About Collection Search

Banner: Collection Search 

What is Collection Search?

Once fully developed, this new search engine will allow users to search all of the collections available to the public at Library and Archives Canada (LAC) from one starting point. This tool will eventually search more than a hundred stand-alone databases currently available on our website from a single search box. As well, this completely redesigned tool features best practices from research experiences at LAC.

We are always looking to improve your user experience. Your ideas and opinions are welcome! Please email us your comments!

What will I find in the new Collection Search?

A search will give you results from the following databases:

Archives tab

  • Cabinet Conclusions

    Summary: Cabinet Conclusions are records that summarize the discussions and decisions of federal Cabinet meetings.

    Record-level display: Brief

    Sample record:Cabinet Conclusions – 1

  • Collections and fonds (with 2 subsets)

    Summary: Search descriptions of archival holdings consisting of millions of texts, photographs, audio files, philately, cartography and architectural materials.

    Record-level display: Details

    Sample record:Collections and Fonds – 1


    Portrait Portal

    Summary: Search through a selection of works from the largest group of portraits in the country. These include more than 20,000 paintings, drawings and prints, 4 million photographs, several thousand caricatures, and 10,000 medals and philatelic items.

    Record-level display: Details

    Treaties, Surrenders and Agreements

    Summary: Search through an extensive though incomplete collection of historic Canadian treaties with First Nations and a single occurrence with the Métis, land surrenders and related agreements. This collection has documents that span more than 275 years, including a May 1680 seigneurial grant to the Jesuits in New France and a 1956 adhesion to western Treaty 6 (1876).

    Record-level display: Details

  • Diaries of W.L. Mackenzie King

    Summary: Search through 30,000 pages of types and transcribed text of the diaries of William Lyon Mackenzie King.

    Record-level display: Brief

    Sample record:Diaries of W.L. Mackenzie King – 1

  • Film, Video and Sound

    Summary: Search through more than 500,000 descriptions of audiovisual documents.

    Record-level display: Details

    Sample record:Film, Video and Sound – 4

  • Indian Reserves – Western Canada

    Summary: This data set provides descriptions of maps and plans that relate to First Nations reserves and settlements in western Canada (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut).

    Record-level display: Brief

    Sample record:Indian Reserves - Western Canada – 1

  • Orders-in-Council

    Summary: These are Orders-in-Council from July 1, 1867, to 1924. The available images, from 1867 to 1916, are digitized from microfilm copies of the original documents.

    Record-level display: Brief

    Sample record:Orders-in-Council – 1

  • Post Offices and Postmasters

    Summary: Search through records documenting the establishment and discontinuance of post offices, and the names and appointment dates of postmasters, for most years between 1851 and 1981.

    Record-level display: Details

    Sample record:Post Offices and Postmasters – 1

Images tab

Search for digitized images in Library and Archives Canada's archival collection; each search result will be shown as a thumbnail.

Library tab

  • National Library Collections (Aurora)

    Summary: These are Library and Archives Canada's published holdings.

  • Canadian Post Office Publications

    Summary:This data set provides access to approximately 25,000 pages of official administrative directives concerning the Canadian Post Office published between 1759 and 1900.

    Record-level display: Brief

    Sample record:Canadian Post Office Publications – 1

  • Indian Affairs Annual Reports

    Summary: This data set contains keywords to be found in more than 40,700 digitized pages of the original annual reports for the Indian Affairs portfolio for the years 1864 to 1966, and the complete annual reports for the Department of Indian Affairs from 1967 to 1990.

    Record-level display: Brief

    Sample record:Indian Affairs Annual Reports – 1

  • Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples

    Summary: This data set provides access to documents, such as intervenor project submissions, publications, research reports and hearing transcripts, that supported the writing of the report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples.

    Record-level display: Brief

    Sample record:Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples – 1

Genealogy tab

  • Black Loyalist Refugees – Port Roseway Associates, 1782–1807

    Summary: Search through 1,500 records in the Muster Book of Free Blacks who settled in Birchtown, Nova Scotia.

    Record-level display: Brief

    Sample record:Black Loyalist Refugees—Port Roseway Associates, 1782–1807 – 1

  • Census 1921

    Summary: This data set contains 8,800,000 census records that are searchable by name.

    Record-level display: Details

    Sample record:Census of Canada, 1921 - 1

  • First World War Court Martials

    Summary: This data set provides access to more than 11,000 descriptive records pertaining to military men and women accused by courts martial during the First World War.

    Record-level display: Brief

    Sample record:First World War Court Martials – 1

  • First World War Personnel Records

    Summary: This data set includes various First World War personnel records. Digitization of the Canadian Expeditionary Force personnel files is complete. The data set also includes digitized files for many individuals who served in the Royal Newfoundland Regiment and the Newfoundland Forestry Corps (courtesy of the Rooms Provincial Archives).

    Record-level display: Details

    Sample record:First World War Personnel Records – 1

  • Immigrants from China (1885–1949)

    Summary: This data set provides access to 140,000 records in the General Registers of Chinese Immigration, the Port of New Westminster Register of Chinese Immigration, the C.I. 9 Certificates, and the Newfoundland Register of Arrivals and Outward Registrations.

    Record-level display: Details

    Sample record:Immigrants from China (1885-1949) – 1

  • Land Boards of Upper Canada, 1765–1804

    Summary: This data set provides access to more than 16,400 records of individuals in the minutes and records of the Land Boards accumulated by the Executive Council Office (RG1 L4).

    Record-level display: Brief

    Sample record:Land Boards of Upper Canada, 1765-1804 – 1

  • Land Petitions of Lower Canada, 1764–1841

    Summary: This data set provides access to more than 95,000 records of individuals in the Executive Council Office of the Province of Lower Canada (RG1 L3L).

    Record-level display: Brief

    Sample record:Land Petitions of Lower Canada, 1764-1841 – 1

  • Land Petitions of Upper Canada, 1763–1865

    Summary: This data set contains petitions for grants or leases of land and other administrative records for Upper Canada from Land Submissions to the Executive Council (RG1 L3) and Upper Canada Sundries (RG5 A1).

    Record-level display: Brief

    Sample record:Land Petitions of Upper Canada, 1763-1865 – 1

  • North West Mounted Police (NWMP) – Personnel Records, 1873–1904

    Summary: This data set provides access to the documents of over 4,000 members of the North West Mounted Police (NWMP); each record includes the digitized file of the member.

    Record-level display: Brief

    Sample record:North West Mounted Police (NWMP)—Personnel Records, 1873–1904 – 2964

  • Royal Canadian Navy Service Files, 1910–1941

    Summary: This data set includes 16,800 records of many individuals who served in the Royal Canadian Navy and the Naval Reserve between 1910 and 1918. It also includes some records of those who enlisted between 1919 and 1941, and to those who served in the Newfoundland Royal Naval Reserve.

    Record-level display: Brief

    Sample record:Royal Canadian Navy Service Files, 1910–1941 – 1

  • Second World War Service Files – War Dead, 1939–1947

    Summary: This data set contain the files of those who died in service, which are open to the public and grouped as a collection within the Department of National Defence fonds (RG24 and R112). To be included in this collection, the person's name must appear in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database and the Books of Remembrance.

    Record-level display: Details

    Sample record:Second World War Service Files—War Dead, 1939–1947 – 1

Co-Lab tab

Consult About Co-Lab for more information on this crowdsourcing tool.

New capabilities in Collection Search

  • Improve your results with the advanced search option
  • Refine your search results more easily by using the tabs and the filters
  • Order your results by relevance, title (A-Z / Z-A) or date (ascending or descending)
  • Adjust the number of results displayed per page (10, 25, 50 or 100 results)
  • Download up to 1,000 search results in these document formats: HTML, PDF, CSV, XML, JSON
  • Print your search results
  • Search results with one or more digital images will present these images in a carrousel just below the title of the record. You can click on them to preview them right from the search results page, or click the title to navigate to the record itself
  • Audiovisual items from our collection that are published on the LAC YouTube page will now be linked from the search results
  • Navigation between the pages of your search results is improved
  • Preview a larger version of the images in a carrousel by clicking to open the image previewer

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