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Graphical element Home > War and Military > From Colony to Country Français
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Graphical elementBanner: From Colony to Country: A Reader's Guide to Canadian Military HistoryGraphical element
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Canadian Military History: An Overview
War of 1812
Rebellions of 1837 and 1838
Northwest Campaign
South African War
First World War
Second World War
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General References
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Government and the Military
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Troops and Traditions
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Personal Stories
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Aboriginal Peoples
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Art, Music and Literature
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Web Research
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First World War
Web Research


Resources on the World Wide Web (www) for those interested in the First World War, including Canada's participation, are extensive and include reading lists, documents, maps, photographs, posters, biographical information, samples of letters from the front and information about individuals. Armchair generals, teachers, students, and family historians will find a vast array of information on every aspect of the war.

General Websites

These sites are dedicated to the history of the First World War and provide a general overview of the war and its impact on global politics, society and individuals, as well as providing numerous links to other online resources.

The First World War, Canada Specific

The following websites focus on resources relating to Canadian participation in the First World War, although several of them contain reference material of a more general nature.

Canadian Archival Resources on the Internet

  • Sponsored by the University of Saskatchewan, this site has links to the Canadian Archival Information Network, a rapidly growing inventory of archival resources that is, at present, particularly strong in material held in western Canada.

Canadian Forces College: War, Peace and Security Guide

  • A well-organized list of links to various military history topics, including Canada's participation in the First World War.

Canadian Images and Letters Project

  • This site features a virtual archive of correspondence, photographs and personal memorabilia relating to the war, including some non-Canadian material. The emphasis is on the First World War, but not exclusively so. The virtual "holdings" of this archive include hundreds of letters, diaries, and miscellaneous wartime documents.
  • The site is sponsored and maintained by the History Department of Malaspina University College in Nanaimo, B.C.

Canadian Military Heritage Project

  • This site is host to "The Canadian Great War Homepage," an extensive menu of subject areas relating to the war including major battles, soldier's biographies, women and the war, Victoria Cross winners and the home front.

Canadian Museum of Civilization

  • "Online Resources for Canadian Heritage," part of the Virtual Museum's Library website includes many useful links to specific First World War topics.

Canadian War Museum (CWM)

  • This site directs the user to the Museum's excellent library resources on Canadian military history, information on exhibits and to the impressive war art collection maintained by the CWM.

Directorate of History and Heritage, Department of National Defence

  • Includes a listing of all Directorate publications.

For King and Empire: Canada's Soldiers in the Great War

  • This well-designed site contains information on Canadian participation in the battles of Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele in 1917, as well as an "Archives" feature where one can access stories of individuals, photographs and other materials.
  • A "Resource Centre" includes a selected bibliography and a wide selection of books about Canada's role in the war that are still in print and available for purchase.

Industry Canada: Canada's Digital Collections

  • As part of its "SchoolNet" initiative, Industry Canada has sponsored and supported an extensive program of digitization. A large number of projects completed to date relate to the First World War, including information on war memorials, Newfoundland's contribution to the war, diaries, letters, etc. This site serves as a gateway to these digitized collections.

Internet Public Library

  • Links websites by subject, including detailed references to all aspects of Canadian military history.

AMICUS on the Library and Archives Canada website

  • "AMICUS" is the Canadian National Catalogue which provides locations for library holdings throughout Canada. It can be searched on-line free of charge.
  • Useful subject terms for searching the catalogues of Library and Archives Canada and other libraries include:
    • World War, 1914-1918
    • Great War, 1914-1918
    • Canada - History - 1914-1918
  • Specific battle names, etc. can be used as search terms, for example:
    • Vimy Ridge, Battle of, 1917

Newfoundland and the Great War

  • An excellent reference site documenting the contribution of Newfoundland in the First World War, including photographs, documents and historical summaries.

"We Will Remember": War Monuments in Canada

  • Information on local war monuments in Canada, organized alphabetically by place name within each province. The site includes a brief history of each monument, photographs and often a list of the names that appear on the monument.

Family History Research

The following sites include information of interest primarily to family historians, but not exclusively so.

Canadian Genealogy and History Links

  • The First World War portion of this site contains a large number of links to online resources on Canada's role in the war, including general sites, sites organized by province and those sites that contain lists of names, diaries and letters, regimental and unit information, etc.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

  • The "Register" is an online index to all Commonwealth fatal casualties in the South African War, both World Wars and Korea, including all Canadians. The "Register" also includes service personnel who died by accident or of disease and those buried in cemeteries in Canada.

  • Also included are those many First World War fatalities for whom there is no known grave and who are commemorated on memorials, such as the Vimy Memorial.

  • For the family historian, this site is most informative. Individual entries include the names and addresses of next of kin, some biographical details in addition to war service information, date of death and place of burial or commemoration.

ArchaviaNet on the Library and Archives Canada website

  • Leads to "ArchiviaNet," an online index to the search aids for many of the archival holdings of Library and Archives Canada, both government records and private papers. For information on sources relating to the First World War, researchers should consult particularly Record Group (RG) 9 (Department of Militia and Defence), RG 24 (National Defence) and RG 150 (Ministry of Overseas Military Forces of Canada).

  • Also found here is an index to the personnel files of all men and women who served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) during the First World War. A selection of attestation papers has been digitized and is available online for surnames beginning with certain letters of the alphabet (A, B, C, Mc). Eventually, all attestation papers will be available online. While the attestation papers provide considerable personal information about the individual, they also serve as a "direction finder" to other possible sources of information, i.e., a researcher is provided with information that may lead to published unit histories, memoirs or other archival records relating to the war.

  • This site will be augmented with the addition, in digitized format, of selected unit war diaries for the First World War, photographs and other war-related documentation.

Veterans Affairs Canada

  • This site contains a great variety of useful information for military historians, genealogists, teachers, students or veterans, including a digitized version of the Book of Remembrance for those who died in the First World War; and to the "Canadian Virtual War Memorial", a database containing information on more than 100 000 Canadian men and women who gave their lives in time of war (based in large part on information available from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission). The "Virtual War Memorial" (which can be accessed directly at www.virtualmemorial.gc.ca) includes provision for families, or any interested individuals, to add photographs, letters or supplementary information to the biographical record of any individual. It is also linked directly to the relevant Book of Remembrance.

  • The site also emphasizes memorials and commemorations, including information on a selection of Canadian and Newfoundland memorials in Europe. These include a short history of the memorial and a photograph.
  • Veterans Affairs is developing on this site, a collection of interviews with veterans, wartime diaries and letters; a selection of popular songs from the First World War and general information on Canadian medals and decorations.
  • This site is particularly strong on the role of Native Canadians in the First World War, including a bibliography of published and archival sources.

Music of the First World War

Sheet Music from Canada's Past: The First World War Era

  • This Library and Archives site features Canadian sheet music from 1914 to 1920, some with full scores available, and includes an article about music on the Canadian home front.

The Virtual Gramophone

  • Library and Archives' Virtual Gramophone site includes biographies of major Canadian musical personalities, song lists and audio recordings from the time of the Great War.


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