Services for the Public

Due to evolving COVID-19 restrictions, this page may contain outdated information. For the most up-to-date information on the in-person and online services available, or to book your visit, see Keeping you safe during your visit.

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   Library and Archives Canada

Library and Archives Canada
395 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) provides services to members of the public across Canada. Our central service point is in Ottawa, where all of LAC's services are offered. Other service points are located in Halifax, Winnipeg and Vancouver. To learn more about the services offered in these locations, see Service Points Outside of Ottawa.

Reference Services Charter

  • We provide equitable service to all Canadians using multiple channels of communication.
  • We offer orientation services to assist you in accessing our facilities and collection.
  • By appointment, we provide access to LAC staff to assist you in your research. We do not conduct research on behalf of clients.

While we make every attempt to accommodate our clients' requests, we must work within our existing capacity.

Our reference specialists are available:

  • to help with your research
  • to help find answers to your questions
  • to assist you in using our collections and resources

Before you visit


Save yourself some time during an on-site visit by registering for a user card, requesting material using the Material Retrieval (On-site Consultation) form, or booking a reference appointment before you arrive.

Halifax, Winnipeg and Vancouver

Please consult Service Points Outside of Ottawa, as some of these locations operate by appointment only.

Preparing to do research

Searching for material

Important: Many archival research tools are only available in paper format and can only be consulted in person on site.

For information about the Aurora library catalogue, please see questions and answers for LAC clients.

Copy services

You may buy copies of material from the collection of LAC.

Ordering material to consult in Ottawa

To order material prior to your visit to Ottawa, you must:

Important: Retrieval requests for non-restricted documents can take up to 5 business days to process, and those for restricted material are processed within 30 days. Please consult the Access to and Use of Documents page.

Ordering material to consult in other locations

If you intend to visit Service Points Outside of Ottawa, please contact the local site for more information.

Consulting material


The material can be consulted at our building located at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa. View the map and the service and opening hours. You can watch the Orientation Services for Clients at 395 Wellington video and see the Consulting and Borrowing Material page.

Halifax, Winnipeg and Vancouver

If you intend to visit Service Points Outside of Ottawa, please contact the local site for more information.

Important: There are no physical collections available for consultation in Halifax.

Questions and appointments

For more information or to book an appointment with a LAC reference specialist, please consult the Ask Us a Question page.

Good luck with your research!

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