Saturday, 19 November 2011

Road Trip to the Ontario Archives

Yesterday, a bus load of us went to the Ontario Archives for a day of research.

The bus left the Brant OGS library at 8:15. The ride in was fairly quiet and hassle free in terms of the traffic - unusual for traveling to Toronto at that hour of the morning. Shortly before 9:45, we pulled up in front of the new Archives Building, on the Keele campus of York University.

Knowing we were bringing a group, the Archivists were ready and gave us a tour of the new facility. It is well lit, very roomy and state of the art. There is a separate room for the microfilm readers and they too are state of the art.

The group quickly dispersed and tucked into their research.

None of my ancestors are from Ontario. My husband's all came here after the statute of limitiations for accessing the records. However, I managed a most productive day. By happenstance, I found an index to the records of people who were sentenced to death in Canada! I focused in on the 8 who were sentenced to hang at the Brantford Gaol. For two of the cases, I managed to also find newspaper clippings on the murders! Now to order the microfilms of the court proceedings from Library and Archives Canada!

We re-loaded the bus at 5 pm. There was a movie available for our viewing pleasure, although I am not sure anyone actually watched it. There was lots of excited chatter about the days findings. It appears most of the group, if not everyone in the group, was able to further their research following a day poring over the records at the Archives. Some have asked when we plan a return visit!

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