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Minor Corrections Project

In the introduction that was printed in Volume I (1966), General Editor George W. Brown and Directeur adjoint Marcel Trudel noted that revision, “sooner or later, is a necessity for every reference work.” Since then, knowledge of this requirement has remained a matter for concern and consideration. In 1979 Volume I was reprinted with corrections, as was Volume II three years later. Further minor corrections were made when the CD-ROM, comprising Volumes I to XIV, was released in 2000. In 2007 the Dictionary of Canadian Biography/Dictionnaire biographique du Canada (DCB/DBC) examined the problem of making corrections and adding updates by investigating its scope and nature as well as possible solutions. At that time it was recognized that addressing this challenge would demand a careful investment of limited resources.

In 2010, after a detailed consideration of priorities, staff began making partial, minor revisions, beginning with biographies in the earliest volume. Generally speaking, this project allows us, initially, to correct certain errors to which readers have drawn our attention over the years or that have been found by staff. At this stage we are not carrying out in-depth revision or major rewritings of texts. Currently, our work aims to be selective, and focuses on factual information rather than reinterpretation. Recent advances in genealogy, notably the creation of databanks and the digitization of archives, allow us to find information that was not readily available until now; as well, many new studies have been published. Staff at the University of Toronto and at the Université Laval are pursuing a wide variety and range of research options. To facilitate this work, the DCB/DBC signed an agreement with the Fédération Québécoise des Sociétés de Généalogie that gives access to data held by Fichier Origine and provides the services of a researcher to help find or confirm information on vital statistics. As part of this project, the DCB/DBC is taking steps to amend terms that were regarded as appropriate when the earlier volumes were published, but are now considered offensive.

Amended biographies are gradually being integrated into our new website. Please check “Updated Biographies.” You can also follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/dictionaryofcanadianbiography) and Twitter (twitter.com/dcb_dbc) and learn about updated biographies as soon as they are posted. We invite readers who would like to contribute to the project, whether by pointing out an error in a biography or by sharing their genealogical discoveries, to go to Suggest Corrections or Additions and send us the results of their research.