Library and Archives Canada (LAC), the Canadian Urban Libraries Council and the Canadian War Museum are contributing to Remembrance Week commemorations with an expanded collaborative agreement for the delivery of Lest We Forget workshops across Canada. These workshops allow students to research primary source documents by looking through the military service files of Canadian soldiers, doctors or nurses who served in the First World War or who were killed in action in the Second World War. The collaboration enables librarians and others across Canada to deliver Lest We Forget workshops using online tools provided by LAC.
This year’s installment will expand the delivery of workshops through the Canadian Urban Libraries Council. Workshops will be added to include four new public library systems, namely those of Halifax (NS), London (ON), Richmond (BC) and Calgary (AB). LAC will also continue to collaborate with the Canadian War Museum on the delivery of workshops at the museum in the nation’s capital.
This year, students will be able to access over 5,100 personnel records from soldiers who served in the First World War, as these have been digitized in high-quality full colour and are now available online for downloading at no cost.
“We are delighted to see that our Lest We Forget program is being expanded,” said Daniel J. Caron, Deputy Head and Librarian and Archivist of Canada. “This expanded collaboration with the Canadian Urban Libraries Council and the Canadian War Museum will allow students from across Canada to experience a Lest We Forget workshop and to deepen their understanding of Remembrance Week.”
The workshops will be held in libraries across the country and at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. Current collaborating libraries include the Burlington Public Library, the Fraser Valley Regional Library, the Winnipeg Public Library, and the Toronto Public Library.
“The opportunity to bring the popular Lest We Forget workshops and have access to these historical files in our buildings is one we are most excited about,” notes Carole Laguë, Chair of the Canadian Urban Libraries Council. “This year’s format will allow an even greater number of participants to encounter their history first hand.”
“We are pleased to collaborate again this year with our partners on the Lest We Forget program,” stated James Whitham, Acting Director General of the Canadian War Museum. “The knowledge students will gain from the workshops of individual Canadian stories from the First and Second World Wars links directly with a vital part of our mandate.”
The general public can visit LAC to access or request copies of the military service files of Canadians who served in the First World War. LAC is committed to digitizing the remaining military service files to enhance the overall accessibility of these documents for the general public.