General Information

Introduction to Info Source

Info Source: Sources of Federal Government and Employee Information provides information about the functions, programs, activities and related information holdings of government institutions subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. It provides individuals and employees of the government (current and former) with relevant information to access personal information about themselves held by government institutions subject to the Privacy Act and to exercise their rights under the Privacy Act.

The Introduction to Info Source: Sources of Federal Government and Employee Information and an index of institutions subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act are available centrally.

The Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act assign overall responsibility to the President of Treasury Board (as the designated Minister) for the government-wide administration of the legislation.

Background

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is a federal institution tasked with acquiring, preserving and making Canada’s documentary heritage accessible.

The Dominion Archives founded in 1872 as a division within the Department of Agriculture was transformed into the autonomous Public Archives of Canada in 1912 and renamed the National Archives of Canada in 1987. In 2004, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) combined the functions of the National Archives of Canada and the National Library of Canada founded in 1953. It was established 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 inception LAC has reported to Parliament through the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

LAC’s Responsibilities within the Government of Canada

LAC supports the following government outcomes: ‟a vibrant Canadian culture and heritage″ (related to the area of Social Affairs), and ‟a transparent, accountable and responsive federal government″ (associated with Government Affairs), for its essential role in the management of government information and in connection with Canada’s Action Plan on Open Government.

LAC is responsible for preserving the documentary heritage of Canada for the benefit of present and future generations; serving as a source of enduring knowledge accessible to all; contributing to the cultural, social and economic advancement of Canada as a free and democratic society; facilitating in Canada cooperation among communities involved in the acquisition, preservation and diffusion of knowledge; and to be the permanent repository of publications of the government of Canada and of government and ministerial records that are of historical or archival value.”

LAC collects and preserves Canada's documentary heritage, and makes it accessible to all Canadians. This heritage includes publications, archival records, sound and audio-visual materials, photographs, artworks, and electronic documents such as websites. As part of its mandate, LAC works closely with other archives and libraries to acquire and share these materials as widely as possible.

Legislative Mandate

Under 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 as a free and democratic society;
  • to facilitate co-operation among the various communities in Canada involved in the acquisition, preservation and diffusion of knowledge; and
  • to serve as the continuing memory of the Government of Canada and its institutions.

LAC Strategic Policy Suites

At Library and Archives Canada, we use evidence-based research and policies and make strategic decisions to deliver on our mandate to Canadians in an accountable and transparent manner. LAC’s strategic policy suites ensure consistency and coherence among different parts of the institution and alignment with relevant Government of Canada policies.

All LAC staff are involved in policy development. Strategic direction is provided by senior management who approve strategic policy frameworks (broad principles) and related policies (requirements and responsibilities). Staff then implement these policies.

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