Friday, March 6, 2015

The Archive Within The Library

The Ottawa Room is an archive room (two rooms, actually- one of them partially open to the other) in the main branch of our public library. It's staffed by a rotating group of librarians, and filled with documents, genealogical records, and reference copies of books related to the national capital and the Ottawa Valley. This is the first section as you come in.


And this is the second section. Everything in the Ottawa Room is neatly organized, and the staff are quite helpful. One of them, who I believe is now retired, as I haven't seen him here in a number of months, was quite insightful in terms of research directions for writing.



46 comments:

  1. For me it would be a delight, the going to that library. I am very fond of going to some library.

    Tomás.

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  2. There's something very appealing about book filled shelves William :) your library looks very informative and appealing.

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  3. As a retired librarian I watched your photos with interest. The chest with little drawers is probably the catalogue to look for subjects and books. It is something that wasn't used in my public library anymore as everything was digitized for some years. Only computers are used now to look for everything by the visitors as the librarians. It has been quite an investment but it was worth it.

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  4. The room does look very well organized. I used to go to library all the time as a kid. Haven't been any libraries for a while...nowadays, I open iPad instead of books. But I do prefer paper copies than e-books :-)

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  5. Obviously it is a great source of information. Love libraries.

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  6. Nice shots. Libraries are always fascinating.

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  7. I love that big card catalog in the first shot.

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  8. @Elaine: it is!

    @Tomas: libraries are one of our requirements as human beings- despite what some politicians would think.

    @Grace: I like this particular portion of it.

    @Marianne: everything's digitalized as well- I imagine the old card catalogue cabinet does get some use, though I've never looked in the drawers to see what they've adapted it for.

    @Tamago: I'm in libraries quite often through the week.

    @Kate: so do I.

    @Luis: they are.

    @Sharon: even as a piece of furniture it's visually interesting.

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  9. Is that a card catalog? I can't remember the last time I saw one....

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  10. I love doing research! Love libraries, too. Too bad someone's been making porn in them!

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  11. It's always nice to have people who are willing to help and all these resources, so nicely organized. I have done some research myself here in Montreal, and we have many resources and helpful and knowledgeable people, as well.

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  12. I could spend some happy hours in there.

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  13. Books--don't ya just love them---YES!
    I could spend hours upon hours in a library. When we were kids we always said we read every book in our local library. When my older brother was a young teenager the librarian all of a sudden wouldn't let him check out a book-(we usually could read anything we wanted)-she said it contained certain sections not appropriate. He said well I already saw the movie--He was upset. I always wondered if he ever read the book. The book was called--From Here to Eternity.
    MB

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  14. @Tex: and they're good at it.

    @Norma: this is the only one I can think of, and it's found a second use now. I remember seeing them as a child in libraries, but everything's digitalized now.

    @Jennifer: I heard about that incident!

    @Linda: librarians are of great value to the community.

    @Judy: I have spent time in this space. Nice and peaceful to work in.

    @MB: ah, I can see that!

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  15. Even a fine library won't work without a great staff!

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  16. You changed your blog header photo while I was on "vacation". I love it.

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  17. Hi William,

    In response to your comment on my today's blog post about the cherry blossoms seeming to be a long way off, a fellow blogger of mine tells me that they are already blooming in her area right now...ours will come soon. I really love your winter posts and it is so nice that we both love the winter. :) Hope you have a great weekend.

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  18. Most people have no idea that there are archives and what they are for. You are fortunate to have a good set of archives. Our archives are set up in the museum and one of my former students has dedicated his life to it. I'm so proud of him.

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  19. They look very well organised.

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  20. Good choice. Take refuge from the cold and all the 'ice work'. Curl up with a good book.

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  21. you're making me want to hit up the library!

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  22. Love the mellow light in this space. A comforting feeling when searching the archives.

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  23. I love the old card file! They were always such fun to rummage through and the drawers would slide so nicely. I miss them.

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  24. @VP: it certainly won't.

    @Stuart: and I already have my spring header picked out. I might add that on at month's end, even though we'll still have snow on the ground by then.

    @Linda: here we don't really see blossoms until May, but they are a welcome sight when they turn up.

    @Red: there are also the Library and Archives Canada headquarters here. I've photographed the building once, but not particularly as the centerpiece of a photo.

    @Marleen: yes, and quite ready to help out.

    @Birdman: there are quite a number of branches here, some with modern styles, others with more classic architecture.

    @Tanya: it's a good spot to go to.

    @Gemma: it does have a mellow feel.

    @Ciel: for a book reader, definitely!

    @Anna: that's a good way to put it.

    @RedPat: as it turns out, these are still used- but for a different matter than book catalogues. I've got more from this place over the next couple of days.

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  25. our daughter went to University and qualified as an Archivist. She is not in that field at the moment.......

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  26. Places like this should be treasured, they are gems!

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  27. I have to admit it's kind of refreshing to not be met with a long line of computers. (Mind you I'd not be without mine for love or money, but I love the tactile card catalogs...)

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  28. I haven't seen one of those old card files in such a long time! Nice that they are so helpful there. I would be particularly interested in the genealogical records.

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  29. How wonderful to see these card catalogs which bring back so many memories of my own research at the library.

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  30. @Gill: it can be a fascinating field!

    @Beth: so do I.

    @Geoff: they certainly are.

    @Kay: there are times when looking at original documents are so much the better.

    @Eve: I've always thought so.

    @Lois: I was there this morning, and chatted for awhile with one of the librarians- and found myself looking at fire insurance maps in portfolios from the 19th and early 20th centuries. That's a first for me.

    @Beatrice: it does bring out old memories for me.

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  31. Looks like a well stocked library!

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  32. The kind of place I could stay lost in for days. The man that was so knowledgeable also possessed an excellent memory. People go rummaging around the flat files or boxes in the archival room at the museum without asking me and then say it isn't there and I can tell them where it is.

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  33. I haven't seen an old card file like that in years.

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  34. Library full of document history. In papers !! Great.

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  35. This does look like a great place to poke about and learn "secrets." ;)

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  36. It won't be boring to nose around some time there, but some help to find the right stuff is welcome, I think.

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  37. The only research I have been is in Toronto.

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  38. This is pretty awesome place. Very blessed you have it. Are you walking distant or by car not far? One of my friends wife worked in the parliament building in Ottawa or Maryland for some years.

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  39. @Denise: it is.

    @Mari: librarians are quite knowledgable on many fronts.

    @Randy: it is a rarity to see.

    @Orvokki: thanks!

    @EG: it certainly is.

    @Jan: nosing around gives me ideas for photos.

    @Carolann: I'm not too far from the core- I walk downtown often enough. The main branch of the library is a five minute walk from the Parliamentary precinct.

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  40. So amazing to have access to this. Ottawa is a place I must visit at some point.

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