The RG 10 Departmental Letterbooks Project is a collaborative venture between the University British Columbia Library and the University Library, University of Saskatchewan to digitize, describe and provide online access to a volume of Department of Indian Affairs correspondence, 1871-1880. This material is currently only available on microfilm issued by Library and Archives Canada.

Letter from Edmund Meredith to Jean Langevin. 6 March 1875

Letter from Edmund Meredith to Jean Langevin. 6 March 1875

These letterbooks include the outgoing correspondence from the Department of Indian Affairs, providing insight into department-wide policies and a national view of Indian Affairs. The documents are important to researchers throughout Canada as they cover Indian Affairs activities from the perspective of government agents from coast to coast in English and French.
The Departmental Letterbooks are an important complement to the heavily utilized and now digitized ‘Red and Black Series’ of RG-10. The potential user community for this digital content and associated metadata and user interface will include academic faculty, staff and students especially those working in the fields of Indigenous Studies, History, Political Studies, Law, Anthropology and Sociology; those in Aboriginal communities conducting research related to Aboriginal history, rights, land claims, the residential school experience and genealogy; and independent researchers. The online letterbooks would also be an excellent teaching tool for educators who want their students to make use of and appreciate the value of primary documents in their research on Aboriginal issues. The image accompanying this text provides an example of the work done on this content.
At present the two libraries have created approximately 5,000 records that include digital reproductions of the letter originals, image identification, descriptions and transcriptions of the letters’ content, and subject analysis which will aid researchers’ attempts to review the Department’s activities across regions and over time. Project teams at the two libraries continue to review and revise the entries with a view to making a site public in 2014-2015.

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