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The Index to Federal Royal Commissions provides bibliographic access to materials associated with more than 200 federal Royal Commissions that have taken place since Confederation. There are approximately 7000 items in the index that includes commission reports, briefs, submissions, evidence, working papers and other documents.
Users can search for records of interest by entering keywords, the name of the commission, the chairperson, the commissioner or the author and other access points in either the basic or the advanced search screen. Most materials cited in this index are held in the Canadian Official Publications collection of Library and Archives Canada. Links to other pertinent websites are also included.
Unpublished records of federal royal commissions are described in the following guide:
AMICUS No. 9399263
National Archives of Canada. Government Archives Division. Records of federal royal commissions (RG 33) / James Murray Whalen -- Ottawa : National Archives of Canada, 1990-1994. -- 2 v. ; 28 cm. -- ISBN 0662572173
Royal commissions, or commissions of inquiry, are appointed by Cabinet under the terms of the Inquiries Act in order to carry out full and impartial investigations of specific national problems. The terms of reference for the commission and the powers and the names of the commissioners are officially stated by an Order-in-Council. When the investigation is complete, the findings of the commission are reported to Cabinet and the Prime Minister for appropriate action.
Commissions are often referred to by the name of the chairperson or commissioner(s). For example, the Royal Commission on National Development in the Arts, Letters and Sciences is commonly known as the Massey Commission (chaired by Vincent Massey in 1949-1950).