How to offer archival (unpublished) material to Library and Archives Canada: Step 5. After you offer your archival material

Step 5. After you offer your archival material

After you send in the form, an expert may contact you for more information. The expert may ask to look at the material where it is currently located or may ask to see it at one of our buildings, if needed.

If your offer is accepted

  • Moving material

    Our staff will work with you to move your material to our offices, where it will be registered and managed.

  • Changing ownership

    We will prepare a written agreement to transfer legal ownership of your material. After LAC and you have both signed this document, the material becomes our property.

  • Deciding copyright and moral rights

    You must discuss copyright and moral rights with LAC once your offer has been accepted. We may hold items in the collection without owning these rights. If you decide to keep these rights, then LAC will contact you whenever we receive a request from a researcher asking to publish your material.

  • Adding your material to our collection

    LAC experts will review your material and may select only some items for the collection. Any items that are not selected will be either returned to you or destroyed securely.

    Experts will arrange and describe your material using archival standards and practices. The condition of the items will be assessed, and items will be treated if necessary.

    Items will then be stored for long-term preservation. Your material will be listed in our catalogue as part of our collection, and it will be available to be viewed by anyone unless you have set restrictions with LAC.

  • Setting a time limit before material can be seen

    Our goal is to allow anyone to view our collection. But sometimes LAC needs to protect personal or sensitive information for a set time. The expert responsible for your material will help you decide on limits for viewing your items.

  • Getting an appraisal and tax receipt

    Your material will be assessed and given a value. Individual donors will receive a tax receipt for that amount to use as a tax credit on income taxes.

  • Certifying cultural property

    Depending on the results of the appraisal, you may be eligible for another tax benefit. We may apply to have your material considered to be cultural property by the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board.

If your offer is not accepted

We cannot accept every offer of archival material. Our staff may suggest that you contact a provincial or regional archive, or another heritage institution, instead.

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