Access the Records

On this page

You can use our research tools to help find records of interest to you. Once you have identified a specific item held by Library and Archives Canada, read the sections below that explain the different ways to access our records.

Research tools

Digitized records

Library and Archives Canada has many digitized collections on our website and on the websites of our partners.

LAC sites

Ancestors Search

Many of our databases include links to digitized images, such as census records and First World War personnel files. If database entries are not linked to images, the database's main page explains how to access the records.

Digitized Microform

Many of our microfilm reels are digitized, such as immigration records and some land and military records.

Partner sites

Héritage

Some of our microfilm reels with the prefixes C, H and T are being digitized on our partner website Héritage. Digitized reels can be viewed free on that website. Enter the microfilm number in the search box, e.g. C-4715. If the reel has been digitized, click on the reel title to see the images. (Note that some reel titles may be inaccurate.)

You can browse through the page images; the content (text) is not searchable. Remember that an image/page number is not the same as an archival document page number.

FamilySearch

Some of our records have been indexed and/or digitized on this free website, such as census and passenger lists. View the list of records in Historical Records Collection. From the Search Historical Records page, you can also click on Catalog and Books to explore other Canadian content.

Ancestry

The subscription website www.ancestry.ca is available free at many public libraries. You can search many of our records, such as census and immigration records, as well as some military records. Click on the Search tab, then select Card Catalogue to see the full list of Canadian sources.

Consult the records on site

You are welcome to visit Library and Archives of Canada at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa. Our consultants can assist you with archival and published sources. Archival records on microfilm and many genealogy reference books, are available on a self-serve basis.

More Information about Visiting and Consulting Records Onsite

Hire a free-lance researcher

Many of our sources are not indexed by name and are too extensive for us to search for you. If you cannot visit Library and Archives Canada, and the material of interest to you is not online, you can hire a local researcher to search the records on your behalf.

Hiring a Free-lance Researcher

Professional genealogical researchers can also be found through the following organizations.

For local research, we recommend that you contact the genealogical society in the area where your ancestors lived. Most offer research services for a fee or provide a list of local free-lance researchers. You can also use our AVITUS directory to find other genealogical societies. Use a place or subject as your keyword.

Order copies of documents

If you have identified a specific page or file of interest, you can order a copy using our online form. You must provide an exact reference, for example: RG9-II-A-1, volume 20, file 3226. Note that we do not provide copies of documents that are already digitized on our website or the website of one of our partners,

Photocopies and Reproductions

Microfilms available in other institutions

Many libraries and archives hold microfilm copies of our archival records, such as census and passenger lists. A partial list is provided below. You can also consult your local library to find out if it has copies of our microfilms.

Alberta

Institution Locality Microfilms
Calgary Public Library Calgary Census: all Canada
Passenger Lists: all ports, 1865 to 1918
Border Entry Lists: all ports, 1908 to 1918
Form 30A records, Ocean arrivals: 1919 to 1924
Glenbow Archives Calgary Métis records
North West Mounted Police records
Provincial Archives of Alberta Edmonton Census: all Canada
Passenger Lists: all ports, 1865 to 1918
Border Entry Lists: all ports, 1908 to 1918
Some reels for Immigration Branch Central Registry Files
Indian Affairs, Black series (reels relating to Alberta) (RG 10)
Métis Scrip records
Lethbridge Public Library Lethbridge Passenger Lists: 1865 to 1922 (excluding Form 30A)
Border Entry Lists: 1908 to 1935 (excluding Form 30)
Red Deer and District Archives Red Deer Census: mostly western provinces and territories
Census: 1901 Nova Scotia

British Columbia

Institution Locality Microfilms
Cloverdale Branch, Surrey Public Library Vancouver Census: all Canada
Census: Newfoundland, 1921 to 1945
Passenger Lists: all ports, 1865 to 1935 (including Form 30A)
Border Entry Lists: all ports, 1908 to 1918
General Registers of Chinese Immigration
LI-RA-MA Collection, index
Upper Canada Naturalization Registers
Placide Gaudet's Notes (Acadians)
Fabien marriage index
Upper and Lower Canada Marriage Bonds
Upper and Lower Canada Land Petitions, indexes
Métis Scrip records
British Military and Naval Records (RG 8, C Series), Loyalist muster rolls volumes
War of 1812 losses claims
Medal Registers: indexes and registers
Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch Vancouver Census: all Canada
Passenger Lists: B.C. ports only, 1905 to 1922
General Registers of Chinese Immigration
British Columbia Archives Victoria Census: British Columbia and some microfilms for Manitoba
Passenger Lists: B.C. ports only, 1905 to 1919
Some Immigration Branch Central Registry Files relating to Home Children, Chinese and Asian immigration
Greater Victoria Public Library Victoria Census: all Canada
Passenger Lists: 1865 to 1922

Manitoba

Institution Locality Microfilms
Archives of Manitoba Winnipeg Census: Manitoba
Passenger Lists: all ports, 1865 to1918
Border Entry Lists: all ports, 1908 to 1918
Indian Affairs (RG 10)
Métis Scrip records
Winnipeg Public Library Winnipeg Census: Manitoba and Ontario

New Brunswick

Institution Locality Microfilms
Provincial Archives of New Brunswick Fredericton Census: New Brunswick
Saint John Public Library Saint John Census: New Brunswick

Nova Scotia

Institution Locality Microfilms
Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 Halifax Passenger lists: all ports, 1925 to 1935
Nova Scotia Archives Halifax Census: Nova Scotia
Passenger lists: Halifax, 1881-1918, and North Sydney 1906 to 1918

Ontario

Institution Locality Microfilms
Hamilton Public Library Hamilton Census: Ontario
Kingston Frontenac Public Library Kingston Census: Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Counties
Queen's University Library, Government Documents Department Kingston Census: all Canada
London Public Library London Census: Ontario
Passenger Lists: Quebec, 1865 to 1911 and Halifax, 1881 to 1899
Heritage Renfrew Archives Renfrew Census: Renfrew, Lanark and Pontiac Counties
St. Catharines Public Library, Special Collections Room St. Catharines Census: Ontario
Stratford-Perth Archives Stratford Census: Perth County and Huron District
Archives of Ontario Toronto Census: Ontario
Passenger Lists: all ports, 1865 to 1918
Border Entry Lists: all ports. 1908 to 1918
Immigration Branch Central Registry Files relating to Home Children
Upper Canada Naturalization Registers
Upper Canada Land Petitions index
Loyalist Claims for Losses (Audit Office 12 and 13)
British Military and Naval Records (RG 8, C Series)
Toronto Public Library Toronto Census: all Canada
Census: Newfoundland, 1921, 1935, 1945
Passenger Lists: all ports, 1865 to 1935 (including Form 30A)
Border Entry Lists: all ports, 1908 to 1935 (including Form 30)
British Military and Naval Records (RG 8, C Series) index
Upper Canada Marriage Bonds
Immigration Branch Central Registry Files: some Home Children volumes
LI-RA-MA Collection, index
Upper Canada Land Petitions Index, index
Windsor Public Library Windsor Census: Ontario and Quebec

Prince Edward Island

Institution Locality Microfilms
Public Archives and Records Office Charlottetown Census: P.E.I.

Quebec

Institution Locality Microfilms
Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec Montreal Census: all Canada
Passenger Lists: all ports, 1865 to 1921
Border Entry Lists: all ports, 1908 to 1918
Lower Canada Land Petitions
Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec Quebec City Census: Quebec
Passenger Lists: Quebec, 1865 to 1908
French Colonial Archives records

Saskatchewan

Institution Locality Microfilms
Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan Regina and Saskatoon Census: Saskatchewan, N.W.T. and Assiniboia, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1906
Passenger Lists: some ports, 1865 to 1926
Border Entry Lists: all ports, 1908 to 1918
Regina Public Library, Prairie History Room Regina Census: all Canada, 1851 to 1911
Passenger Lists: most ports, 1865 to 1922
Border Entry Lists: 1908 to 1918
Métis Scrip Records
Saskatchewan Genealogical Society Regina Métis Scrip records
Saskatoon Public Library Saskatoon Census: 1906 to 1916
University of Saskatchewan, Murray Library Saskatoon Some Métis and Indian Affairs records
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