Likacheff-Ragosine-Mathers Collection Now Online

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The Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has just announced this month the completion of the database on the immigration papers of the Likacheff-Ragosine-Mathers (LI-RA-MA) Collection. It now appears online at <> and covers the years 1862 to 1922.

From the mid-19th century to the early 20th century, the Imperial Russian Government maintained consulates throughout North America. The people who immigrated to North America had many records in the consultants, and with the Russian Revolution, the consultants closed, and the materials were gathered up and stored at the National Archives and Records Administration of the United States.

The records were then divided into the American and Canadian collections, and the records which were given back to us in 1980 were the Canadian records created by the Russian Imperial Consular offices in Montreal, Vancouver, and Halifax.

The LI-RA-MA Collection was named after the last consuls in the three provinces: A.S. Likacheff, K. Ragosine, and H.I. Mathers. It contains many personal documents such as passports and identity papers which were surrendered to the consular officials in return for securing identity cards that would give them permission to work and live in Canada.

People at the archives put these papers in separate files representing an individual immigrant or family, and the papers were divided into four series. They are:

  • Operational records of the Russian Consulate-General in Montreal and the Russian Vice-consulate in Halifax
  • The Russian Consulate in Vancouver
  • Journals and correspondence of the Russian Consulate-General in Montreal and the Consulate in Vancouver
  • Passport/Identity Papers
These papers concern immigrants who were from the Russian Empire and were Jewish, Finnish, Ukrainian, or Polish. The documents were primarily handwritten in Russian, although they were frequently written in other European languages.

Each person was asked to complete and submit a questionnaire, along with a photograph, to ensure that either he or she was a genuine Russian citizen.

If you put the name you are researching in the search feature of the database, you will receive an answer that includes:
  • name of immigrant (surname & given name)
  • other spellings
  • marital status
  • sex
  • religion
  • province
  • county
  • district
  • town
  • volume
  • file number
  • microfilm number
  • reference number    
When it was originally published on the Canada Genealogy Centre's website at the end of October, 2006, the database contained 35,000 images, but has since been increased to 55,000 images.

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