Celebrating Research

  Library Overviews & Collection Profiles Contact:
ARL Web Manager

Library and Archives Canada

Library Overview

In 2004, Library and Archives Canada, a new knowledge institution dedicated to collecting, preserving, and making accessible Canada's documentary heritage, was created from the merger of the former National Archives of Canada, founded in 1872, and the former National Library of Canada, founded in 1953. The Canadian Archives and Special Collections Branch at Library and Archives Canada was given the mandate to develop national collections representative of Canada's social, political, economic, and cultural evolution. The branch is responsible for some 13,000 individual collections, dating from the 16th century to the present. The holdings include documents in a wide range of formats, such as textual and digital records, moving images, music and sound recordings, maps, architectural drawings, photographs, documentary art, philatelic records, and rare books. The collections document the lives and activities of prominent Canadian individuals and associations from a variety of fields, many of international standing. Among the many notable collections are those of explorers Samuel de Champlain and Roald Amundsen; authors Lucy Maud Montgomery, Robertson Davies, and Michael Ondaatje; medical scientist and Nobel laureate Sir Frederick Banting; inventor Alexander Graham Bell; photographer Yousuf Karsh; media theorist Marshall McLuhan; pianists Oscar Peterson and Glenn Gould; conservationists Grey Owl and Ernest Thompson Seton; Métis leader Louis Riel; hockey player Maurice "The Rocket" Richard; artists Emily Carr and Frances Anne Hopkins; the records of the National Film Board of Canada; and the Molson business and family records.

Library and Archives Canada
Canadian Archives and Special Collections Branch
550, boul. de la Cité
Gatineau Québec
K1A 0N4
(819) 934-7252 (t)
(819) 934-6830 (f)