Loans to Other Institutions

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) loans items to other libraries within Canada to support researchers when this material is not available anywhere else than in LAC’s holdings. LAC does not loan material to individuals, as this service is provided to libraries only. It also does not loan material when copies are available for free or through fee-based services via other sources. If LAC holds the only circulating copy of a monograph, a serial issue, a Canadian newspaper on microfilm or other published material, it provides a “lender of last resort” service to an institution.

Terms and Conditions

The following materials are not available for loan:

  • Items available from another lending institution, whether through free or fee-based lending services.
  • Items available in digital formats, either on LAC’s website or through the websites of other service providers.
  • Microfilm or microfiche copies of archival materials.
  • Microfilm or microfiche copies of published materials (apart from Canadian newspapers on microfilm).
  • Preservation copies, last copies or other items where the risk of loss would permanently impact the preservation of Canada’s history.
  • Items that are fragile, unstable, or otherwise deemed inappropriate for loan due to their physical condition.
  • Archival holdings and pre-Confederation published works.
  • Items subject to access restrictions including, but not limited to, donor provisions, copyright exceptions, and legal obligations. 
  • Collections temporarily taken out of circulation for digitization, as LAC is working to increase online access to high-demand collections.
  • Items already in use, on loan, or that are temporarily out of circulation.

LAC reserves the right to decline any loan request. LAC does not consider fees or circulation service standards maintained by other documentary heritage institutions as factors in its loan decisions.

LAC does not conduct last-resort loans within the National Capital Region as its holdings continue to be available for consultation in the reading rooms at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa. Individuals can make the most of their visit at LAC by preparing in advance and consulting the Copies and Visiting tab on the top menu bar of our homepage or view the Orientation Services for Clients at 395 Wellington video or reading the blog post The Top Five Things You Need to Know Before You Visit.

Loan Request

By submitting a loan request, the requesting institution has confirmed and agrees to the following:

  • The institution has verified that the item is not available from another lending institution through interlibrary loan.
  • The institution has verified that the item is not available in digital form, either on LAC’s website or through other providers.
  • The institution will pay costs related to the loan including shipping and any additional or extraordinary costs agreed to in advance. The institution agrees to assume responsibility for compliance with the Copyright Act.
  • Reproduction of the loaned item(s) by the institution and/or their client(s) by any means, including, but not restricted to, photocopying, digitization, or photography is prohibited. To this effect, the institution will undertake the appropriate steps to ensure that unauthorized reproduction will not take place. 
  • The institution will make the item available for consultation only on its premises.  The borrowed item(s) must be held in custody and returned in the same condition in which they were received by the institution.
  • The institution will be held financially responsible for LAC’s applicable insurance deductible should damage or loss occur, resulting from negligence (or gross negligence) of the institution and/or its client(s).

The duration of the loan is fifteen (15) business days with no option to renew

Institutions that subscribe to OCLC WorldShare ILL should submit their requests for LAC materials via this service only. Those libraries that do not have an OCLC subscription may use the Loan Request Form.

We do not accept loan requests through other systems for interlibrary loans (e.g. VDX).

A response to the loan request will be completed within thirty (30) business days.

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