Library and Archives Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Institutional links

The Public

Thematic Guides

Early Meteorology Records

Photograph of snow in the streets, Quebec City, circa 1870-1880
Source

This guide consists of specific and general references to government sources, as well as a selected bibliography relating to early meteorological records, 1897-1930. Subjects such as observatories, weather forecasts, tidal surveys and the International Polar Year are detailed.

When the Department of Transport was formed in 1936 with the amalgamation of the Department of Marine and the Department of Railways and Canals, the function of meteorological surveying was transferred from Marine to Transport. The Meteorological Division included a Forecast Section, Climatological Section, Physics Section and a Magnetic Section.

This guide was revised in October 2000.

1. Archival References

Government Records

The Marine Branch was responsible for meteorological records until it was merged with the Department of Railways and Canals to form the new Department of Transport in 1936.

Meteorological Service (Toronto); Construction of Magnetic Observatory, 1897-1899
(RG 42, vol. 50, file 14630)
Meteorological Office; Tidal Survey, 1900
(RG 42, vol. 66, file 17412)
Meteorological Service; Newfoundland Weather Forecasts and Storm Warnings, 1901
(RG 42, vol. 72, file 17946)
Meteorological Service; Weather Forecasting, 1902-1906
(RG 42, vol. 87, file 19336)
Meteorological Service; Solar Eclipse from Fredericton to Labrador
(RG 42, vol. 118, file 26222)
Atlantic Coast Hydrographic Survey, 1905-1934
(RG 42, vol. 123, file 26316)
Meteorological Services; Observatory at Victoria, 1911-1918
(RG 42, vol. 192, file 31638)
International Polar Year, 1930-1936
(RG 42, vol. 396, file 91-10-8)
International Polar Year, 1933-1936
(RG 42, vol. 1078)

Top of Page

Records of the Department of Transport (RG 12)

These records were received from the Atmospheric Environment Service of Environment Canada. Environment Canada came into possession of these files from Transport Canada when the functions of the Canadian Meteorological Service were transferred to its administration in 1971. They relate to the observation, recording and forecasting of weather data and phenomena, the development and testing of meteorological instruments, scientific research and the establishment and operation of meteorological stations. Please consult finding aids 12-1 and 12-2 for additional information.

Conferences, Committees, Societies, Associations and Organizations, 1930-1970
(RG 12, vols. 1038 and 2711-2760)
Medals and Awards, 1947-1967
(RG 12, vols. 2714, 2718, 2727, 2734, 2745, 2758 and 2759)
Air Services, Mar Measures and Plans, 1958-1962
(RG 12, vols. 2738 and 2755)
Meteorological Services; Early Warning System, 1955-1961
(RG 12, vols. 2728-2730 and 2743)
Meteorological Services; Agriculture, 1936-1965
(RG 12, vols. 2729, 2730, 2739-2741, 2745 and 2746)
Meteorological Services; Hydrology, 1948-1969
(RG 12, vols. 2712, 2728, 2731, 2741, 2746, 2754 and 2757)
Meteorological Services; Marine, 1945-1966
(RG 12, vols. 2719, 2735, 2736, 2745 and 2752)
Meteorological Services; Aviation, 1945-1959
(RG 12, vols. 2730 and 2755)
Meteorological Services; Forestry, 1944-1963
(RG 12, vols. 2712 and 2717)
Meteorological Services; Upper Air Investigations, 1943-1956
(RG 12, vols. 2717, 2720 and 2736)
Meteorological Services; Scientific Research, 1933-1969
(RG 12, vols. 2711, 2713, 2714, 2716, 2718, 2720, 2722, 2726, 2731, 2732, 2736, 2741, 2742, 2746-2748, 2752, 2753 and 2756-2759)
Meteorological Services; Organization, 1946-1964
(RG 12, vols. 2711-2714, 2731 and 2743)
Meteorological Services; Ten-Year Program, 1957-1969
(RG 12, vols. 2712, 2756 and 2757)
Meteorological Services; Ice and Icebergs, 1950-1963
(RG 12, vols. 2713, 2748 and 2754)
Meteorological Services; Special Investigations, 1924-1966
(RG 12, vols. 2713, 2718, 2721, 2723, 2732, 2733, 2740, 2743, 2749, 2750, 2752 and 2754-2756)
Automatic Weather Stations, 1947-1970
(RG 12, vols. 2716, 2718 and 2759)
Meteorological and Weather Stations; Establishment and Operation, 1943-1963
(RG 12, vols. 2711, 2713, 2714, 2716, 2718, 2721, 2722, 2741, 2760, 2797 and 2798)

Records of the Atmospheric Environment Service (RG 93)

(RG 93, vols. 1-84)
For more late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century meteorological records.

2. Selected Bibliography

Thomas, Morley K. The Reporting Telegraph Stations, 1871-1921. Downsview, Canadian Climate Centre, 1981, 14 pp.

Thomas, Morley K., compiled by. A Bibliography of Canadian Climate, 1763-1957. Ottawa, National Research Council, 1961, 114 pp.

Thomas, Morley K., compiled by, with the assistance of the Atmospheric Environment Service. Canadian Meteorological Milestones. Downsview, AES, 1971, 13 pp.

Thematic Guides