Library and Archives Canada

Library and Archives Canada

March 06, 2014 16:05 ET

Library and Archives Canada Transfers Collection of German Documents from the First World War to Germany

GATINEAU, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - March 6, 2014) - Library and Archives Canada

The Acting Librarian and Archivist of Canada, Hervé Déry, hosted the German Ambassador to Canada and the President of Germany's federal archives (Das Bundesarchiv) today to mark the official transfer to Germany of a collection of German documents from the First World War.

The German delegation visited Library and Archives Canada's Preservation Centre before participating in a small ceremony to commemorate the official transfer.

The military records were initially requested from British army headquarters in 1917 by officials at the Canadian War Records Office (CWRO) in London, England. Upon receiving them, the CWRO shipped the records to Ottawa. Described as "captured German documents," the bundled documents were later entrusted to the care and custody of the Public Archives of Canada in 1962.

The documents will be stored at the German Embassy in Ottawa before they make their way to Das Bundesarchiv in the coming weeks.

Quick Facts

  • Included are unique documents that provide insight into certain German battalions and their involvement in the war and also includes postcards and personal journals.


"The collection of documents will complement Germany's federal archives and documentary heritage. It is reassuring that the material, in its journey to its rightful place, is destined for a state-of-the-art preservation facility, and that our German colleagues will look to safeguard and give access to the documents for generations to come, a goal shared by our institution."

Hervé Déry, Acting Librarian and Archivist of Canada-Library and Archives Canada

"We are very happy to have the collection return to Germany. In light of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, I am certain that the collection will be met with great interest by the German public."

Dr. Michael Hollman, President-Das Bundesarchiv

"2014 marks the centenary of the outbreak of World War I, a date of historic significance to both of our nations. 2014 is a year of commemoration, reminding us of the importance of remaining ever aware of the past. Today's transfer of documents testifies to the remarkable bonds between Germany and Canada. The 100th centennial of the First World War evokes painful memories, urging us to unite in shaping a peaceful future."

Werner Wnendt-German Ambassador to Canada

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The mandate of Library and Archives Canada is to preserve the documentary heritage of Canada for the benefit of present and future generations, and to be a source of enduring knowledge accessible to all, thereby contributing to the cultural, social and economic advancement of Canada. Library and Archives Canada also facilitates co-operation among communities involved in the acquisition, preservation and diffusion of knowledge, and serves as the continuing memory of the Government of Canada and its institutions. Stay connected with Library and Archives Canada on Twitter (@LibraryArchives), Facebook, Flickr and YouTube.

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