Policy on Collection Development for Published Heritage

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1. Effective Date

This policy has been approved by Library and Archives Canada (LAC) Management Board and takes effect on 26 March 2018.

2. Application

This policy applies to the acquisition of published material via:

  • The Legal Deposit Program
  • Purchase or gift
  • Web archiving

This policy does not apply to the:

  • Appraisal, weeding, and deselection of published material. These activities will be addressed in the Directive on Removal of Holdings (forthcoming).

The Policy on Collection Development for Published Heritage is aligned with the Evaluation and Acquisition Policy Framework (2016), the Access Policy Framework (2016) and the Stewardship Policy Framework (2013).

The Policy on Collection Development for Published Heritage will be implemented along with a suite of supporting policy instruments.

3. Definitions

See Appendix A.

4. Context

LAC is the designated national memory institution with a legislated mandate to acquire, describe, preserve, and provide long-term access to Canada’s documentary heritage. LAC serves as a repository of Canada’s published heritage collections that document the Canadian social and cultural context and the intellectual, literary, and creative achievements of Canadians. In contrast to the broad scope and international nature of collections of other national libraries such as the British Library, la Bibliothèque nationale de France, and the Library of Congress, the scope and nature of LAC’s collection of published heritage are focused on works published by Canadians or about Canada.

Development of the LAC collection is based on the broad collecting mandate established by the Library and Archives of Canada Act (section 10) and the Legal Deposit of Publications Regulations. Publications are acquired via legal deposit, collaborative arrangements, purchase, donation, and web harvesting. LAC holds approximately 3 million published works. These include various types of publications and content, in English and French as well as in other languages spoken by Canadians, and in different media (i.e., formats).

As both a memory institution and a government institution, LAC must carefully apply national and international professional standards and practices of library science in the context of applicable legislation, regulations, and policies of the Government of Canada. These include but are not limited to the Library and Archives of Canada Act, the Legal Deposit of Publications Regulations, the Cultural Property Export and Import Act, and the Federal Accountability Act.

For other associated policy instruments, please see Appendix B.

5. Policy statement

LAC is committed to developing and maintaining the foremost collection of Canadiana in the world by:

  • Striving to implement comprehensive legal deposit
  • Enabling targeted acquisition of other valuable and complementary published documentary heritage
  • Prioritizing the acquisition of Canada’s digital published documentary heritage
  • Engaging in proactive collaboration in support of its acquisition activities

6. Requirements

6.1 Acquisition methods

LAC develops its published heritage collection through legal deposit, purchases, gifts, and web archiving. 

6.1.1 Legal deposit

LAC primarily develops its library collection through the Legal Deposit Program and actively works with publishers to ensure that publications by Canadians or about Canada are acquired and preserved.

In striving to implement comprehensive legal deposit, LAC will establish systematic approaches to:

1. Monitoring legal deposit compliance and analyzing collection gaps:

  • Monitoring specific publishing industry segments to strengthen professional relationships and identify emerging trends
  • Analyzing the national collection to identify gaps or areas of emphasis aligned with broader institutional priorities
  • Evaluating participation by publishers, using qualitative and quantitative measures including compliance analysis and business intelligence, targeted requests, and monitoring of articulated key performance indicators

2. Communications and outreach:

  • Developing an annual outreach strategy intended to position LAC as a strategic partner and raise awareness of the benefits and obligations of the Legal Deposit Program among Canadian publishers, producers of music, and other relevant stakeholders.

6.1.2 Purchases and gifts

To ensure a more representative collection of Canadiana, LAC further develops its collection of published heritage through selective purchases and gifts.

LAC only purchases publications that are not covered by legal deposit, which are:

  • Retrospective Canadiana
  • Canadiana published abroad
  • Foreign publications
  • Rare Canadiana

The following types of publications are selectively accepted as gifts:

  • Government of Canada surplus publications
  • Special collections
  • Second copies
  • Unique titles offered by individual donors that fill gaps in the collection or replace titles held that are in poor condition

In support of developing and maintaining LAC’s foremost collection of Canadiana, LAC:

  • Evaluates and analyzes its collection of retrospective Canadiana in order to identify gaps or priority development areas
  • Establishes a monitoring framework to identify and target the acquisition of significant foreign Canadiana, foreign publications, and rare books

6.1.3 Web acquisition and social media

LAC further develops its collection of published heritage through LAC’s Web Acquisition Program and the targeted collection of social media.

In order to capture Canada’s web presence, LAC:

  • Conducts selective and thematic web archiving of non-federal, Canadian web-based resources from various channels
  • Conducts selective, systematic, and thematic web archiving of social media
  • May base its selection of web-based resources and social media on the following categories:    
    • Commemorations (e.g., Canada 150)
    • Collections that showcase Canadian international experience and Canada on the world stage (e.g, Olympics)
    • Events-based web archiving to document significant situations and issues in Canadian history as they occur (e.g., Lac-Megantic rail disaster, Fort McMurray wildfires)
    • Web archiving to document the social media output of individuals deemed to be nationally significant (e.g., prime ministers, ministers, MPs)
    • Preservation of web-based resources known to be at risk (e.g., Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s Web Renewal Initiative)
  • Evaluates and analyzes the national collection to identify and acquire digital publications that are more efficiently collected through web harvesting
  • Collects official publications in support of the legislated function to serve as the memory of the Government of Canada

7. Roles and responsibilities

The Assistant Deputy Minister and Chief Operating Officer is responsible for the implementation of the policy, with support from the directors general of Published Heritage Branch, Archives Branch, and Digital Operations and Preservation Branch, all of whom share responsibility for the development and/or management of the published heritage collection.

The Director General of the Published Heritage Branch is responsible for implementing the analysis, monitoring, and evaluation of the published heritage collection.

The Director General of the Archives Branch provides support for the selection and acquisition of published material received through archival acquisition streams.

The Director General of the Digital Operations and Preservation Branch provides support and advice on the technical requirements for putting the policy into operation.

The Innovation and Chief Information Officer is responsible for providing advice on IT tools and maintaining an infrastructure that is capable of supporting the acquisition and management of the published heritage collection.

The Director General of the Communications Branch is responsible for the provision of support and advice for the development and implementation of the outreach strategy.

Managers and staff develop the published heritage collection in accordance with this policy and the Evaluation and Acquisition Policy Framework suite.

8. Monitoring, evaluation and review

The review and monitoring of the Policy on Collection Development for Published Heritage and related policy instruments is the responsibility of the Director of Strategic Research and Policy, with support from the operational areas responsible for collection development activities at LAC.

The Director of Strategic Research and Policy will review the policy every five years, or as required.

9. Consequences

Consequences for non-compliance with the Policy on Collection Development for Published Heritage may include corrective measures from the Assistant Deputy Minister and Chief Operating Officer, the Librarian and Archivist of Canada, or Management Board.

10. Information

Please address any questions about this policy to:

Director, Strategic Research and Policy
Library and Archives Canada
550 de la Cité Boulevard
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0N4

Email: bac.politiques-policy.lac@canada.ca

Appendix A:  Definitions

Canadiana [Canadiana]:
Published documentary material of Canadian heritage significance. Canadiana documents are defined by the following criteria: by Canadian creator(s) or about Canada, or contextually reflects, supports, or facilitates national public discourse on Canada.
Canadiana published abroad [Canadiana publié à l’étranger]:
Material published in another country if the creator is Canadian or the material has substantial Canadian content (usually 30% or more).  
Foreign publications [Publications étrangères]:
Titles that are published in countries other than Canada with no Canadian authorship or content. Foreign publications are selectively added to special collections (e.g., the Lowy Collection) or to support internal research activities.
Rare Canadiana [Canadiana rare]:
Canadiana issued prior to 1867.
Retrospective Canadiana [Rétrospective Canadiana]:
Canadiana published between 1867 and five years prior to the current year. LAC acquires the following publications retrospectively: issued before legal deposit came into force in 1953; issued since the adoption of legal deposit, but that were not acquired at the time of their publication; and not subject to legal deposit, such as those issued abroad by Canadian authors or on Canadian topics.
Second copy [Deuxième exemplaire]:
The second copy of a given title. Through legal deposit, LAC will request a second copy of a title if one copy of an analogue monograph is received when the print run is 100 copies or more.
Social media [Médias sociaux]:
The wide range of Internet-based and mobile services that allow users to participate in online exchanges, contribute user-created content, or join online communities. The kinds of Internet services commonly associated with social media include but are not limited to blogs, social network sites, and media-sharing sites.
Web archiving [Archivage du Web]:
The process of gathering (harvesting) data that has been published on the World Wide Web, storing it, ensuring that the data is preserved in an archive, and making the collected data available for future research.

Appendix B: Associated Policy Instruments

Library and Archives Canada

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