Biography and People

​Library and Archives Canada holds a wide range of material celebrating the contributions of Canadians from all walks of life. Featuring databases, directories and virtual exhibitions, these records provide a glimpse into the lives of the famous and not so famous from Canada's past and present. Some highlights include biographies of author Gabrielle Roy, portrait photographer Yousuf Karsh and musician Oscar Petersen, while other topics explore the anti-slavery movement in Canada and love and marriage in 19th-century Canada.

  1. Databases
  2. Electronic Collection
  3. Research Aids
  4. Thematic Guides
  5. Virtual Exhibitions


  1. Biophil - Stamp Creators (Archived)
  2. Canadian Patents, 1869-1919
  3. Diaries of William Lyon Mackenzie King
  4. Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online
  5. Prime Ministers' Fonds (Archived)
  6. Sir John A. Macdonald: Canada’s Patriot Statesman (Database)
  7. Virtual Gramophone: Canadian Historical Sound Recordings

Electronic Collection

  1. Canadian Poetry Archive (Archived)
  2. Canadian Private Presses (Archived)
  3. Canadian War Artists (Archived)
  4. Celebrating Dayal Kaur Khalsa (Archived)
  5. Claude Champagne Virtual Exhibition (Archived)
  6. Gabrielle Roy (Archived)
  7. Heroes of Lore and Yore: Canadian Heroes in Fact and Fiction (Archived)
  8. In Memory of HM Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother (Archived)
  9. Karsh Masterworks: Atribute (Archived)
  10. Legends in Life and Art: The Portrait Photography of Roloff Beny (Archived)
  11. Oscar Peterson: A Jazz Sensation (Archived)
  12. Passages: A Treasure Trove of North American Exploration (Archived)
  13. Passageways: True Tales of Adventure for Young Explorers (Archived)
  14. Pathfinders and Passageways: The Exploration of Canada (Archived)
  15. Sir Ernest MacMillan: Portrait of a Canadian Musician (Archived)
  16. Sporting Lives: Images of Canadian Athletes (Archived)
  17. Stephen Leacock: Humorist and Educator (Archived)
  18. The Art of Illustration: A Celebration of Contemporary Children's Book Illustrators (Archived)
  19. The Famous Five (Archived)

Research Aids

  1. Literary Archives: A Guide to the Literary Fonds at Library and Archives Canada
  2. Lord Elgin
  3. Maps, Charts and Architectural Plans Collection: A Search Guide
  4. Yousuf Karsh: A Selective Bibliography (Archived)

Thematic Guides

  1. Louis Riel, the Red River Rebellion and the North West Campaign

Virtual Exhibitions

  1. A Real Companion and Friend: The Diary of William Lyon Mackenzie King (Archived)
  2. Canadian Confederation
  3. Canadian Writers (Archived)
  4. Celebrating Women's Achievements (Archived)
  5. Confederation for Kids (Archived)
  6. Cool Canada (Archived)
  7. Famous Canadian Physicians (Archived)
  8. First Among Equals: The Prime Minister in Canadian Life and Politics (Archived)
  9. First Among Equals: The Prime Minister in Canadian Life and Politics: - Children's site (Archived)
  10. Glenn Gould Archive (Archived)
  11. Gratien Gélinas (Archived)
  12. Life of a Rock Star (Archived)
  13. Mary Riter Hamilton: Traces of War
  14. Old Messengers, New Media: The Legacy of Innis and McLuhan (Archived)
  15. Paul-Emile Miot: Photographs of Newfoundland and Cape Breton Island (Archived)
  16. Sir John A. Macdonald: Canada's Patriot Statesman (Archived)
  17. Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill (Archived)
  18. Under a Northern Star (Archived)
  19. William Hind's "Overlanders of '62 Sketchbook" (Archived)
  20. William James Topley: Reflections on a Capital Photographer (Archived)
  21. Written in Stone: William E. Logan and the Geological Survey of Canada (Archived)