Many donors who have donated their personal papers to Library and Archives Canada (LAC) have placed restrictions on the consultation and reproduction of their records. These restrictions can take various forms.
Users wishing access must sign an Application for Access form in order to confirm that they will abide by the conditions put in place by the donor. In some cases, it could be necessary to obtain written permission directly from the donor or his/her estate. Please note that some records are closed for a certain period of time either because it is part of the conditions put in place by the donor or because we are still processing the records.
For information about the possibility of gaining access to these records, ask us a question.
Some archival records have been withdrawn from circulation because of physical deterioration or concern for their preservation. In most cases, it is possible to access consultation copies of these records (microfilm, photographic copy negatives, VHS tapes, etc.). In some circumstances, special arrangements can be made to view original material which has been withdrawn from circulation, under the supervision of an LAC staff member.
In 1988, LAC set up an official Preservation Collection of Canada's literary and musical heritage. It comprises original copies of all Canadian published materials held by LAC. This collection is currently unavailable while it is being moved to a new storage facility, set to open in Summer 2015.
Recently Acquired Material
After LAC has acquired archival records, the records have to be integrated into LAC's collection by archivists. This process can take several months. Until it is completed, the material is not accessible.
After LAC has acquired books or other types of published material, librarians must catalogue them and create entries for the items in a computerized catalogue. This material is not accessible until the cataloguing work is completed.