps today.

Mount Logan: Moments in Time

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High in the mountains of southwest Yukon, as far west as one can go in Canada, lies Kluane National Park and Reserve. The park is home to the country’s highest peak, the 5,959-metre Mount Logan. From its earliest documented ascent, in 1925, Mount Logan has been a continuously productive site for the advancement of scientific knowledge. Our guests on today’s episode, Dr. Zac Robinson and Dr. Alison Criscitiello, talk to us about the goal of their expedition which is to drill ice core samples from the summit plateau, and to re-take landscape photos from previous climbing expeditions, many of which are held here at LAC. Our colleague Jill Delaney also discusses repeat photography and gives us more details as to how LAC’s photography collection can be used by the public.

Avro Arrow: Uncovering the Myth – Part 1

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With the creation of the A.V. Roe Canada company following the Second World War, Canada became a leader in the aerospace industry. The company developed the C-102 jetliner and the CF-100 Canuck, the first Canadian-designed military fighter aircraft. In 1953, at the height of the Cold War, the Royal Canadian Air Force (the RCAF) commissioned A.V. Roe to design a new plane: a supersonic jet that could engage and destroy enemy interceptors before they reached their targets in North America. That supersonic jet was the Avro Arrow. It was intended to serve as the RCAF’s primary interceptor, and was one of the most advanced aircraft of its era with the potential to establish Canada as a world leader in scientific research and development. Unfortunately, the project was ultimately cancelled. In part one of this two-part episode, we talk with Palmiro Campagna and two LAC employees about the Avro Arrow and the documents held at LAC.

Avro Arrow: Uncovering the Myth – Part 2

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With the creation of the A.V. Roe Canada company following the Second World War, Canada became a leader in the aerospace industry. The company developed the C-102 jetliner and the CF-100 Canuck, the first Canadian-designed military fighter aircraft. In 1953, at the height of the Cold War, the Royal Canadian Air Force (the RCAF) commissioned A.V. Roe to design a new plane: a supersonic jet that could engage and destroy enemy interceptors before they reached their targets in North America. That supersonic jet was the Avro Arrow. It was intended to serve as the RCAF’s primary interceptor, and was one of the most advanced aircraft of its era with the potential to establish Canada as a world leader in scientific research and development. Unfortunately, the project was ultimately cancelled. In part two of this two-part episode, Palmiro Campagna talks about the cancellation of the Avro Arrow project and some rumors surrounding the aircraft.

Call to Duty: Canadian Nursing Sisters

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During the First World War, more than 3,000 women volunteered with the Canadian Expeditionary Force. This force was created by Canada for service overseas, with nurses working as fully enlisted officers in the specifically created all-female rank of Nursing Sister. Their dedication to their work, their country, and most importantly to their patients, earned them public respect and serves to measure their contribution to the Canadian war effort.

Upcoming Episodes, 2020

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2020 has been an interesting year, to say the least. Due to the current circumstances, we haven’t been able to release much new content, but we wanted to give you a quick rundown on some of the things we have planned for the upcoming months.

I leave you Éva Gauthier

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Éva Gauthier’s musical career took her from Ottawa, Canada, to the four corners of the world. Often considered ahead of her time because of her unique style and approach, Gauthier never let the critics stop her from expressing her true artistic self. Influenced by her journeys abroad, she did not stick to traditions and her inimitable flair, expressive singing style, talent and boldness allowed her to shape modern music in North America.

Tommy Burns: The Hanover Heavyweight

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Our guest today, Dan McCaffery, believes Tommy Burns is considered one of the best pound for pound boxers who ever lived. Measuring a mere 5’7”, Burns was the shortest man ever to hold the world heavyweight title, and the only Canadian born to do so as well. The first champion to travel the globe defending his title, he was also the first to defend it against an African American. Burns had many contests with black boxers before his fight with the legendary Jack Johnson, and is credited with being the first white heavyweight to give a black man a chance to win the title.

Tom Longboat is Cogwagee is Everything

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In the early 20th century, no spectator sport captivated the world like long distance running. And no runner captured the hearts of Canadians like a Six Nations Indigenous man by the name of Cogwagee in the Onondaga language, or Tom Longboat in English. From his victory at the 1907 Boston Marathon, where he shattered the previous world record by five minutes, to his death-defying service in the First World War, he lived an extraordinary life.

Canada's Continuing Memory

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As the custodian of our distant past and recent history, Library and Archives Canada is a key resource for all Canadians who wish to gain a better understanding of who they are, individually and collectively. Library and Archives Canada acquires, processes, preserves and provides access to our documentary heritage and serves as the continuing memory of the Government of Canada and its institutions. On today's episode, we will explore how LAC acquires this documentary heritage through donations, purchases and through the transfer of government records, by focusing on some Second World War items recently acquired by LAC.

Upcoming Episodes, 2019-2020

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2019 has been an exciting year for us as we continue to work for you, showcasing the amazing items in our collection and the fascinating stories behind them. We wanted to give you a quick rundown on some of the things we have planned in the upcoming months.

Bill Miner: Last of the Old Time Bandits

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On May 8th of 1906, three armed and masked men held up the Canadian Pacific Railway’s Transcontinental Express, at a place called Duck’s Station, 17 miles east of Kamloops in British Columbia. It was a botched robbery to say the least. The bandits ordered the engine and mail car uncoupled, and moved the train a mile down the track. Realizing that the safe containing 35,000 dollars in gold had been mistakenly left behind in the second express car, which was still attached to the main passenger cars, they started going through the mail sacks. Overlooking a bag containing over 40,000 dollars in cash, they ended up with only 15 dollars and 50 cents, and a bottle of liver pills. The holdup set off one of the largest manhunts in Canadian history. One of the men being hunted, was the notorious Bill Miner, the last of the old-time bandits… On today’s episode, we discuss the life and times of the legendary criminal with author and historian John Boessenecker. John’s 1992 book, The Grey Fox: The True Story of Bill Miner, Last of the Old Time Bandits, co-written with Mark Dugan, stands as the definitive biography of Canada’s best-known outlaw.

Prime Ministers and the Arts

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Library and Archives Canada is the main repository for documents relating to Canada’s Prime Ministers. LAC not only has all the political documents relating to each Prime Minister, but also intriguing, less official and often unexpected items. The exhibition entitled Prime Ministers and the Arts: Creators, Collectors and Muses curated by LAC employees Madeline Trudeau and five time podcast guest Meaghan Scanlon, weaves artwork, artifacts, documents, objects, portraits and photographs together to reveal a less formal, but equally fascinating side to our former Prime Ministers. The exhibition is on right now at 395 Wellington in Ottawa. It runs until December 3rd, 2019.

UFOs at LAC: The Falcon Lake Incident - Part 2

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Falcon Lake, Manitoba. Located in the Whiteshell Provincial Park, 150 kilometers east of Winnipeg. It’s May 20th, 1967, and mechanic, and amateur geologist Stephan Michalak wakes up early to begin his hobby of prospecting for quartz and silver. After a morning of working in the bush, and a light lunch, Stephan returns to the task at hand, chipping away at a quartz vein he has found. The cackling of some geese nearby, obviously frightened by something, startles him. He looks up, and see’s two glowing objects descending towards him. In the second part of this two-part episode, we discuss the evidence and investigation into the Falcon Lake Incident. Stefan Michalak’s son Stan and researchers Chris Rutkowski and Palmiro Campagna once again join us to discuss Canada’s most infamous UFO case.

UFOs at LAC: The Falcon Lake Incident - Part 1

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Falcon Lake, Manitoba. Located in the Whiteshell Provincial Park, 150 kilometers east of Winnipeg. It’s May 20th, 1967, and mechanic, and amateur geologist Stephan Michalak wakes up early to begin his hobby of prospecting for quartz and silver. After a morning of working in the bush, and a light lunch, Stephan returns to the task at hand, chipping away at a quartz vein he has found. The cackling of some geese nearby, obviously frightened by something, startles him. He looks up, and see’s two glowing objects descending towards him. In part one of this two part episode, we unravel Canada’s most infamous UFO case with the help of Stephan Michalak’s son, Stan, and Canadian UFO expert and author, Chris Rutkowski. Also, Palmiro Campagna, an accomplished author and a ‘regular’ in the research rooms at LAC, will take us through some of the extensive records surrounding the case.

The Battlefield Art of Mary Riter Hamilton

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What drove a successful artist from a comfortable life in Canada to one of hardship in the battlefields of France and Belgium after the First World War? From 1919 to 1922, Mary Riter Hamilton undertook a "special mission” for The War Amps to document the scarred landscape where Canadian soldiers had fought and died. Her canvases capture the devastation of war but also signs of hope and renewal. At great cost to her health, this artist created one of the few authentic collections of paintings of war-torn Europe. She considered her work to be a gift to Canada. In 1926 she donated the majority of the collection of paintings to the Public Archives of Canada, now Library and Archives Canada. We sit down with retired assistant professor of history at the University of Manitoba, Kathryn Young, and Dr. Sarah McKinnon, former vice-president at the Ontario College of Art and Design, and former curator at the University of Manitoba.

Francis Mackey and the Halifax Explosion

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On the morning of December 6th, 1917, Pilot Francis Mackey was guiding the French ship Mont Blanc into the Bedford Basin when, at the narrowest point of the harbour, the Norwegian ship Imo collided with it. The Mont Blanc, laden down with high explosives, caught fire and, about 20 minutes later, exploded. The blast, which was the greatest man-made explosion until the invention of the first atomic bombs, levelled the Richmond district of Halifax, parts of Dartmouth, and wiped out the Mi’kmaq community of Turtle Grove. On today’s episode, we talk with retired teacher and author Janet Maybee. Her book Aftershock: The Halifax Explosion and the Persecution of Pilot Francis Mackey attempts to clear Mackey’s name and restore honour to the Mackey family.

Songs of the Season

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Library and Archives Canada has the largest collection of Canadian music in existence. There are over 250,000 sound and video recordings alone, not to mention huge collections of sheet music, printed scores, concert programs and books. Therefore, it goes without saying that LAC also has the largest collection of Christmas and holiday music as well. On today’s episode, we speak with Joseph Trivers who elaborates on Christmas and holiday music in LAC’s collection.

Upcoming Episodes, 2018-2019

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We're currently working on a number of exciting episodes for you! Here's a sneak peek at what we have lined up: Christmas and holiday songs, Francis Mackey and the Halifax Explosion, the life and work of Mary Riter Hamilton, and Canada’s most infamous UFO case.

Canada's Canoe Archive

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For many Canadians, paddling in a canoe serves as a refuge from our hectic day-to-day lives, and as a means of reconnecting with nature, family and friends. But thousands of years before European settlers arrived in what we now call Canada, the lakes and rivers served as vital trade routes for the Indigenous peoples here, with the canoe at the heart of that experience. In this episode, we pay a visit to the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough, Ontario, and get a behind-the-scenes tour of its incredible canoe collection with curator Jeremy Ward.

Get Your Summer Read On, Part 2

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The TD Summer Reading Club is Canada’s biggest bilingual summer reading program. Developed by the Toronto Public Library, in partnership with Library and Archives Canada, this free program highlights Canadian authors, illustrators and stories. The goal of the program is to foster literacy by encouraging kids aged 12 and under to read during the summer months. In the second of this two-part episode, we talk with the TD Summer Reading Club French author for 2018, Camille Bouchard. Camille has been a children’s author since the 1980s, and has written over 100 books! He has also won multiple awards, including a 2005 Governor General’s Award for his book, Le Ricanement des hyènes. We also talk with a special surprise guest during this episode: a famous Canadian writer who was made an Officer of the Order of Canada, and once served as Canada’s National Librarian.

Get Your Summer Read On, Part 1

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The TD Summer Reading Club is Canada’s biggest bilingual summer reading program for kids. Developed by the Toronto Public Library, in partnership with Library and Archives Canada, this free program highlights Canadian authors, illustrators and stories. The goal of the program is to foster literacy by encouraging kids aged 12 and under to read during the summer months. In part one of this two-part episode, we sit down to chat with Kevin Sylvester. Kevin is an award-winning writer and illustrator, and the 2018 TD Summer Reading Club English author. We also have a special co-host for this episode, Presley. He’s 9 years old, and a big Kevin Sylvester fan. Check out the dynamic conversation as our host, Presley and Kevin talk books at the Cumberland branch of the Ottawa Public Library.

Mr. Lowy's Room of Wonder

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Down an obscure hallway at our downtown Ottawa location, there is a mysterious room overflowing with majestic tomes and ancient wisdom. The Lowy Room is a self-contained museum housing over 3,000 rare, often unique Hebraica and Judaica items dating back to the 15th century. In this episode, we pay a visit to the current curator of the Jacob M. Lowy Collection, Michael Kent, who gives us a guided tour of some of the incredible items in the collection and shares the stories surrounding their journey.

Gratien Gélinas: One of Our Own

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Gratien Gélinas is considered one of the founders of modern Canadian theatre and film. He was a playwright, director, actor, filmmaker and administrator of cultural organizations. His personifications of the common man paved the way for many of Quebec’s leading scriptwriters, and he gave a voice, at home and abroad, to French Canada’s culture and society. On today’s episode, we travel to Saint-Bruno, near Montréal, to speak with Anne-Marie Sicotte, granddaughter of Gratien Gélinas, who tells us about his life and legacy.

Mackenzie King: Against his Will

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William Lyon Mackenzie King was Canada’s longest serving prime minister. He is also increasingly viewed as one of the greatest. However, King’s accomplishments are not restricted to the realm of politics. He was also a prolific correspondent and kept an ongoing, almost daily diary from 1893, until a few days before his death in 1950. In it, King not only wrote down meticulous accounts of his life in politics, but also included fascinating details from his private life. On today’s episode, we talk with professor and author Christopher Dummitt, whose latest book details the history behind the diaries and how they became available for the world to read.

A Look inside the Preservation Centre

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Ever wonder where Library and Archives Canada (LAC) stores, protects and preserves Canada’s diverse and rich documentary heritage? Join us for this episode as we take you on a walking tour of LAC’s Preservation Centre in Gatineau, Quebec, to celebrate its 20th anniversary. On our tour, we will guide you through the Preservation Centre, discussing its award-winning architecture and offering insight into how we store and preserve our national treasures.

Canada 150: Reflect and Reimagine

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As Canada marks its 150th year as a nation, we look back on our past with immense pride, but also with a critical eye. In this episode we teamed up with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) to talk about the future of Canada and look at the ways in which examining our history can help to inform decisions about the future.

Former Enemies Are Now Friends

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In this episode we speak with LAC employee Tim Hack about the amazing journey he undertook to reconnect with his great-grandfathers, who fought on opposite sides of the First World War. Tim came across the Canadian Expeditionary Force files right after starting work at LAC. This discovery inspired him to retrace his great-grandfathers’ footsteps across northern Europe. Listen to his audio diary from the trip, as well as our pre- and post-trip interviews with him.

50 Years of Expo 67

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The 1967 Universal and International Exhibition, better known as Expo 67, was the highlight of Canada’s centennial celebrations. It was held in Montréal from April to October 1967, and was considered the most successful world’s fair of the 20th century. LAC has maintained the majority of the Expo 67 records for the last 40 years. In this episode, we talk with Margaret Dixon, senior project archivist at LAC, about the legacy of Expo and the work that has gone into archiving these documents.

Healing Journey: Project Naming at 15

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Before Project Naming began in 2002, the Aboriginal peoples depicted in the majority of federal archival photographs were nameless. Over the past fifteen years, Project Naming has provided a virtual space enabling First Nations, the Métis Nation and Inuit communities to access Canada's historic photo collections and engage in the identification of people and locations, thereby reconnecting with their history to share memories and stories rekindled by the photographs. From March 1st to 3rd, 2017, Library and Archives Canada and Carleton University hosted a free event to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Project Naming. The podcast team set up a speakers’ corner where attendees could share their thoughts about the project.

Beyond Vimy: The Rise of Air Power, Part 2

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April 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the attack and capture of Vimy Ridge, when all four divisions of the Canadian Corps worked together for the first time. During the First World War, over 25,000 Canadians served with the British Flying Service as pilots, observers and mechanics, and even though the Battle of Vimy Ridge is better known as a ground offensive, many of the preparations for the assault on Vimy took place in the air. In Part 2 of this episode, we once again sit down with Bill Rawling, historian and author of the book Surviving Trench Warfare, and Hugh Halliday, author and retired curator at the Canadian War Museum, to discuss the role Canada and her allies played in the air over Vimy Ridge and Arras in April 1917, a month known as "Bloody April".

Beyond Vimy: The Rise of Air Power, Part 1

por Library and Archives Canada

April 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the attack and capture of Vimy Ridge, when all four divisions of the Canadian Corps worked together for the first time. During the First World War, over 25,000 Canadians served with the British Flying Service as pilots, observers and mechanics, and even though the Battle of Vimy Ridge is better known as a ground offensive, many of the preparations for the assault on Vimy took place in the air. In Part 1 of this episode, we sit down with Bill Rawling, historian and author of the book Surviving Trench Warfare, and Hugh Halliday, author and retired curator at the Canadian War Museum, to discuss the role Canada and her allies played in the air over Vimy Ridge and Arras in April 1917, a month known as "Bloody April".