MARC Records Distribution Service (MRDS)

Important notice

September 28, 2018. Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is no longer accepting new registrations for the MARC Records Distribution Service (MRDS). LAC is decommissioning MRDS. MRDS bibliographic products will continue to run until late fall/early winter 2018 as LAC completes the transition from AMICUS to its new integrated library management service: OCLC’s WorldShare Management Services. The Canadiana Authorities product was discontinued on September 13, 2018. Current clients are asked to contact LAC at for further details.

This service offers Library and Archives Canada's (LAC) bibliographic and authority records in machine-readable form on an annual subscription basis.


Canadiana monographs (weekly)

includes all descriptions for all monographic items (books, videos, CD-ROMs, e-books, etc. ) catalogued by LAC.

Canadiana music and sound recordings (monthly)

includes all descriptions for all monographic sound recordings and printed music (CDs, DVDs, 45 rpms, printed music) catalogued by LAC.

Canadiana authorities (bi-weekly)

includes all personal and corporate names and uniform title and name-title series authority headings used in the course of LAC cataloguing.

Method of Distribution

The MARC Records Distribution Service (MRDS) offers Library and Archives Canada's (LAC) records in MARC 21 format via file transfer protocol (FTP) only. Clients are authorized to retrieve files for one year when they subscribe to this service.

MRDS Contact Information

MARC Records Distribution Service (MRDS)
Library and Archives Canada
395 Wellington Street
Ottawa ON  K1A 0N4
Telephone: 819-994-6913
Fax: 819-934-6777

Other Online Sources

Downloading LAC and Union Catalogue Records

It is possible to retrieve records from LAC's large AMICUS database, including LAC Canadiana cataloguing, Library of Congress and CONSER source files, by using AMICUS Web and Library and Archives Canada's Web service. With a free AMICUS Web account, one can search the database and download the MARC 21 records when needed.

Registered AMICUS clients can also download any of LAC's Canadian Union Catalogue records using the free AMICUS Web service.

Z39.50 Search and Download

If you have Z39.50 client software you can use LAC's large AMICUS database, including LAC's Z39.50 documentation to target the Library and Archives Canada collection or the entire AMICUS database. The Z39.50 search option allows clients to search the database and download records free of charge. Clients need to build a Z39.50 search strategy, learn the MARC 21 format where needed, and convert the records to their in-house system format where required. No LAC support is provided.

Canadian Subject Headings

This is LAC's online database of English-language subject headings on Canadian topics. Authority records for Canadian Subject Headings (CSH) are created in the AMICUS database of bibliographic data. Once a month, the CSH database, with all the new and updated headings from the past month, is reloaded in its entirety at Library and Archives Canada's website.

Répertoire de vedettes-matières (RVM)

This online database offered by Université Laval provides French language subject headings.  The RVM Web site offers more information about products and prices. 

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