Access First World War service files in Collection Search

In August 2018, Library and Archives Canada finished digitizing more than 600,000 service files of Canadians who served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) during the First World War. We’re pleased to announce that these files have been integrated into our main database, Collection Search, and are now available through a new landing page.

This change brings a number of improvements from the old database search experience. For example, you can now use filters to focus your research more closely and easily. In addition, the improved wildcard search function means that your research can continue even if you are unsure of a name or its spelling—for example, “Fran*” can lead you to results for “Frank” or “Francis.” Finally, the landing page has an integrated image viewer, which means that you can now see all of the images directly on the results page rather than individually.

Don’t forget to check out our tips and research strategies, located at the bottom of the page!

You may also want to consider creating an account that allows you to save records of interest to revisit later.

We will close the old standalone database in the relatively near future and redirect users to the new search interface. We will give users time to adapt to the new search experience in the coming months and recommend that you update your bookmarks in the meantime. To provide feedback about the Collection Search experience, please email us your comments.

As we celebrate this accomplishment, we’d like to take a moment to recognize the contributions of the Friends of LAC, who help improve the accessibility of these files by transcribing additional information as part of LAC’s Co-Lab initiative.

As Canada’s national memory institution, this update makes our military history more available to everyone and it is one part of our work this month to honour those who served this country in times of war and peace.