Researching Our History

Veterans Affairs Canada

The Vimy Memorial is managed by Veterans Affairs Canada. To take a virtual tour of the memorial, please click here.

To view a digital representation of what Vimy Ridge was like in April 1917, please click here.

To research the registry of information about the graves and memorials of more than 118,000 Canadians and Newfoundlanders who served valiantly and gave their lives for their country, visit the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.

The Canadian Military History Gateway

The CMHG is a free, bilingual online portal providing authoritative and in-depth information on Canada’s military history and heritage, from earliest times to current day. The Gateway works much like a virtual library by providing access to web sites and digitized resources of federal government departments, museums, libraries, archives as well as other heritage organizations. Users can easily explore an array of documents by gaining instant access to images, video, audio and interactive resources about Canada’s military history. Click here to access the Gateway.

Library and Archives Canada

Over 600,000 men and women enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) during the First World War (1914-1918) as soldiers, nurses and chaplains. The CEF database is an index to those service files, which are held by Library and Archives Canada, to find personnel records of the First World War,  diaries and military collections of soldiers and War Diaries.

From the start of the First World War, CEF units were required to maintain a daily account of their “Actions in the Field.” This log was called a War Diary. The War Diaries are not personal diaries, rather they are a historical record of a unit’s administration, operations and activities during the First World War.

Canadian Letters and Images Project

The Canadian Letters and Images Project is an online archive of the Canadian war experience, from any war, as told through the letters and images of Canadians themselves. Begun in August 2000, the Project is located in the Department of History at Vancouver Island University. Click here to access the First World War collection.

Canadian War Museum

The Canadian War Museum has a number of valuable resources for researching Canada’s involvement in the First World War, both in person at the museum and online. Click here to check out their virtual exhibition on Canada and the First World War, including lesson plans, photograph and document packages, and book lists of recommended reading for Canadian youth organized by age.