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Annual report of the Public Archives of Canada 1978-1979 Public Archives of Canada 1980

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Public Archives     Archives publiques
Canada Canada
1978 / 1979  Contents
Financial and Operational Audit
Records Management Branch
Headquarters Records Centres Division
Regional Records Centres Division
Office of Records Management Services Division
Archives Branch
Manuscript Division
London Office
Paris Office
Public Records Division
National Map Collection
Picture Division
National Photography Collection
Public Archives Library
National Film Archives Division
Machine Readable Archives Division
Departmental Administration
Departmental Administration Secretariat
Office of Micrographie Standards and Reprographie Development
Financial Services
Personnel Services
Technical Services
General Services
Information Services
160  Introduction
Several subjects which have been discussed in former annual reports have continued to command the serious attention of the Public Archives during the last fiscal
Accommodation — This has been a serious problem for almost a decade for both
the Public Archives and the National Library. There was a particular urgency to
provide suitable accommodation for the National Film Archives because of its special
environmental needs. Pending the construction of a new Archives building it was hoped
that the West Memorial Building across the street could serve as an annex for both
departments. A request to vacate the building was received with dismay and was
resisted until suitable equivalent space was offered in two buildings in Hull. While not
suitable for either the entire Public Archives or National Library the available space in
two large office buildings could be made acceptable for a period of seven or eight years
as annexes of the Archives and the Library. By the end of the year tentative decisions
had been made concerning the elements to be transferred to Hull so that the adverse
effects on the public of splitting operations would be as little as possible. Planning will
continue in the next fiscal year for the move which will meet medium term requirements
but the long term and only satisfactory solution must be a new Archives building.
Legislation — The need for a new act to replace the Public Archives Act of 1912
has been apparent for many years. The present Act is general in nature; but it clearly
provides authority for the comprehensive acquisition policy which, known world-wide as
total archives and adopted by other government archives, has become the accepted
pattern in Canada, combining the transfer of public records with the collection of all
types of documentary material in the private sector. The new act must stress the
wide-ranging collecting interests of the Archives in the private sector while also
recognizing the extensive responsibilities relating to records management. The drafting
of a new act was delayed in the last year because of the need to to relate it to the results
of a study by Treasury Board of the management of recorded information and also to
other legislation such as the Canadian Human Rights (Privacy) Act, and the proposed
freedom of information legislation. During the year there have been extensive discussions with representatives of Treasury Board, the Privy Council Office and Secretary of
State. An ad hoc committee has prepared relevant documentation and the Advisory
Council on Public Records has made recommendations for a new Archives Act and to
the freedom of information legislation which will also have an important impact on the
management and use of public records.
Management — A key word for management in the federal public service is
accountability. This has resulted in an increase in regulations by central agencies, an
increase in audits to discover the extent of compliance with regulations and emphasis on
planning and evaluation. An important step in the last year was the establishment of an
internal financial and operational audit unit. At the end of the year we were at the point
of appointing a director of planning and evaluation. It is expected that during the next
fiscal years all the new management systems will be installed, but the resulting increase
in administrative staff to meet requirements for the Archives and the Library during a
period of restraint is a cause for concern.
Restraint — The policy of restraint to which reference has been made in former
reports has continued and has had an important effect on the operations of the Public
Archives. Indeed except for some resources to enable the National Film Archives to get
established there has been only limited staff increases in the past few years. This has
reduced acquisition activities, increased cataloguing backlogs, inhibited initiatives to
respond to changing conditions such as technological change and need for diffusion.
Planning activities will be important in determining how to make most effective use of 2 PUBLIC ARCHIVES REPORT 1978-1979
available resources. Despite the constraints we were able in 1978 to maintain high
standards of service to researchers and government departments. The many tributes
from our clients seem to indicate that so far there has been no serious deterioration in
the level of service. The reports of the branches reveal the wide range of activities of the
Records Management Branch — Our objectives for 1978 were to meet the needs
for regional records centres, a result of government decentralization; to reassess the role
of the Public Archives in regard to the management of recorded information and to
review priorities; to assess the additional responsibilities of the Archives in respect to the
implementation of legislation concerning privacy and access and to develop computerized systems to support our increased role; to provide tape libraries for the use of
government departments. In all respects satisfactory progress was made. New regional
records centres were opened in Edmonton and Toronto. The role of the Records
Management Branch was studied in co-operation with Treasury Board and a task force
on the management of recorded information. Records management training and the
audit of records management performance in government departments were identified
as priorities and studies of requirements in these areas were undertaken. Responsibilities
resulting from new legislation were studied and an automated reference system for
personnel files including those of penitentiaries was developed. A tape library which
may save departments millions of dollars for storage and service was developed in
co-operation with the Department of Public Works. Additional resources will be
required for the automated persfiles scheme and the operation of tape libraries. W. O.
Potter received the Cardillo Award presented annually by the Records Management
Institute for outstanding achievement in the field of records management.
Departmental Administration — This is the new name for the former Administration and Technical Services Branch which includes financial, personnel, materiel,
technical, and administrative and information services for both the National Library
and the Archives. Reference has been made to administrative developments and the
appointment of directors of financial and operational audit and of planning and
evaluation. Particular attention has been given to studies and negotiations in regard to
accommodation and to the improvement of security. In regard to technical matters a
serious problem emerged in 1978 with the discovery that microfilm in storage is
deteriorating as a result of impurities in the atmosphere. A scientific study revealed the
cause and resources were approved for remedial action. The information will be shared
with custodians of microfilm in Canada and abroad. The Dominion Archivist obtained
the co-operation of deputy ministers in regard to the appointment of micrographie
co-ordinators in each department. The mass deacidification system which we have
developed and which promises to be a breakthrough in the conservation of paper in
archives and libraries was in the final stages of development in 1978 and is hoped to be
operational in 1979.
Archives Branch — Our objectives for 1978 were to give priority to film archives
and machine readable archives until they had developed to a point where they could
function as national collections; to maintain public service and diffusion of archival
material at an acceptable level; to promote the increased use of holdings by the
production of comprehensive guides. Satisfactory progress was made in all respects.
Both film archives and machine readable archives are approaching maturity as national
collections. For the National Film Archives, while unsuitable accommodation was a
cause of grave concern, considerable progress was made in regard to acquisitions of
films, videotapes and sound recordings. Agreements with the CBC, the National Film
Board and the Canadian Film Institute were implemented. The NFA was designated as
the repository for the House of Commons tapes. The first meeting of the Advisory PUBLIC ARCHIVES REPORT 1978-1979 3
Committee on Film Archives was held. For the Machine Readable Archives, systematic
transfers of computer files from departments increased, and procedures and standards
were established. As observed earlier, a satisfactory level of public service and diffusion
was maintained. In regard to guides the Manuscript Division has only one more volume
to publish to complete its guides to manuscript collections. It has also published on
microfiche hundreds of finding aids to individual collections. A second supplement to
the Union List of Manuscripts in Canadian Repositories was prepared by computer and
will be published soon. The new national guide to photograph collections was completed
and will be published shortly. A guide to our holdings of sound archives was prepared.
The first thematic guides to machine readable archives were published as was a guide to
public records. Progress was made in the National Union Catalogue of Maps. Among
the most significant acquisitions were the extensive and extremely interesting Lawrence
Lande Collection of manuscripts, the product of many years of collecting activities, and
the documents relating to Sir Humphrey Gilbert and colonization. Of particular interest
to those engaged in family history was the release of the 1881 census records. In view of
the forthcoming 30th anniversary of Confederation with Newfoundland, an effort is
being made to ensure the preservation of relevant records — private papers, published
material and recorded interviews.
In 1979, emphasis will be placed on the rationalization of acquisitions policy in
consultation with provincial archivists, the standardization of retrieval systems, efforts
to achieve maximum effectiveness with available resources in our exhibitions and
publications programs, and the development of conservation and security programs.
Naturally the move to Hull will require a great deal of staff time and create new
National — The role of the Public Archives which includes its cultural mission to
preserve significant elements of the national heritage and its responsibilities for service
and controls in respect to records of the Government of Canada require an extensive
network of relationships in the exercise of leadership and the fostering of co-operation.
Among the elements in the network are : training courses which we give in archives
administration, records management and microtechnology; development of standards,
for example, records management manuals, microfilm standards; committees, for
example, the Advisory Council on Public Records, the Federal Micrographie Council,
the Film Archives Advisory Committee, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of
Canada, the Permanent Committee on Geographical Names and the National Library
Advisory Board; conferences, such as the Dominion Archivist's annual meeting with
provincial and territorial archivists, the sponsoring of such national conferences as those
on maps and photographs in 1978, hosting of conferences such as the International
Manuscript Society and the International Military History Association in 1978; joint
projects, such as the union lists of manuscripts, maps and photographs collections,
which involves co-operation with all relevant repositories; continuing relations with
professional associations such as the Association of Canadian Archivists (ACA),
L'Association des archivistes du Québec (AA), and more specialized associations in the
various fields with which our collections are related; participation by staff members in
associations and conferences by election to offices, membership on committees, editing
journals, presenting papers, and also by the publication of articles; advice and assistance
to related institutions and governments.
The Public Archives as well as most archives in Canada participated in the first
national Archives Day on October 16. It is expected that the first phase of a national
survey of archives, a co-operative project with universities and provincial archives, will
commence in the summer of 1979.
International — The high esteem in which the records management program of
the Public Archives of Canada is held was reflected in the very flattering remarks made 4 PUBLIC ARCHIVES REPORT 1978-1979
by the former Director General of the French national archives, Mr. Guy Duboscq, at
the International Congress in Washington, now printed in Vol. XXVI (p. 38-39) of
Archivum, the international review on archives. Mr. Duboscq, speaking of our system of
records centres, commented that the Canadian experience was, in his opinion, the most
complete, the most developed and the most effective, having arrived at a level of near
Other indications of this recognition are requests that staff of the Public Archives
prepare international manuals for the International Council on Archives on reference
services and the preparation of finding aids. Members of the staff of the Archives are
officers in the International Council on Archives, Committee on Archival Development,
the Archives Section of the Pan-American Institute on Geography and History, the
International Micrographie Congress, etc.
A number of activities are being planned for International Archives Weeks in
1979, the purpose of which is to increase public awareness and appreciation of archives.
Among visitors from abroad the following should be mentioned: Marquis de la
Jonquière, Marquis and Marchioness of Dufferin, and Sir John Mackworth-Young,
Director of the Royal Archives in Windsor Castle.
Staff— Two key members of the staff of the Public Archives retired in the past
year, Mr. Max Munroe, senior advisor, and Miss Juliette Bourque, director of the
Public Archives Library.
Miss Juliette Bourque retired in October. She had joined the Public Archives in
1939. A graduate of the University of Toronto Library School, she was the first
professional librarian, and organized the Library along scientific lines, including the
Library of Congress cataloguing system. But to the staff and the researchers alike, Miss
Bourque will be remembered for her encyclopedic uncanny knowledge of the collections,
her constant willingness to help researchers and her contagious enthusiasm.
Max Munroe had spent 16 years (joined the Archives in 1962) in various
administrative posts. For the past five years, he had been senior advisor, Policy and
Program Development. His curiosity and warmth contributed greatly to a more
innovative and friendly approach to administration.
Acknowledgements — I would like to express my thanks to all those who assisted
us, first of all the donors of archival materials and friends of the Archives who
collaborate in acquiring collections, members of the advisory council on public records,
and the advisory committee on film, staff in Secretary of State and Treasury Board who
have been sensitive to the needs and mission of the Archives, to records managers and
others in departments and agencies, archival institutions and persons outside the
government, particularly provincial archives and archivists. And finally, I wish to
express my appreciation to members of the staff of the Public Archives. All have in
various ways assisted in the collective task of preserving our documentary heritage.
31 March 1979
Wilfred I. Smith
Dominion Archivist Financial and Operational Audit
The Financial and Operational Audit division was established in 1978 as part of
the Office of the Dominion Archivist. It reports to both the Dominion Archivist and the
National Librarian. The division has been assigned the responsibility to provide
management with a continual, independent appraisal of the department's activities.
Generally the division will evaluate, over a four year cycle, all aspects of the department's activities including systems for ensuring: the integrity of financial and other
information; controls over public property, revenue and expenditures; compliance with
objectives, policies, plans, procedures, laws and regulations; and the economy, efficiency
and effectiveness of departmental operations.
The chief of Financial and Operational Audit assumed his responsibilities in
September 1978. While the division is still searching for staff to complete its complement the four year audit program commenced in January 1979.  Records Management Branch
Under the terms of the Public Records Order (P.C. 1966-1749) the Records
Management Branch provides a comprehensive service in its field to government
departments and agencies in Ottawa and in larger metropolitan centres across Canada.
This service includes: records centre storage and reference facilities; advice and assistance in records scheduling and disposal; the provision of training courses, printed
standards, and guides in records management; records surveys, audits, and evaluations;
and assistance in other related aspects of records management, including the federal
government's Essential Records Program.
The director of the branch is J. Atherton; the chief of the Office of Records
Management Services Division is W.O. Potter. During the year, Mr. Potter received the
Cardillo Award, presented annually by the Records Management Institute for outstanding achievement in the field of records management. In August, J.R. St. Jean was
appointed chief, Regional Records Centres Division. The chief of the Headquarters
Records Centres Division, J.H. Logan, was seconded to concentrate on problems
concerning the administration of Part IV of the Canadian Human Rights Act. W.Li
McCorrister was acting division chief.
In the interests of increased communication with the federal records management
community, the branch began issuing a quarterly. Records Management Bulletin, with
the assistance of Information Services.
The total holdings of the records centres at the end of the year was 370,982 metres.
During the year the branch accessioned 64,327 metres and disposed of 35,955 metres of
paper records. Facilities were completed in Ottawa and Toronto for storage of computer
records and microfilm. The total number of reference requests during 1978-1979 was
Headquarters Records Centres Division
The Headquarters Records Centres Division provides safe and economical storage
facilities for dormant records of federal departments and agencies in the National
Capital Region, and centralized storage service and administration of all personnel files
of former public servants, members of the armed forces, and of the RCMP, as well as
all former inmates of federal penitentiaries.
The year under review was another very active year in which the division
endeavoured to maintain a high level of service to client federal institutions and to the
public. This it did, while coping with the many and varied problems associated with the
assumption by the Archives of responsibilities in connection with the administration of
Part IV of the Canadian Human Rights Act on its millions of personnel records
The division chief, J. H. Logan, was seconded for the entire year to concentrate on
problems dealing with the Canadian Human Rights Act, leaving the administration of
divisional responsibilities to the remaining few divisional officers. Their diligence and
personal efforts in the interest of the good management of the division must be
commended. Operational statistics show this to be a very productive year — evidence of
good co-operation by the staff. These statistics are summarized in Table I. The activities
as a result of the Canadian Human Rights Act are described separately at the end of
this section.
During the year a major organizational study conducted by the Bureau of
Management Consulting Services proved to have great influence on the future direction 8 PUBLIC ARCHIVES REPORT 1978-1979
of divisional efforts and concentration of resources and expertise. Originally intended to
develop the divisional privacy co-ordination function, the underlying purpose of the
study was expanded to review the role of the division in relation to the responsibilities of
other divisions of the branch, and to make recommendations to senior management.
Consistent with the attitude of providing good services, the division acquired a
word processing unit to increase output of correspondence and reports, and a Telex unit
to receive and transmit requests and replies expeditiously to client departments across
Canada and overseas. The activities of the division are summarized in Table I.
Major projects continued or initiated during 1978-1979 were:
Central Magnetic Tape Library System — Following on the Phase II report, a
"Tape Library Service Computer Cost Options" study was completed in September
1978. The recommendation was that it would be more cost effective and provide for the
most acceptable level of security to carry out necessary computer processing with an
in-house mini-computer system. A program approval document was completed for
review by the Treasury Board program officer seeking approval for providing this
service to departments, and for the acquisition of a mini-computer system. A formal
submission will be completed later for the approval of the Minister and the Treasury
Board. Senior management has agreed that a level II service (full services) is the most
appropriate approach to client needs.
Automation of the Personnel Schemes — A study, "Computerization of the
Persfiles Requirements", allowed the departmental EDP Advisory Committee to finalize a decision on this project. The recommendation accepted by the EDP Committee
and approved in principle by the Senior Management Committee is that an on-line
computer system as proposed by the Personnel Application Centre (Supply and Services
Canada) be utilized for the computer processing requirements of the Persfiles schemes.
A program approval document was drafted for review by a program officer of Treasury
Board and is now being finalized for approval of the Minister and submission to the
Treasury Board.
Redox Blemishing on Microfilm — Approval of the program and the necessary
resources were granted by the Treasury Board to permit reboxing and periodic
inspection of all microfilm holdings in the department. Plans call for the program to be
operational during 1979-1980.
Personnel Scheme for Canadian Penitentiary Services — Discussions continued
at an accelerated pace as the magnitude of the task facing the division in the
implementation of this scheme became better defined. Integration of various record
groups began. At year's end the division was arranging with the department to transfer
material from across Canada. Reference services have commenced. However, processing
of the documents will be withheld until the computer support system is in place.
During the year space for storage of dormant records continued to be a particularly
bothersome problem. As a result of decentralization of government departments and the
impact of the Canadian Human Rights Act, there was a noticeable increase in
It is expected that important organizational changes will be made within the
branch during the next year to allow the development of a Personnel Records Centre
specializing in personnel records and personnel related records programs, in order to
expand the influence of the department in this area of records management.
GENERAL RECORDS CENTRE — The General Records Centre, despite a slow start
at the beginning of the fiscal year, has ended the year meeting established standards. 'PUBLIC ARCHIVES REPORT 1978-1979
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Space continued to be a problem throughout the year. The centre operated on a balance
of approximately 3,048 metres of space with disposals approximately matching accessions all year.
The Microfilm Redox Blemish Inspection Program was given final Treasury Board
approval and funds were allotted for fiscal year 1979-1980. As soon as accommodations "
are ready this new program will begin. The Tape Library also saw some progress. A -
second room was refitted, both for tapes and for microfilm. The shelving was purchased
and will be installed next year.
The irregular classified waste paper disposal service was utilized extensively by
departments during the year. It was not possible to destroy the paper as fast as it
arrived. By the end of the fiscal year, fourteen departments were using the service, and
there were approximately 1,829 metres of non-accessioned records awaiting disposal.
At the end of the year all operations were being maintained without backlogs of
any kind. Reference service had improved from a one or two day turn-around-time to
the standard three hour time. Extensive reorganization was done in the centre as a
result of the addition of the Microfilm Inspection Service. This reorganization saw the
addition of seven new permanent and six casual positions. The centre was broken into
two distinct units: Reference Services; and Accessions, Disposals, and Microfilm
Inspection Services. A new Refile Control Clerk position was established to co-ordinate
all activities relating to refiles and handle all problem requests.
Reference Report 1978-1979
Major Departments Served
Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation ..
- 32,127
- 28,091
- 23,731
Canada Employment and Immigration
- 11,906
- 6,668
The five largest departments above in terms of reference requests account for a
total drop of 102,523 from the previous year.
New Departments or Agencies — During 1978-1979 the centre took in material from
three new agencies directly: Commissioner of Official Languages; Fundy Tidal Power
Review Board; and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
In addition, the centre accessioned records for the following agencies which were
being closed out; Indian Claims Commission; Indian Rights Commission; and Task
Force on Canadian Unity.
This brought to fifty-seven the number of departments and agencies served by the
General Records Centre. PUBLIC ARCHIVES REPORT 1978-1979
Accessions, Disposais and Micrographie Unit Report
Metres accessioned  15,982
Square metres of floor space released  2,441
Metres of shelving released   15,980
Disposals (metres)  10,084
Operations—Unit Comparative Statistics (major activities)
1978-1979     1977-1978     Difference
Accessions (metres)..
Disposals (metres)....
+ 1,320
CANADIAN FORCES RECORDS CENTRE — The position of the section head was
vacant this reporting year; however, the staff again responded admirably and were able
to maintain services at a high level.
The unit that was the most hard pressed this* year was the Correspondence Unit.
The regulations under the Canadian Human Rights Act placed new conditions on the
information to be released, and in what manner. Numerous changes had to be made in
procedures and in revising the format of the various forms and guide letters. Staff
shortages and the lack of experienced support personnel placed a strain on meeting
reply deadlines and overtime was used extensively. New word processing and telex units
proved to be invaluable in speeding up services.
The Reference Services Unit, the centre of activity in the movement of service
documents, again shouldered the bulk of the work. The Canadian Human Rights Act
regulations required that a "statement of disclosure*' form be placed on a personnel
record before it leaves the centre and be verified for completeness on return.
Also, a meeting with officials in the Department of National Defence resulted in a
change of the holding period in the units prior to shipment to Ottawa. The new date is
three years from the date of release. Numerous researchers again used the facilities.
The centre will have to develop a more formalized approach to this service in light of
the Canadian Human Rights Act.
Problems are still being encountered in the Central X-Ray Film Library due to
films not being returned. Numerous requests to return films have proven fruitless; a
Activities of the Canadian Forces Records Centre
Accessions (metres)	
X-Ray Disposals (metres) .
55,785 wm
concerted effort will be made with the co-operation of the Department of Veterans J
Affairs. Space is continuing to be a problem, with sorting and storage space available
for only one more year. It is hoped that an effective disposal program can be agreed
upon in the new fiscal year to reduce the holdings.
The increase in volume of photocopies was due to demands from the public for
more information from their records.
the secondment of the division chief to devote his full time to problems associated with
the Canadian Human Rights Act, the section head was busy with the management of
the division for most of the year. It became the responsibility of the sectional supervisors
to maintain services and support to the other sections and client departments.
The delay in automating the master control indices hampered the section continually as resources were diverted to maintaining the manual system. Although there was a
slight increase in the units processed over the previous year, it is still far short of what
the section is capable of achieving.
The decisions reached by the EDP Advisory Committee and the Senior Management Committee in January 1979 to support an on-line computer system for indexing
control will have a great impact on the section. The section hopes to have the system in
place during 1979-1980.
Activities of the Personnel Records Systems and Services Section
Persons Processed	
Accessions (metres)...
Integration (metres) .
Disposals (metres)	
There are now five series of civilian records not processed totalling over 300,000
sets of documents. Servicing this record group is extremely difficult. Space for the
storage of personnel and related records is an ever present problem, especially following
the decision to initiate the PERSCHEMES for the Penitentiary Services. A security
storage area with controlled access will be required.
Automated Services — Since November 1978, the supervisor has been on language
training and the acting supervisor has maintained production at an efficient level. There
was an increase in units processed from last year of 27,343 (207,665 vs. 180,321).
Meetings continued with senior staff of the Department of National Defence to
clarify procedures and services and to co-ordinate the movement of records. During this
period the unit processed the October 1977 through to September 1978 Regular Force
releases. PUBLIC ARCHIVES REPORT 1978-1979 13
Continuing on a program started the previous year, the unit produced 3,000
punched cards in support of the Machine Readable Archives program. During the year
the unit designed and implemented a new input format to allow for the punch/verifying
of civilian personnel records.
This year, processing was completed on the World War II military documents.
This in effect gives total index control on the records of over 1.25 million service
Integration and Support Services — This year, achievements included the finalization
of the integration and boxing of World War II service records, a program that has run
for seven years; the integration and boxing of the 1975 and 1976 civilian releases; the
integration and final arrangement of the 1957-1962 and the 1963-1968 Reserve Pay
record groups and the 1970-1973 Pay Record groups. Problems were encountered with
the integration of the Civilian Personnel material. Departments were slow in releasing
records, leading to delays in placing the records in complete order.
CIVILIAN PERSONNEL RECORDS CENTRE — This unit suffered from not
having a supervisor for this reporting year. Effort was concentrated on those files that
were necessary in the provision of efficient service. Although a card system has been
developed to include full fields of data, it will be held to process only backlog data prior
to 1973.
During the year disposal was actioned on those records of individuals born in 1908.
Approximately fifteen metres of overage material considered of historical value was
forwarded to the Archives Branch. The pay records concerning approximately 186,000
casual and term civilian employees of National Defence were received for storage and
service. The unit encountered numerous problems during the year in identifying and
retrieving records because of the inaccuracies resident in the indexing system and as a
result of the large volumes of unprocessed material. The problems will take years to
rectify even with a computer assisted system.
Impact of the Canadian Human Rights Act, Part IV — The Personnel Records Centre
has total holdings of more than five million personnel records. These include records of
ex-public servants, former members of the RCMP or the military, and ex-inmates of
penitentiary services. All personnel records are transferred to the Personnel Records
Centre one year after termination of employment. In the case of ex-inmates, records are
transferred one year after release from an institution, whether on completion of
sentence or parolled.
With one exception, the Archives assumes all responsibilities under Part IV of the
Canadian Human Rights Act for records upon receipt. The exception is ex-inmates, in
which case responsibility is assumed at Warrant Expiry Date (WED), i.e. on completion
of sentence rather than date of release. Although records may be stored in the centre
one year after release or parole, they remain the responsibility of Correctional Services
Canada (CSC) until termination of sentence.
Contacts with the Public — Prior to implementation of Part IV the Archives provided
storage, identification, retrieval and delivery services to departments for civilian,
RCMP, and ex-inmates records. A limited administrative service was provided on
military records. This service included limited access to the public and user agencies of
Since implementation of Part IV, information is provided to the public and user
agencies in accordance with Treasury Board guidelines and the Federal Information
Bank (FIB) Index. Requests are received informally in the majority of cases and this
practice has been encouraged as informal requests tend to be more specific. This results
in considerable savings in staff and reproduction costs. It also accelerates response time 14
and is more convenient to the public in that they need not consult the FIB Index or fill
out forms. Response time is normally less than one week.
Contacts with the Privacy Commissioner — The Archives enjoys excellent relations
with the Privacy Commissioner and her staff. Potential problems are normally discussed
before they arise. The staff of the Privacy Commission as well as the Commissioner
have proven to be most co-operative and generous with their time.As a result, only one
appeal was made to the Commission. It was quickly resolved to everyone's satisfaction.
The Archives manages an Audit Trail, (as described in Treasury Board's Administrative Policy Manual, Chapter 410.6.), a special bank for records removed from files.
This bank is only available to the Privacy Commission.
Administrative Arrangements with Departments — The Public Archives assumed responsibility under Part IV for these records effective 1 March 1979, but has yet to
complete the administrative alterations required to permit it to discharge that responsibility. As a result, the Personnel Records Centre made various agreements with creating
or controlling agencies to continue replying to access as an interim measure.
The Archives honours all exemptions from access in accordance with information
in the FIB Index. In the case of identified exemptions, creating agencies are consulted
and individuals notified accordingly. Department of National Defence exemptions are
actioned by that department by mutual agreement. Unidentified exemptions are
brought to the attention of the department concerned.
Procedures for Handling Medical Information — Medical information is segregated
from the records by Archives staff and processed in the following manner.
1. In the case of civilian medical records they are sent to Health and Welfare
Canada for necessary action;
2. military medical records are sent to the office of the Director General Medical
Services (DND) for reply; and
3. ex-inmates' medical records are sent to the CSC Privacy Co-ordinator who has
medical personnel attached to that office.
Unique Problems — The bulk of the holdings are not arranged in accordance with
RIB Index bank descriptions. As access requests must be actioned in accordance with
bank descriptions, Archives staff restructures the records to conform with the bank
descriptions. This is very time consuming.
A greater problem occurs when records are loaned to user departments for
"derivative" uses,. Because of the large volume of these requests (more than 116,000 in
1978-1979) it is physically impossible to restructure the records. As a result, much
information is made available to departments which should not be made available.
Measures are being taken to remedy this.
Another problem is that, despite the large volume of holdings, the centre still
operates on manual systems. The result is an estimated 6 percent error rate, which could
only be corrected by computerization. A submission for an automated system will be
made in the near future. PUBLIC ARCHIVES REPORT 1978-1979 15
Statistics: Requests Under the Act
Informal Access Requests Formal Access Requests
Departments   7,775 Departments  13
General Public 15,058 General Public  15
22,833 28
Photocopies Provided  55,785
Regional Records Centres Division
The Regional Records Centres Division provides safe and economical storage
facilities for dormant records of all federal departments, agencies, and Crown Corporations in regions where the federal government has its major concentrations of activity.
To date centres have been established in Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg,
Edmonton, and Vancouver. Services provided include the accessioning of dormant
records; the provision of reference services; the application of authorized records
retention and disposal schedules to records stored in the centres and a service for the
physical destruction of public records by such methods as shredding and baling, pulping,
and incineration. The activities of these centres do not encompass personnel Mies
(civilian or military); they are centralized in Ottawa at the Headquarters Records
Centres Division. Each regional records centre is designed to hold and service from
24,689 to 68,580 metres of records.
The position of division chief was filled by the appointment of Mr. Ray St. Jean,
who assumed his new responsibilities in August of this year. Mr. St. Jean and the
director, Mr. Atherton visited all regional records centres, as well as the various
provincial archives and records management installations, in September and October
1978. One of the first tasks of the new division chief was to organize a meeting of all six
regional records centre managers in Ottawa in November.
Visit to the National Archives - Washington — The division chief visited the U.S.
National Archives in Washington for one week during December. Two days of this visit
were spent at the Washington National Records Centre in Suitland, Maryland.
Discussions were held with the Records Centre director, Mr. C.L. Brown, and senior
members of bis staff concerning the different aspects of their operations.
Publication - Users Guide — A draft copy of a Regional Records Centres Users Guide
was prepared during the latter part of the 1978-1979 fiscal year. Its purpose is to assist
both present and potential clients in making optimum use of the federal Regional
Records Centres. It provides detailed information and illustrations about records
transfers to these centres, reference service to them while in records centre custody, and
their eventual disposal. Publication and distribution of the Users Guide is planned in
Revenue Canada - Taxation — The provision of reference and refile services to Revenue
Canada, Taxation continues to account for approximately 70 percent of the work of the
centres. The present practice of culling requested income tax documents with later
accessions requires the searching of many containers to locate a record. In some
instances the number of "not helds" can be as high as 60 percent. This added work
seriously restricts the capability to extend records centre services and facilities to other
departments and agencies. A committee made up of members from the Regional 16
Records Centres and the Taxation Department are presently reviewing the methods and
systems used by the Department with a view to making recommendations to improve
procedures and reduce the number of containers that must be searched to retrieve
income tax records. The report from the committee is expected early in the new year.
Records Centre Operations — Records centre operational systems and procedures were
audited by the division chief with a view to eliminating redundant practices and
establishing standard systems and procedures throughout all regional centres. Several
new systems were developed and implemented in the regions, such as a uniform system
for the arrangement and maintenance of correspondence, accessions, and disposal
authority records. In addition, the system of numbering accessions was changed to
conform with the system now in effect in the General Records Centre in Ottawa. A
manual system for the control and storage of machine readable records was also
developed and will soon be implemented in the regions.
The territorial boundaries serviced by the Winnipeg and Edmonton Records
Centres were altered. This became necessary primarily due to the regionalization of
taxation services in western Canada and also to provide a more balanced share of
records centre services to departments and agencies within the two regional areas. The
Winnipeg Records Centre will now service the Winnipeg Metropolitan area, all of the
Province of Manitoba, and the northwestern region of the Province of Ontario. The
Edmonton Records Centre will now service the Edmonton Metropolitan area, all of the
Province of Alberta, the Province of Saskatchewan, and all of the Northwest
The work of the records centres has been summarized in Table VII. The volume of
work increased over the previous year. Total requests were up by 16.1 percent, total
holdings by 20 percent, disposal activity by 3.6 percent, and accessions by 56.7 percent.
Activities generally should further increase in 1979-1980 due in part to the provision of
controlled storage facilities for dormant machine readable records of departments and
agencies and the continuing decentralization of Revenue Canada, Taxation. During
1978-1979, fully 78 percent (761,048 of 971,621) of the reference requests handled in
the regional centres were from Revenue Canada, Taxation.
HALIFAX RECORDS CENTRE — The Halifax Records Centre is progressing quite
well. No space problem is being experienced and an additional 3,054 metres of shelving
has been installed to accommodate increased records transfers during 1979-1980.
During the 1978-1979 fiscal year, the centre accessioned 3,872 metres of records.
Preliminary discussions are presently underway with the Bedford Institute of
Oceanography of Environment Canada regarding the transfer for storage of some 3,000
to 5,000 magnetic tapes at the Halifax Centre. Although no controlled storage facilities
are available at the centre for the safe storage of these specialized records, it is hoped
that a controlled storage vault will be installed for this purpose early in the new year.
The Halifax Records Centre has an establishment of seven full-time employees and
services twenty-seven departments and agencies involving the provision of daily records
centre services directly to 102 separate field offices within the Atlantic region. Six new
clients were added to the number of departments and agencies serviced by the centre in
1978-1979. The position of assistant head was filled by G. Earle earlier this year. The
head of the centre is W.T. Shea.
MONTREAL RECORDS CENTRE — Despite the poor accommodation arrangement
and the acute shortage of space, the Montreal Centre is operating at peak efficiency,
providing a level of service to client departments and agencies that can only be regarded
as excellent. PUBLIC ARCHIVES REPORT 1978-1979 17
With the continued rate of growth and range of service demands, the Montreal
Records Centre could exhaust its present storage facilities during the next fiscal year.
The urgent need for new accommodation has been brought to the attention of the
appropriate officials. If additional accommodation is provided, it is intended to construct a controlled storage facility for the storage of dormant machine readable records.
It is estimated that there is a large number of dormant government magnetic tape files
stored in the private sector that would be stored in the centre in Montreal, free of
charge, as soon as these special facilities are available.
The head of the centre is a member of the Taxation Committee that is examining
the present procedures followed by Revenue Canada, Taxation in requesting income tax
documents stored at the regional centres. It is hoped that the Committee findings will
result in tangible recommendations that will resolve some of the problems now being
encountered by the centres in meeting the increasing reference service demands imposed
by Revenue Canada, Taxation.
The Taxation Regional Service Centre in Shawinigan, Quebec was opened recently
and records centre services to part of the records stored at the centre are now being
provided directly to the Regional Taxation Centre in Shawinigan. When the Regional
Centre is fully operational later in the new year, the provision of records centre services
for the District Taxation Office in Montreal will be shifted to the Regional Taxation
Centre in Shawinigan.
During the year, the centre accessioned 12,518 metres of records, destroyed 11,334
metres of accessioned records, and disposed of 103 metres of non-accessioned materials.
With an establishment of eighteen full-time employees, the centre provides service
to thirty-six departments and agencies. This involves the provision of direct daily
records centre services to 160 government field offices throughout the Province of
Quebec. The head of the centre is G. Pommainville and the assistant head is L.J.
TORONTO RECORDS CENTRE — The centre has settled very satisfactorily in its
new accommodation at 190 Carrier Drive, Rexdale, Ontario. Although the level of
service to client departments and agencies was briefly interrupted during the move, full
records centre services are now being provided with generally all aspects of records
centre work reasonably up to date.
The new centre is equipped with a climate controlled room for storage of computer
tape, video-tape, and microfilm. An initial supply of magnetic tape storage racks has
been installed in the centre and the transfer of dormant machine readable records to the
centre should commence early in the new year.
During the fiscal year, the Toronto Records Centre accessioned 3,847 metres of
records and destroyed 3,864 metres of accessioned records. Through Crown Assets
Disposal Corporation, an acceptable waste paper outlet was found and some 300 tons of
classified waste public records will be removed from the centre and disposed of by
pulping, under PARC supervision.
The Toronto Records Centre has an establishment of seventeen full-time employees
and services twenty-six departments and agencies. This involves the provision of direct
daily records centre services to eighty-four government field offices within the centre's
jurisdictional area. The head of the centre is H. Hrushowy and the assistant head is
P.K. Smoth.
WINNIPEG RECORDS CENTRE — One new client department began using the
Winnipeg Records Centre's facilities and services during the fiscal year: Consumer and
Corporate Affairs. Although the centre does not have controlled storage facilities for 18
computer tape files, some departments are using our regular storage facilities for this
purpose. Serious consideration will be given to equipping the centre with the required
climate controlled room to ensure that these specialized public records are safely
maintained in their proper environment.
The Winnipeg Records Centre accessioned 5,635 metres of records, and disposed of
157 metres of non-accessioned materials during the fiscal year. Some difficulty was
being experienced in finding suitable outlets (through Crown Assets Disposal Corpora- j
tion) for the disposal of classified waste paper. A waste paper company was recently
found and should result in the disposal of all available classified waste paper records.
Through this process, much needed shelving is made available for the extension of
facilities to ongoing or new client departments and agencies.
With an establishment of seven full-time employees, the Winnipeg Records Centre
services twenty-six departments and agencies. This involves the provision of direct daily
records centre services to 111 government field offices within the area serviced by the
centre. The head of the centre is R. Weinholdt and the assistant head is R.D. McLean.
EDMONTON RECORDS CENTRE —The new Edmonton Records Centre is progressing reasonably well. During the fiscal year, the centre extended its services and
facilities to new departments and agencies bringing the total holdings, as of 31 March
1979, to 7,250 metres of accessioned records.
During 1978-1979 the Edmonton Records Centre accessioned 5,507 metres of
records. In view of the fact that this centre was officially opened in November 1977, no
disposals of accessioned records were possible. However, sixty-eight metres of non-
accessioned records were destroyed. The centre is fully equipped with controlled storage
facilities for computer tape files, and these special facilities will be offered to client
departments and agencies as soon as magnetic tape storage racks are installed.
The head of the records centre, D.A. Gannon, retired from the Public Service
effective 31 December 1978. K. Smoth, presently the assistant head of the Toronto
Centre, has been appointed the new head of the Edmonton Centre and will be assuming
his new responsibilities early in the new year. The assistant head is B. Dwarka.
With six full-time employees, the Edmonton Records Centre services eighteen
departments and agencies, providing direct records centre services to thirty-eight
government field offices.
VANCOUVER RECORDS CENTRE —A space problem will soon exist at the
Vancouver Centre. An additional 650 square metres of space were recently acquired
within the same building complex. Although this will solve storage space requirements
for the next eighteen months or so, discussions are now underway between the Public
Archives and the Department of Public Works Regional Manager in Vancouver to have
DPW provide a new building, preferably on Crown-owned land.
Four new client departments and agencies were serviced this fiscal year: Labour
Canada, Secretary of State, the Public Service Commission, and the Department of
Insurance. During the fiscal year the centre accessioned 5,784 metres of records,
destroyed 3,455 metres of accessioned records, and disposed of 232 metres of non-accessioned records.
With ton full-time employees, the Vancouver Records Centre services departments
and agencies providing direct records centre services to 116 government field offices.
The head of the centre is H.C. Chapin and the assistant head is R.B. Lawson. PUBLIC ARCHIVES REPORT 1978-1979
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Office of Records Management
Services Division
The Office of Records Management Services Division is responsible for advising ']
and assisting departments on records management, surveying and auditing the state of
records management in government departments, assisting departments in the development of records schedules, issuing manuals and guides, conducting regular training
courses, servicing the Government of Canada Essential Records Program, and providing
for the disposal of records in Ottawa.
During the year, the chief of the division, Mr. W. O. Potter received the Cardillo
Award, presented annually by the Records Management Institute for outstanding
achievement in the field of records management.
Records Scheduling and Microfilm Submissions — Table VIII indicates the number of
departmental submissions concerning schedules, records destruction proposals, and
microfilm submissions received since 1961, when the Public Archives assumed the
responsibility for the examination of these submissions, complete up to 31 March 1979.
Mr. W.O. Potter receiving the Cardillo Award from Mrs. J. Cardillo. (C 109196) PUBLIC ARCHIVES REPORT 1978-1979
Number of
Records, Schedules
or Disposal
Proposals Submitted
Number of
1961-1966 (March)	
1966-1971 (March)	
1971-1976 (March)	
1976-1979 (March)	
Total 18 years	
•Includes proposals for microfilm equipment from 1961 to 1966 inclusive.
Records Disposal, Ottawa Records Centre — The Office of Records Management
Services is responsible for the application of approved records schedules to the Public
Archives holdings of dormant departmental records. This is done through negotiations
with the owner departments.
Table IX indicates the total volume of records disposed of at the Ottawa Records
Centre (both general subject files and civilian personnel files) for the years indicated.
The total volume of general subject records and civilian personnel records disposed of
between 1956 and 31 March 1979, is 196,253 metres, considerably more than the entire
capacity of the main Ottawa Records Centre building.
Ottawa Records Centre
Metres Disposed of from 1956 to 31 March 1979**
Total 23 years
' 28,164
* Figures in Table VII of Annual Report 1977-1978 were rounded off when converted to metric
** On 1 April 1967, the Records Management Branch converted from a calendar year to a fiscal
year reporting system.
*** This total includes only civilian personnel files. 22
Publications — The French language edition of the General Records Disposal
Schedules of the Government of Canada, 1978 was issued as Plans généraux d'élimination des documents du gouvernement du Canada, 1978. In addition, work began on
revision of both the English and French editions of the Mail Management handbook.
The Public Archives of Canada Records Management Bulletin was drafted by
division staff and the first bulletin was issued.
Training — The division conducted two full four-week Records Management Courses
in English and one in French. The two English courses included sixty students
representing thirty-five federal government departments and one municipal department,
as well as a representative of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. Students came
from centres outside Ottawa such as Charlottetown, Halifax, Toronto, Winnipeg, and
Regina. The French course included thirty students from twenty-three federal departments, one Quebec provincial government agency, and the Government of Haiti.
Division members participated in seminars in archival principles and practices
sponsored by the Archives Branch, the Alberta Government records management
course, and several other courses presented at educational institutions. They were held
in English and in French.
At the request of the Public Service Commission another five day course in
Records Management techniques was given in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Division staff spent
time with the RCMP developing training modules for them in the area of Mail
Management and also in Filing Procedures. These training modules will be used across
Canada by the Force.
Assistance was given to the Records Management Institute to develop a questionnaire for all federal departments requesting information on their training needs in
records management. The response reflected a considerable need for such training for
junior records personnel. The division will provide some of this training in the new fiscal
A five-day course in records management was developed for the New Brunswick
Government. This was given by the division staff in April 1979.
Essential Records — The total holdings of those records essential to the continuity of
government in the event of a natural or nuclear disaster now are 4,644 metres, an
increase of 291 metres over the previous year. During the year some physical improvements for the safe storage of the records were carried out.
Arrangements are being made at present to separate the magnetic tape holdings
from the micrographie holdings because of their different environmental requirements.
Special shelving in an environmentally controlled area is being provided for the
microfilm, leaving ample accommodation for the more bulky tape holdings.
Departmental Projects — The Public "Archives, under the Public Records Order,
ensures that departments properly document their programs and policies. In addition,
departments refer many of their records management problems to the Public Archives
for advice and assistance. Consequently, the Office of Records Management Services
was deeply involved during the year with various projects for departments: implement- \
ing the recommendations of the reports; developing new, or revising old, classification
systems; developing procedural manuals; conducting mail management surveys; and
giving assistance and advice in records office organization, staffing matters, equipment,
lay-out, and space. Division staff members travelled widely across Canada in the
performance of their duties. PUBLIC ARCHIVES REPORT 1978-1979 23
Those departments and agencies which were assisted during 1978-1979 include:
Ministry of State for Urban Affairs
Anti-Inflation Board
Canadian Dairy Commission
Industry, Trade and Commerce
Privy Council Office
Public Service Commission
Public Works
Ministry of State for Small Business
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Tariff Board
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
Northern Canada Power Commisssion, Edmonton, Alberta
Law Reform Commission
Indian and Northern Affairs
Atomic Energy Control Board
Otter Projects — In addition to providing assistance to federal departments and
agencies, the Office of Records Management Services Division becomes involved on
request in records management areas at the international, national and provincial levels.
At the request of the Government of the Yukon Territory, the division undertook a
complete survey of the records management organization and holdings of both the
Territorial Government and the Federal Government in Whitehorse in the Yukon
Territory, in the fall of 1978. The report included findings and recommendations
relating to records organization and responsibilities, staff, space, equipment, and the
territorial Records Centre operations.
The division conducted a survey to determine the feasibility of establishing a Public
Archives Records Centre in Quebec City. In addition, it provided assistance to the
Office for the Reduction of Paperburden in their study of the problem of unnecessary
paperwork for businesses created by federal government activity.
This division provided the Secretariat for the Advisory Council on Public Records
which met five times over the course of the year.  25
Archives Branch
The year just completed was a multi-faceted one for the Archives Branch. It was a
year of change, of new directions, of frustrations, and traditional activities. The reports
of the divisions which follow give a detailed account of these activities and the
accomplishments of the branch for the past year.
The earliest change which took place was that of the leadership of the branch.
Hugh Taylor, who had been director of the branch since 1971, resigned at the end of
1977 and was succeeded in mid-1978 by Michael Swift, former Provincial Archivist of
New Brunswick.
As the following reports of the various media divisions indicate, the branch moved
in a number of new directions. Real progress was made in the development of machine
readable cataloguing applications in the areas of maps and pictures, signaling the
direction in which all areas of the branch must move to keep pace with modern
technology. At the