Archives for: May 2011


Categories: In the News

The Demise of Google's Newspaper Digitization Project

Late last year, one of our staff members stumbled across Google's newspaper archives and discovered that our local newspaper, Leader Post, was one of the digitized papers. Needless to say, the discovery set off a flurry of excited emails and discussion regarding whether or not the public library should continue to carry the microfilm reels of the paper and whether or not to revive our formerly public-accessible online newspaper index (note: this index is still online but only accessible to staff). While some praised Google for digitizing our newspaper and freeing us from the burdensome "microfilm" reels, many of us were stuck trying to figure out how to utilize this resource for our patrons.

For starters, this was a newspaper archives that contained no information about what city some of these papers were published. For example, Regina's newspaper is actually listed four times in the newspaper archives with the following dates:

* Regina Leader – October 18, 1887 to September 30, 1890

* The Leader – October 7, 1890 to November 26, 1908

* Regina Standard – October 4, 1905 to September 5, 1906

* Leader Post – May 1, 1930 to January 31, 1987

As I like to point out to staff and to clients alike, one must be careful in making assumptions because the Leader-News which is located between The Leader and The Leader Post, is actually a newspaper published in Kentucky rather than in Regina, Saskatchewan. Unfortunately, Google does not provide you with any descriptors to help you find all the variant titles of a single newspaper.

Compounding the problem was the incomplete dates for the digital images. For example, there are no digital images for the years 1909 to 1929, a huge gap that would be a terrific goldmine for any historian, teacher, student and genealogist. Too bad those years were not included and staff are at loss to explain why this would be the case. Even when the years are included as part of the digitized package, there were missing issues. A good example is February 1986 of the Leader Post. Interestingly enough, only the first two weeks of February was digitized but not the remaining two weeks, which interestingly enough, would have contained the notice of Tommy Douglas' death (February 24, 1986).

Aside from the other troublesome issues of not being able to search effectively for the articles in question (e.g. not all of the content such as death notices has been indexed) and the unwillingness of Google to let patrons download or to print off the articles, the website was still better than nothing especially if you were willing to scan each individual image for the information. However, earlier this week, word came down that Google is now abandoning this project. There will be no updated content or plans to improve the current search capabilities. In other words, we are stuck with this imperfect tool which may help some, but will largely frustrate others.

In the meantime, the Prairie History Room (PHR) will continue to carry the Leader Post in its entirety on microfilm, from 1883 to the present. The library also provides digital access to this newspaper and many others through our free online databases such as Canadian Newsstands and PressDisplay. For more information about how to access these resources, please contact us at 777-6011 or email us at

May P. Chan, Prairie History Librarian


Categories: Events Around Regina

Saskatchewan Premiere of Trek

The Friends of the Royal Saskatchewan Museum presents a documentary film about the On To Ottawa Trek and the Regina Riot. Enjoy this exploration of contemporary society interacting with our Great Depression history as the victims of economic recklessness, organize and protest their government's inaction and the police repression of dissent.

Thursday, May 26th, 2011
7:30 p.m.
RSM Theatre, 2445 Albert Street

Tickets are $5 in advance, or $8 at the door. Tickets are available in the RSM Gift Shop or call 757-5951 with a credit card.

For more information about the event, click on this link.


Categories: PHR News

2011 Victoria Day Weekend Hours

Just a reminder that the Prairie History Room will have the following operating hours this long weekend:

Friday, May 20, 2010: 9:30 am to 6:00 pm
Saturday, May 21, 2010: 9:30 am to 5:00 Pm
Sunday, May 22, 2010: CLOSED
Monday, May 23, 2010: CLOSED
Tuesday, May 24, 2010: 9:30 am to 9:00 pm


Categories: Archives

SAB's New Reference Hours

Effective June 13, 2011, Saskatchewan Archives Board’s (SAB) public hours of service at both locations -- in Saskatoon and in Regina -- will be changed to:

Monday to Friday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

There will be no retrieval services between 12:00-1:00 pm, or after 3:45 pm.


Categories: New Books

New Books

Foy, Karen. Family History for Beginners. Stroud: History, 2011.

Summary: Dabbling in family history is a pastime anyone of any age can enjoy, but although it is guaranteed to get you hooked once you start, the massive proliferation of websites, magazines, and books in recent years can baffle the would-be genealogist to a standstill. This is an ideal introduction to the tools and processes of researching your past. It will teach you how to get the most information from living relatives, how to negotiate the vast quantities of census, data with ease, and the best way to store, catalogue, and present the information you discover.

Hawkings, David T. Pauper Ancestors: A Guide to the Records Created by the Poor Laws in England and Wales. Stroud: History Press, 2011.

Summary: The first Poor Law was enacted in 1601, and this system of social security, which was supposed to ensure that those who could not work had food, drink, and a roof over their heads, but which is inextricably linked in the public imagination with the cruelty of the workhouse, was not finally abolished until the creation of the NHS in 1948. Being part of the government bureaucracy, detailed records were kept of everything: rate-payers, collectors of rates, workhouse overseers and staff, and the inmates of workhouses, as well poor people who were helped to move to the North of England to work in industry, those given assisted passage to Australia, and children sent to Canada. David T. Hawkings, one of Britain's leading genealogists, explains here for the first time how to use these records to trace your family history, providing an important, must-have resource for genealogists and family historians who want to make use of this comprehensive repository of information.


Categories: New Magazines

New Magazines

Generations (Manitoba Genealogical Society), March 2011, Vol. 36, No. 1

* "The Story of St. John's High School - Part 3" by Chris Dewar, pgs. 19-21.

* "Identifying People in Old Photos" by Don PUrrill, pgs. 23-25.

Revue historique, March 2011, Vol. 21, No. 3

* "Les religieuses enseignantes et la survie de la langu francaise en Saskatchewan" by Marc Masson, pgs. 8-17.

* "Les Services de genealogie de Bibliotheque et Archives Canada" by Nicole Watier, pgs. 24-26.

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This blog will inform you about the new items added to our collection; recommend some of the best online genealogy resources for you to use; and notify you of any upcoming genealogy and heritage-related workshops and events in the Regina community or around province. So remember to bookmark this page or subscribe to one of the RSS feeds so can you always remain up-to-date. And don't forget, we love to hear what you think so don't be shy about leaving your comments!

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