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Royal Roads Archives digitizes military cadet yearbooks
Victoria – College classes, obstacle courses and marching as well as team sports and practical jokes were all part of the challenging life of a military cadet at Royal Roads Military College. Now, due to a digitization project, the yearbooks can be viewed online.
Royal Roads University has digitized yearbooks from Royal Roads Military College and its antecedents that tell the story of cadets from arrival as recruits to graduation as officers. The project, called Cadet Life at Royal Roads Military College: The Log yearbooks from 1943 to 1995, offers a glimpse of training by digitally preserving the originals and making them freely available online.
The annual yearbook, known as The Log, can be seen on the RRU Library website at
The RRU Archives project, completed in September, will be of interest to military researchers and the public since this material is rarely available online. It also provides an opportunity for former cadets – who called themselves "Roadents" – to relive their introduction to Canadian military service. Royal Roads Military College, a Canadian military and training facility for 55 years, was located in Colwood on the present site of Royal Roads University. More than 6,000 cadets received training at the college.
"Royal Roads University is proud of our military heritage as it evolved from Royal Canadian Naval College (originally called HMCS Royal Roads), later the Royal Roads Military College (RRMC) and now as Royal Roads University," said Allan Cahoon, president and vice-chancellor of Royal Roads University. "This digitalization will allow us to acknowledge and celebrate the many contributions our ex-cadets have made."
After the 7000 pages of the yearbooks were scanned, the pages were compiled by year in flipbook format. The project was led by Royal Roads University Archivist Caroline Posynick.
The project, costing close to $9,000, was partially financed by a BC History Digitization Program grant from the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. Matching funds came from the Friends of Hatley Park Society and RRU’s Military Heritage Fund, which are partner organizations in Royal Roads University’s heritage initiatives. Approval and support of the project was also provided by the CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum as well as the Vancouver Island Ex-Cadet Club.
"The photos and essays in the yearbooks offer excellent insight into the story of the Royal Roads Military College cadets," said Royal Roads University Librarian Rosie Croft. "The digitization of these items allows people to explore this rich history virtually."
Military colleges at Royal Roads operated from 1940-1995 on the present site of Royal Roads University. The college began as a naval training centre and later expanded to train cadets from all three parts of the military. The College delivered short-term training for naval cadets from 1940-42. After 1942, cadets studied at Royal Roads for two years. Beginning in 1977, RRMC offered a four-year degree program. The first women were admitted to the college in 1983.
Royal Roads University was established by the Province of British Columbia in 1995 specifically to deliver quality applied and professional programs to advance professionals in the workplace. The university blends online and on-campus learning with current, real-world relevance for doctorate, graduate and undergraduate degrees, certificates, diplomas, executive and custom education.
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