Canadiana Authorities

Since 2018, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has created its name authority records in OCLC's WorldShare Management Services (WMS) integrated library management system. The English-language authority records are created in the LC/NACO file of the Name Authority Cooperative Program. The French-language authority records are created in the Canadiana file which has been governed by the Francophone Name Authority Program (PFAN) since the spring of 2020. For more information, please contact

Canadiana: The National Bibliography of Canada

Authority records

Authority records are created by Library and Archives Canada's (LAC) cataloguing staff and are given authority control numbers. Canadian Subject Headings are not included. Authority records include:

  • name
  • name/title
  • uniform title
  • series title

Name authorities

Name authorities are standardized terms for authors/creators and issuing bodies (associations, government departments and agencies).

Title authorities

Title authorities are standardized terms for name/titles, uniform titles and series titles.

"Seen From", "See Also," "Equivalent" references

These are references that are two-way links between related headings. References enable you to find:

  • an author by a pseudonym
  • a body that has changed its name
  • a body that has been established with a name in both official languages.

See also (MARC field 5XX)

When a corporate body changes its name, splits to form two or more other bodies, or merges with another body, two or more authority records are required. These are linked through "See Also" references (MARC field 5XX). These link to the related authority.

Equivalent (MARC fields 1XX, 4XX, 5XX and 7XX)

Many bodies have been established with names in both official languages, for example, the Government of Canada and many private entities. For these authorities, you will see an acronymeviation, [EQ]. If the heading is in English, this is a link to the equivalent record in French linked through the MARC 7XX field. If the heading is in French, this is a link to the equivalent record in English. The language of authority records follows LAC's Bilingual Cataloguing Policy.

Search help

Click the arrow to the right of "All forms of name and/or title," and select one of the items in the drop-down list:

In the search box, type one or more keywords, and click the Submit button. In response to your search, you will see the most relevant results on the Search Results page.

Any keyword

Keywords can be entered in either upper or lower case. Most terms do not need punctuation. Use wildcard characters to include possible spelling variations or typographical errors. For example, use a question mark (?) to replace a single character and an asterisk (*) to replace a string of characters. If the search yields too many references, you can always narrow your search by using quotation marks around words that need to be together.

Example: Type Wilfr?d, and you will get results with Wilfrid and Wilfred.

Example: Type patriot*, and you will get results with patriote, patriots, patriotism, patriotic, patriotique, patriotisme, etc.

Example: A search using quotation marks, "aboriginal affairs and northern development," will be more precise than a search using those words without quotation marks.

All forms of name and/or title

Selecting "All forms of name and/or title" searches:

  • main headings
  • "See" and "See Also" (MARC field 5XXX) references
  • equivalent fields (MARC fields 1XX, 4XX, 5XX and 7XX).

If you enter an acronym, the results will include headings that include that acronym, as well as headings for bodies also referred to by that acronym.

Example: Type CCRA and the results will include both CCRA Charities Directorate and Canada Customs and Revenue Agency.

Preferred form of name and/or title

Searches main headings within authority records (MARC field 1XX).

Example: Type CCRA and the results will include CCRA Charities Directorate but not Canada Customs and Revenue Agency.


Searches the notes found in authority records (MARC fields 66X, 670). Includes details about the name, such as when the name was established, and prior forms of the name.

Canadiana authority control number

Searches control numbers (MARC field 016). Type authority control numbers either with or without the hyphens.

Example: 1016-J-5705 or 1016J5705


If you cannot find what you are looking for using keyword searching, select from the dropdown, "All forms of name and/or title." You must register for this additional service in AMICUS.

Search results

The search results pages shows the items found by your search. For each result you will see:

  • the Canadiana number
  • the heading
  • the language of the heading
  • the equivalent (if available)

The results are in alphabetical order by heading. For more information on a heading, click it to see the full display.

Limit search results

You can limit your search results using the options on the right side of the results page. You can limit by:

  • all government
  • federal/national bodies
  • provincial/state bodies
  • international bodies

Full display

After clicking on a heading from the results page, you will see information from these fields:

  • the heading
  • the Canadiana number
  • "Seen From" references
  • "See Also" references
  • equivalent
  • note
  • record status
  • last date the record was changed
  • the date the record was entered

To navigate to Return to Results, Search, or Search Help pages, click a link in the upper right.

MARC display

You can switch the display of the authority to the Machine Readable Cataloguing (MARC) format by clicking the MARC Display link at the bottom left.

The MARC Display contains the entire authority record, including MARC codes. The Library of Congress Marc Standards Office provides detailed information about MARC. LAC provides the MARC 21 Concise Formats in French.

To navigate to Return to Results, Search, or Search Help pages, click a link in the upper right.

You can switch to the Full Display format by clicking the Full Display link at the bottom left.

Save records

To save an authority record, click the Save link at the bottom left. You can then save the record in MARC 21, MARC XML, MADS XML , TXT or XML formats. Select one of these and follow the instructions in the browser’s window. Different browsers will have different steps and instructions for saving the records.

Start a new search

Use the search box at the top of the page or click on the Search link in the upper right.

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