Moving the collection

It's a fact that moving is always complicated. Imagine when over 590,000 containers—the equivalent of 94 km of boxes placed end to end—have to be moved from not one location, but two, to the new preservation facility. This is like moving the contents of two houses into one!

A dedicated team has been preparing this daunting task for several months now.

What is moving

What is in these 590,000 containers? They mainly contain

  • published documents and archives (excluding maps, photos and works of art)
  • microfilms
  • motion picture films

The moved containers come from two of our facilities: the Preservation Centre, in Gatineau, Quebec; and the warehouse in Renfrew, Ontario.

Did you know?

The move is an ideal opportunity to assess the holdings. The work began in 2017/2018 at the warehouse in Renfrew. The review of hundreds of thousands of boxes has made it possible to move only documents relating to LAC’s mandate. This will serve to reduce transportation, preservation and storage costs.

What this means for our users

A move of this size will inevitably result in some inconvenience, but we are working hard to minimize the impact on our services.

Certains holdings, collections or documents will not be available for varying periods of time. If you need a document that is currently being moved, we will give you the approximate date on which it can be accessed again.

Requests for access to information that is urgent or related to litigation will not be affected. However, the timeline for regular requests may be longer.

A long timeline

Moving so many documents is a laborious task that requires a lot of preparation, attention, and time. The material to be moved is currently stored in containers. Prior to the move, LAC’s team of experts must analyze the contents of all containers and assess the physical condition of each container to ensure their physical state is ideal for relocation. The box must be in good condition and meet size requirements in order to be stored in the new preservation centre.

The team must then scan the barcode of each of the containers and validate the information contained in LAC’s Collection Management System (CMS). LAC Collection Care Specialists must follow these steps for each of the 590,000 containers that will be moving to the new preservation facility.

Every container that arrives at its destination will have its barcode scanned again. This way, the data from LAC’s CMS will be recorded in the new storage and retrieval system. This step will allow the huge automated arm to find the containers!

The move to the new preservation facility will be done in two stages: the first for records from the Preservation Centre, in Gatineau, and the second for records from the warehouse in Renfrew.

Renovating and improving the Preservation Centre’s vaults

While the second stage is under way, a team will reconfigure the Preservation Centre’s vaults, where specialized items are kept. Some of these vaults will be equipped with new shelves while others will be reorganized. To ensure optimal preservation conditions, the temperature and humidity in the vaults will be adjusted to reflect the items preserved there.

Date modified: