Library and Archives Canada
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|Library and Archives Canada|
|Library and Archives Canada building in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.|
|Type||National Library and National Archives|
|Reference to legal mandate||
Library and Archives of Canada Act EnglishFrench
|Location||395 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada|
Administrative offices, 550 de la Cité Boulevard, Gatineau, Quebec
Preservation Centre,625 du Carrefour Boulevard, Gatineau, Quebec
|Items collected||Aboriginal Magazines; Albums and Scrapbooks; Architectural drawings; Art; Artifacts; Canadian children’s literature; Canadian comic books; Canadian newspapers; Canadian periodicals; Electronic publications; Electronic records; English-language pulp literature; Ethnic community newsletters; Ephemera; Fiction and non-fiction; Films; Globes; Government publications; Government records; Government websites; Hebraica and Judaica; Indian residential school records; Journals and diaries; Livres d’artistes; Manuscripts; Maps; Microfilms; Photographs; Poetry; Portraits; Rare Books; Sheet music; Sketchbooks; Sound recordings; Stamps; Textual archives; Theses and dissertations; Trade Catalogues; and Videos|
|Criteria for collection||Canadiana, documents published in Canada and materials published elsewhere of interest to Canada; Records documenting the functions and activities of the Government of Canada; and Records of heritage value that document the historical development and diversity of Canadian society.|
|Access and use|
(Library) 162,219 total items (2008-2009)(Archival) 20,454 total items (2008-2009)
CDN$88,633,612 salary + CDN$38,615,444 operational (2008-2009)
CDN$118,368,443 (2012-2013)CDN$98,346,695 (2013-2014)
|Director||Dr. Daniel J. Caron, Librarian and Archivist of Canada (2009-)|
|Staff||1,152 FTE (2008-2009)|
Library and Archives Canada (in French: Bibliothèque et Archives Canada) is a federal institution tasked with acquiring, preserving and making Canada's documentary heritage accessible. It combines the functions of the Public Archives of Canada (founded 1872, renamed National Archives of Canada 1987) and the National Library of Canada (founded 1953).
History and Mandate 
Library and Archives Canada (LAC) was created by the Library and Archives of Canada Act (Bill C-8), proclaimed on April 22, 2004. A subsequent order-in-council dated May 21, 2004 united the collections, services and personnel of the National Archives of Canada and the National Library of Canada. Since its creation it has reported to Parliament through the Minister of Canadian Heritage.
Canada was one of the first countries in the world to combine its national library and its national archives into a single institution.
As stated in the Preamble of the Library and Archives of Canada Act, LAC's mandate is:
- to preserve the documentary heritage of Canada for the benefit of present and future generations;
- to be a source of enduring knowledge accessible to all, contributing to the cultural, social and economic advancement of Canada;
- to facilitate in Canada co-operation among communities involved in the acquisition, preservation and diffusion of knowledge; and
- to serve as the continuing memory of the Government of Canada and its institutions.
One of its important roles includes serving as the continuing memory of the Government of Canada and its institutions by supporting accurate record keeping, ensuring transparency and accountability.
The mandate as well as more information about the institution can be found on LAC's website which has not been updated for some time. The full text of the Library and Archives of Canada Act may be found at the Department of Justice website.
Documentary heritage collection 
LAC's holdings include the archival records of the Government of Canada, representative private archives, 20 million books acquired largely through legal deposit, 24 million photographs, and more than a petabyte of digital content.. Some of this content, primarily the book collection, university theses and census material, is available online. The Toronto Star newspaper recently reported that in 2008-09, before the appointment of Daniel Caron, LAC spent $385,461 on historical items. In 2011-12 it spent nothing; in the fiscal year 2012-13 it spent $12,000.
Modernization Policy 
In June 2004 LAC issued a discussion paper Creating a New Kind of Memory Institution, and in June 2005 the document Directions for Change, setting out five key new directions. In March 2010 it issued the final report of its Canadian Digital Information Strategy, as well as its Shaping Our Continuing Memory Collectively: A Representative Documentary Heritage. The Documentary Heritage Management Framework focused on the three main functions of LAC's mandate: acquisition, preservation and resource discovery. This framework used an approach based on four guiding principles (significance, sufficiency, sustainability and society) to select acquisitions. These principles were to help LAC determine whether it would be the most suited institution to acquire the documentary heritage, or whether another institution would be better placed to acquire it and/or to be its repository. The framework also sought for the right balance between resources dedicated to the preservation of digital documents and analogue documents, and to ensure there would be no digital memory gap. In this way, LAC would continue to work in both analogue and digital worlds. Finally LAC planned to work with other organizations and Canadians to make resource discovery more user-friendly. The term "resource discovery" included description, discovery, access and services to the public. Finally, LAC was to conduct a number of pathfinder pilot projects, including rethinking newspapers in a digital age, approaching long-term loans in a more collaborative way and considering challenges and opportunities for Canada's military documentary heritage.
Although the announced intention behind modernization was to be a continuous process of adapting to the information environment and working collaboratively to ensure that LAC would be effective and fulfill its mandate, the record since 2004 has been one of reduced services to the public, broken promises, and non-collaboration. A detailed chronology of LAC's stated intentions and the actual record has been compiled by the Toronto-based Ex Libris Association: Ex Libris Association Backgrounder on Library and Archives Canada.
Critics of the Ian Wilson - Daniel Caron Policy of Modernization 
The changes introduced first by Ian Wilson, then accelerated by Daniel Caron, are considered by many critics to be radical and not well thought out. The management counters that the critics are too traditional and that radical change is needed to cope with the influx of digital material and demand for digital material. At this point, it is still unclear to what extent these changes are driven by government cutbacks and/or by the management philosophy of the deputy heads Wilson and Caron. Is the lack of money making "modernization" a virtue of necessity?
- The Canadian Library Association (CLA) is concerned about cuts to libraries both in federal departments and at Library and Archives.
- The Canadian Association of University Teachers has launched the Save Library & Archives Canada campaign.
- The Association of Canadian Archivists (ACA), on May 31, 2012, withdrew its participation from LAC's forums for its proposed Pan-Canadian Documentary Heritage Network, stating that the PCDHN as it has been presented is an inadequate solution to meeting the needs of the 800 archives across Canada. The forums thus far have occurred sporadically and have tightly controlled agendas, lack transparency, clarity and room for discussion and collaboration.
- The Bibliographical Society of Canada wrote every member of Parliament in August 2012 urging Parliament to look into Daniel Caron's failure to live up to LAC's legislated mandate. In a follow-up letter November 2012 to Heritage Minister James Moore the Society singled out the termination of inter-library loans as a particularly harmful decision.
- Historian Valerie Knowles outlines the impact of government cutbacks at LAC and federal government libraries in an article, "Closing doors on Canada's history" in ipolitics.ca (Aug 10, 2012)
- Bibliophile blogger Nigel Beale characterizes LAC as "Canada's national disgrace" in his blog Literary Tourist
Impact of modernization on employees 
On April 29, 2012, more than 400 employees at Library and Archives received notices which indicated their jobs may be affected by cuts and 20 percent of its workforce (about 1100) is expected to be eliminated over the next three years. In March 2013 Library and Archives Canada’s Code of Conduct: Values and Ethics (in force as of January 2013) became a matter of controversy. The Association of Canadian Archivists and the Canadian Association of University Teachers raised alarms over the "harsh" wording of the code, particulary section 4.2.2 which warned employees that teaching, and speaking at conferences and other personal engagements were "high risk" activities. LAC is being accused of muzzling its professional employees from participating in conferences and professional activities.
Until recently, 395 Wellington Street in downtown Ottawa was the central facility and the location where the public was welcomed to access the collections. With the de-emphasis on physical visits, this building now plays a lesser role and the timeliness of services has been reduced (for example, reference by appointment only; lengthy retrieval time for documents).
The Preservation Centre was built at a cost of $89 million, and opened on June 4, 1997. It is a unique building the size of two football fields, which contains 48 climate-controlled preservation vaults, state-of-the-art preservation laboratories, and offices. In 2000, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada named the LAC Preservation Centre one of the top 500 buildings constructed in Canada during the last millennium.
The Preservation Centre holds many of Canada's most significant documents such as:
- the proclamation of the Canadian Constitution Act, which bears marks left by raindrops during a ceremony on Parliament Hill in April 1982 when Queen Elizabeth II signed it;
- the British North America Act, which features the editing changes made by Canada's first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald;
- the oldest book in the collection, De antiquitate Judaica: De bello Judaico (Antiquities of the Jews and the Judean War), written by first century historian Flavius Josephus and printed in 1470;
- the chair used by world renowned pianist Glenn Gould while he played and recorded.
A Nitrate Film Preservation Facility is being constructed at 3701 Carling Avenue, Communications Research Centre Campus, Shirley's Bay, on the outskirts of Ottawa, to house Canada's cellulose nitrate film collection, which contains 5,575 film reels dating back to 1912, including some of the first Canadian motion pictures and photographic negatives. The material is highly sensitive and requires precise temperatures for its preservation. This facility will be an eco-designed building, featuring a "green" roof that will provide better insulation and minimize energy expenditures.
A Collection Storage Facility on Highway 50, Gatineau, Quebec, to house the preservation and newspaper collections, will feature a high-density shelving system with a suitable environment to better protect Canada's published heritage. This high-density shelving system will greatly increase storage capacity.
Librarians and Archivists 
Current Librarian and Archivist of Canada 
The Librarian and Archivist of Canada is the deputy head of Library and Archives Canada.
Former Librarian and Archivist of Canada 
Former National Librarians 
Former National Archivists 
- 1997–2004 Ian E. Wilson
- 1985–1997 Jean-Pierre Wallot
- 1969–1985 Wilfred I. Smith
- 1953–1968 William Kaye Lamb
Former Dominion Archivists 
- 1948–1953 William Kaye Lamb
- 1937–1948 Gustave Lanctot
- 1904–1935 Sir Arthur George Doughty (A statue of Doughty is located on the north side of the Library and Archives building.)
- 1872–1902 Douglas Brymner
Current projects 
LAC is exploring new ways to improve access to Canada's documentary heritage by reaching out to online communities such as Flickr, a photo-sharing community, and YouTube, a video-sharing community. See "The Shamrock and the Maple Leaf" website for more details.
RSS feeds provide links to new content on the LAC website as well as updates to existing pages. Additions such as new finding aids and new descriptions in databases are also highlighted.
See also 
- Treasury Board Secretariat, Government Expediture Plan Part I, Part II Main Estimates http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/est-pre/20132014/me-bpd/me-bpd-eng.pdf
- Toronto Star (March 10, 2013) Historical Letters Not Wanted at Library and Archives Canada, Critics Say, http://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2013/03/10/historical_letters_not_wanted_at_library_and_archives_canada_critics_say.html
- Ex Libris Association Backgrounder http://exlibris.pbworks.com/w/page/63815458/Ex%20Libris%20Association%20Backgrounder%20on%20Library%20and%20Archives%20Canada
- LAC budget cut of $9.6 million over three years http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/story/2012/03/29/ottawa-budget-museums-spared-cuts.html
- Kirkup, Kristy. "Librarians fighting mad over federal cuts | Canada | News". Ottawa Sun. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
- "Save Library & Archives Canada". Savelibraryarchives.ca. 2012-05-02. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
- Letter from the Association of Canadian Archivists to the Director General of LAC
- President's Letters about LAC http://www.bsc-sbc.ca/en/news.html#lac
- Knowles, Valerie (2012-08-10). "Closing doors on Canadaâ€™s history | iPolitics". Ipolitics.ca. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
- "Blog Archive » Library and Archives, Canada’s National disgrace (Part 1 of 3)". Literary Tourist. 2012-03-18. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
- http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/03/15/library-and-archives-canada. Also, The Loyalty Policy at Library and Archives Canada, http://www.slaw.ca/2013/03/19/the-loyalty-policy-at-library-and-archives-canada/
- Cook, Marcia (11 May 2000). "Cultural consequence". Ottawa Citizen (Canwest). Retrieved 2009-10-11.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Library and Archives Canada|
- Library and Archives Canada
- Library and Archives Canada - another domain
- Library and Archives Canada's channel on YouTube
- Library and Archives Canada on Flickr
- Library and Archives Canada. Legal Deposit at the [then named] National Library of Canada = Le Dépôt légal à la Bibliothèque nationale du Canada. Ottawa: National Library of Canada, 1982. Text, printed tête-bêche, in English and in French. ISBN 0-662-52131-5