General Index - card catalogue (Archives)

What is it?

Some of Library and Archives Canada manuscript group collections were indexed on cards. The cards are arranged alphabetically and include names, places and subjects. The collections are from various time periods between the 1600s and the early 1980s.

The General Index is in card cabinets in the Reference Services room on the second floor at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa.

The cards were microfilmed in 1982 on reels H-1312 to H-1342. Any additional cards that were created were not added to the main set of index cards, but were filed in supplementary indexes. Those four additional indexes were also microfilmed, on reels H-1762, H-1763, H-1764, H-1458 and H-1814. We recommend that you search all the supplementary indexes as well as the original General Index.

Some of the collections indexed on these cards were later indexed in electronic formats that are now searchable in Archives Search. You can also search many of our other archival collections in that database.

How to search it

Browse the General Index and the Supplementary Indexes lists below for the content of each microfilm reel.

  • General Index

    * Microfilm H-1312 begins with a series of cards that itemize the collections and finding aids included in the General Index (Abbott to Wurtele family, images 4 to 521). The General Index starts with image 522 (Aartsengel).

    Microfilm numbers Starts with Ends with

    H-1312*

    Abbott, Sir John Joseph Caldwell

    Wurtele Family

    H-1312*

    Aartsengel

    Association nationale des fonctionnaires fédéraux

    H-1313

    Association of American...

    Bell, J. Jones

    H-1314

    Bell, J. Langlois

    Bourgeois, Phileas F.

    H-1315

    Bourgeois, Pierre

    Butterfield, Monsieur

    H-1316

    Butterfield, Col. D.S.

    Carleton, Sir Guy

    H-1317

    Carleton, Sir Guy

    Clarke, Sir G.T.

    H-1318

    Clarke, G.W.

    Crawford, Mr.

    H-1319

    Crawford, Allan

    Desjardins, Pierre Léonard

    H-1320

    Desjardins, Raimbault

    Eager, Joseph S.

    H-1321

    Eager, William L.P.

    Fisheries - New Brunswick

    H-1322

    Fisheries - New Brunswick

    Gasy, J.

    H-1323

    Gate, A.

    Great Britain - Foreign Relations

    H-1324

    Great Britain - Imperial War Cabinet

    Healy Falls

    H-1325

    Healey, Jeremiah

    Ilsley, Hon. J.L.

    H-1326

    Ilsley, J.L.

    Kellum, Lebbeus

    H-1327

    Kelley (Kelley), A.

    Langevin, François

    H-1328

    Langevin, Sir Hector

    Livestock

    H-1329

    Livestock

    Louis, Major de St.

    H-1330

    Makalainey, T.

    McGillivary, William

    H-1331

    McGillivray, William

    Mitchel, Jehial

    H-1332

    Mitchel, John

    Needham, Mark

    H-1333

    Needham, Richard

    Owen, W.

    H-1334

    Owen, W.

    Plante, Joseph

    H-1335

    Plante, Joseph

    Ranson, William

    H-1336

    Ransted, James

    Routh, Randolph

    H-1337

    Routh, W.

    Semelle, 0.

    H-1338

    Semelte, Count

    Spry, Graham

    H-1339

    Spry, Graham

    Thibitts, Alexander

    H-1340

    Thibodeau, A.A.

    Upper Canada

    H-1341

    Upper Canada

    Wheeler

    H-1342

    Wheeler, A.

    Zybala, Stan

  • Supplementary Indexes
    Microfilm numbers Starts with Ends with

    H-1458

    Supplementary index 1:

    A

    Young

    H-1814

    Supplementary index 2:

    A

    Z

    H-1762

    Supplementary index 3:

    Allard, Thomas

    Yuzack

    H-1762

    Supplementary index 4: (starts on image 67)

    Abbott, Hon. D.C.

    Guillett, George

    H-1763

    Supplementary index 4:

    Guion, Antoine

    Secord, Laura

    H-1764

    Supplementary index 4:

    Sedwick, Gordon

    Zynchuck

Digitized microfilm

The reels are digitized on our partner website Héritage: General Index: digitized microfilm

From the list on Héritage, select the relevant reel number and click on it to open the digitized microfilm. You can browse through the images, skipping ahead to find the relevant alphabetical section.

What to do next

Each card usually includes a brief description of the item, a date and the name of the fonds (collection). The information on the cards is in the language of the records.

Some cards will give a complete archival reference, for example MG29 D61, volume 9, pages 3201 to 3203.

For complete references, see our web page that explains options for how to access the records.

Note that there are some cards from collections relating to immigration before 1865. Those references are now indexed in these databases:

Partial references

Some cards only give a manuscript group number, for example MG8 F20, without a volume, page or other identifier. Sometimes there is a volume number, but no page number.

Some cards only give a finding aid number, for example FA438. Sometimes a page number from the finding aid is provided. A finding aid is a descriptive list of contents of a collection.

For incomplete references, you should start by reading the description of the fonds. Use Archives Search and enter the name of the fonds as the keyword. Many of the record descriptions include digitized finding aids that provide volume, page and microfilm numbers. If you can find the relevant reference information for the item you found in the index cards, you can then read the options for how to access the records.

If you need further assistance, you can send an inquiry using our Ask us a question form. Be sure to include all the information from the index card and explain that you found it in the General Index.

List of abbreviations and terms

Here are some of the terms you will see on the cards.

F.A. (f. a.)
Finding Aid (a descriptive list of contents of a collection)
I.R. (i.r.)
Instrument de recherche
Instrument de recherche
Finding Aid
MG or FM
Manuscript Group or Fonds Manuscrits
Public Archives of Canada
former name of Library and Archives Canada
RG
Record Group

See Glossary of Terms to learn about finding aids, fonds and other archival terms.

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