Annex 7. LAC cataloguing priorities

We are currently updating this Policy and some of the information on this site is not up to date. If you have questions about Library and Archives Canada’s current cataloguing practices, please contact

NOTE: If a publication falls into more than one of the categories below, apply the category with the higher priority and cataloguing level when processing the item.
Digital publications are processed before analogue publications in the same category.


Priority Category Time Target
1 Publications of the following types:
(includes digital* and analogue publications)
- on demand rush requests. 48 hours, if hand delivered to the cataloguing team leader
- Cataloguing in Publication (CIP) preliminary (pre-publication) for trade and government publications;
- federal Depository Services Program (DSP) publications;
- federal Public Opinion Research reports;
- for the Reference or Staff Resource Centre collections. Latest editions of telephone directories are processed as priority 1 for the Reference collection;
- UNESCO publications.
90% catalogued within 10 working days of acquisition
2 Publications of the following types:
(includes digital* and analogue publications)
- CIP updates (post-publication);
- for special collections, i.e.: Rare Books; Lowy; Genealogy and Family History; Canadian Children's Literature;
- in areas of emphasis, i.e.: Aboriginal; multicultural; historical approach to the development of Canadian society (HADOCS); Canadian literature (excluding mass-market genre fiction); music monographs, serials and scores published in Canada; music sound and video recordings produced in Canada (excluding promotional copies);
- livres d'artistes;
- federal and provincial government publications if they are of topical interest or in an area of emphasis (e.g. Aboriginal; multicultural; HADOCS). "Of topical interest" refers to publications on current issues and events that receive extensive coverage in the national media over several months or years.;
- maps (not in series) and atlases;
- major daily newspapers.
60% catalogued within 3 months of acquisition
3 All other digital* publications
- same types as analogue publications in priority 4 but digital publications are processed before analogue publications. No specific target
4 All other analogue publications
- foreign music monographs; serials and scores with more than 30% Canadian content; foreign music sound and video recordings with more than 30% Canadian content; all other music publications and recordings (e.g. promotional copies of sound and video recordings);
- non-music sound and video recordings;
- all other government publications (federal, provincial, regional or municipal); foreign and international official publications (except UNESCO);
- maps in series; monographic series;
- conference proceedings (government and non-government); research reports and studies intended for specialists;
- newspapers and microform newspapers (except major dailies);
- religious publications;
- exhibition catalogues;
- mass-market genre fiction (e.g. Harlequin romances);
- publications of local or limited interest only;
- educational materials (primarily, secondary, and post-secondary levels); theses in print and other analogue formats; yearbooks, university and college course publications;
- investment reports; newsletters and other house organs;
- fringe philosophy; occult and esoterica; comic books;
- pamphlets.
No specific target

* Digital publications are those that will be accessible remotely from the LAC collection via the Internet (e.g. publications in PDF, XHTML, EPUB, MPEG, and other electronic file formats). Electronic publications on physical carriers (e.g. DVDs, CD-ROMs, CDs, Blu-ray discs, etc.) are not included in this category.


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