Ingest of Born-Digital Material


  • Voluntary deposit of born-digital publications began in 1994 with the Electronic Publications Pilot Project and System (EPPP/EPPS) of the former National Library. Legislated powers for digital legal deposit followed in 2006.
  • Small portions of born-digital or digitized materials are currently collected or produced from all acquisition streams at Library and Archives Canada (LAC): publications subject to legal deposit as defined by the Legal Deposit Program (Library and Archives of Canada Act section 10 and the Legal Deposit of Publications Regulations), gifts through the Gifts and Special Collections area of Published Heritage Branch, private archives, government archives, and classified government records (Library and Archives of Canada Act section 12-13) by Archives Branch, and digitized works, audiovisual resources, and web archiving and social media within the Digital Operations and Preservation Branch.


  • Some forms of born-digital library and archival documentary heritage are not captured within scope, or are not yet acquired or are not collected at scale (e.g., commercial and scholarly publications; mass digitization of official publications; structured research, scientific, and “big” datasets; software applications; video games; select forms of social media). This is due to a lack of technical means or, in part, to LAC’s outdated legislation and regulations.
  • Due to the state of the aged infrastructure and the amount of digital material that arrived and remains on physical media (e.g., in the stacks on commercial CD, DVD or on legacy carriers in archival boxes), an unknown volume of born-digital documentary heritage exists at LAC, is difficult to detect and locate from descriptive records, and is at risk of not being preserved.
  • The Digital Asset Management System (DAMS) is developing workflows to manage newer types of digitized and born-digital resources (e.g., music, cartography and geomatic data, electronic theses and dissertations, archival records from the Government of Canada’s deploying Electronic Documents and Records Management System called GCDOCS).

Key Public Messages

  • LAC acquires born-digital content from many streams, including published in various forms, private, government, and classified archival records.
  • LAC’s next-generation solution for managing digital library and archival documentary heritage is the DAMS which has Preservica as its core module.
  • LAC has digitally preserved over 7 petabytes of born-digital library and archival documentary heritage in two preservation copies (total 14 petabytes).


Tom Smyth, Manager, Digital Preservation and Migration Division
Tel: 613-668-0674

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