Shared print collections in Canada

Find out how Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and academic and library partners from across Canada are coming together to develop a strategy for shared collections management, which includes, the tracking, cataloguing and preservation of the last print versions of publications in this country.

Working with our partners

Collaborative approaches to acquire, store and preserve print collections are gaining traction in the Canadian library community. While shared catalogues have been developed and maintained to track print collections across Canada, they are not always complete.

In 2017, the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) engaged the community in a strategic discussion around the state of shared print preservation initiatives in Canada, and the need for national coordination in this area.

At the same time, there is a growing awareness that as collections are being rationalized and publications are being digitized, there is a need to track and preserve a minimum number of print copies to ensure they remain accessible.

Canadian Collective Print Strategy Working Group

LAC has ongoing discussions with partners to ensure its work is aligned with their needs. Following recommendations from the library community, the Canadian Collective Print Strategies Working Group, co-chaired by Simon Fraser University / CARL and LAC, was created in 2018.

The working group’s goal is to design and implement a national strategy for collective print management, preservation and access. Work is well underway.

Project charter and deliverables (PDF 73 KB)

Collective Print Collections Overview (PDF 198 KB)

Library Storage Facilities in Canada (PDF 211 KB)

Working group members


  • Monica Fuijkschot, Director General, Published Heritage, Library and Archives Canada
  • Gwen Bird, Dean of Libraries, Simon Fraser University, and CARL

Institutional Members

  • Alison Bullock, Library and Archives Canada
  • Susan Haigh, Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL)
  • Louise White, Memorial University
  • Mireille Laforce, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec
  • Camille Veillette-Péclet, Université de Montréal
  • Joseph Hafner, McGill University
  • Sonia Bebbington, Library of Parliament
  • Gillian Byrne, Toronto Public Library
  • Caitlin Tillman, University of Toronto and Keep@Downsview
  • Denise Koufogiannakis, University of Alberta
  • Doug Brigham, University of British Columbia and COPPUL SPAN
  • Scott Gillies, Tri-Universities Group of Libraries (TUG)

Overlap Study 2019—Pilot Project

LAC is undertaking an overlap study of official federal publications, along with 26 partner libraries. The Canadian Collective Print Strategy Working Group is guiding this pilot project.

The Overlap Study pilot project will provide an overall snapshot of the extent of collection duplication and methods to ensure that print copies are retained and tracked in a collaborative way. It will also provide a framework for the retention of these print publications.

  • Phase one: Participating libraries review their federal publication holdings, extracting and tagging them at the title level and comparing them to other WorldCat library holdings
  • Phase two: Development of retention scenarios for federal publications

See participating libraries


  • University of Dalhousie
  • Memorial University


  • Université de Montréal
  • McGill University
  • Bibliothèque nationale du Québec

National Capital Region

  • National Research Council Canada
  • Library of the Canadian Parliament
  • Library and Archives Canada


  • Ottawa Public Library
  • Carleton University
  • University of Ottawa
  • University of Windsor
  • University of Guelph
  • McMaster University
  • University of Toronto
  • Queen's University
  • Toronto Public Library
  • Western University

Prairies and West

  • University of Manitoba
  • University of Saskatchewan Library
  • University of Regina
  • University of Alberta
  • Simon Fraser University
  • University of Victoria Libraries
  • Vancouver Public Library
  • University of British Columbia

Contact information

If you have questions or comments, or if you are a library that would like to participate in these initiatives, please contact us:

Shared Print Collections in Canada
Library and Archives Canada
550 de la Cité Boulevard
Gatineau, Quebec J8T 0A7


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