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ARCHIVED - Faces of War

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Finding Aid

The Department of National Defence (DND) photograph collection at Library and Archives Canada (LAC), accession number 1967-052, is arranged in two series. The first is the Army numerical series; the second is composed of the Army, Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), and Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) alphanumeric series. The collection comprises approximately 600,000 negatives. It documents:

  • Canadian military activities from 1919 to 1938;
  • training, operations, and equipment of the Canadian Army, the RCN, and the RCAF in Canada, the United Kingdom, Italy and northwest Europe from 1939 to 1945; and
  • Canada's participation in the Korean War, and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) commitments until 1955.

The collection can be accessed by using a multi-part finding aid, FA 19, which is located in LAC's Main Reference Room and in the Specialized Media Consultation Room.

Microfiche finding aid: This part of the finding aid contains copies of all the images, arranged in their original numerical or alphanumerical order within their respective series.
Location: LAC's Main Reference Room

Photograph captions: These are available in microfiche and paper copies. The captions are arranged in the original numerical or alphanumerical order within their respective series. Information logged in these captions varies and may include: negative number, name and rank of photographer, geographical location, and detailed caption information. The latter often lists the names, home towns, provinces and sometimes unit designations of personnel appearing in the images. Certain blocks of negatives do not have captions.
Location: A microfiche copy and a paper copy of Army numerical series are located in LAC's Main Reference Room. Additionally, a paper copy of Army numerical series is located in LAC's Specialized Media Consultation Room. Furthermore, a portion of the alphanumeric RCN caption lists, in a paper copy, is available in LAC's Main Reference Room. Please note that certain RCN and all RCAF alphanumeric captions lists are stored off-site. These have to be ordered through LAC's Specialized Media Consultation desk. A 24-hour turnaround time is required to access these caption lists.

Original negative envelopes: The envelopes are arranged in their original numerical or alphanumerical order within their respective series. Information logged on these envelopes varies, and may include: date, name and rank of photographer, original negative number, and caption. Please note that some envelopes contain information that is not available in other parts of FA 19.
Location: The envelopes are stored off-site, and have to be ordered via the Specialized Media Consultation desk. There is a 24-hour turnaround time to access these envelopes.

Original contact print albums: The contact prints document solely the activities, training and operations of the Canadian Army in the United Kingdom, Italy and northwestern Europe. The contact prints are stored in 110 albums. They are organized by training and operational theatre. These albums were created and used by the photographers of the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit during the Second World War. The information is logged on the back of the contact sheets, and on the album pages. The information varies, and may include: location, date, name, initials and rank of photographer, generic caption and original negative number. Please note that numerous negatives were not printed, and are thus not available in these contact print albums. To view the missing images, one must consult the microfiche finding aid, or order the original negatives.
Location: LAC's Specialized Media Consultation room.

Note: Photographs were also selected from the following two fonds:

Kenneth Stuart fonds, R2562: Four photographs documenting General Kenneth Stuart's visit to A-35 Canadian Parachute Training Centre, Camp Shilo, Shilo, Manitoba. There is no finding aid for this material. To consult these images, the researcher must contact LAC's Specialized Media Consultation desk and order the original images.

Canada. Department of National Defence, accession 1996-02164: Twenty-three photographs documenting various RCAF Squadrons. The finding aid, FA 357, is arranged numerically by DND accession number. The entries detail the contents of each RCAF squadron scrapbook. To consult these scrapbooks, researchers must contact LAC's Specialized Media Consultation desk.