Library and Archives Canada

In 1872, the Canadian government created an Archives Division within the Department of Agriculture; its mandate was to acquire and transcribe documents related to Canadian history. In 1912, parliamentary legislation transformed this division into an autonomous organization, the Public Archives of Canada, and confirmed its responsibility to manage government documents. The mandate of the new institution focused on the acquisition of documents on all types of media, putting into practice the innovative concept of “total archives.” Further legislation in 1987 clarified and reinforced the role and responsibilities of the Public Archives of Canada, which was then renamed the National Archives of Canada. In October 2002, in order to improve access to Canada’s documentary heritage, the government announced the creation of a new institution, Library and Archives Canada, which united the National Archives of Canada and the National Library of Canada (founded in 1953).

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) assembles large fonds and collections of archival documents of national importance, including private archives, together with documents related to the federal government and governments dating back to before 1867. Among its holdings are archival documents related to political, economic, social and cultural domains. Library and Archives Canada also has collections of documentary art, photographs, sound recordings and audiovisual documents, maps and architectural documents, as well as a collection of all books published in Canada and about Canada.

Reference Services of Library and Archives Canada provides assistance to researchers, information and advice on researching documents on all types of media, as well as information on archival and library practices and principles.

Adress: 395, Wellington Sreet

Ottawa, Ontario

Canada K1A ON3
Telephone: (613) 995-5138 or (613) 995-9481

1-866-578-7777 or 1-877-896-9481 (toll free in Canada)

TTY: (613) 947-0391 ou (613) 992-6969
Fax: (613) 995-6274 or (613) 943-1112
Web site: or

Conditions of access: Consult the Library and Archives Canada Web site.