Library and Archives Canada (in French: Bibliothèque et Archives Canada) is a federal memory institution tasked with acquiring, preserving and making Canada's documentary heritage accessible. It combines the functions of the Public Archives of Canada (founded 1872, renamed National Archives of Canada 1987) and the National Library of Canada (founded 1953).[citation needed]

History and Mandate

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) was created by the Library and Archives of Canada Act (Bill C-8), proclaimed on April 22, 2004. A subsequent order-in-council dated May 21, 2004 united the collections, services and personnel of the National Archives of Canada and the National Library of Canada.[citation needed] Since its creation it has reported to Parliament through the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

Canada was one of the first countries in the world to combine its national library and its national archives into a single memory institution.

As stated in the Preamble of the Library and Archives of Canada Act,[4] LAC's mandate is:

to preserve the documentary heritage of Canada for the benefit of present and future generations;

to be a source of enduring knowledge accessible to all, contributing to the cultural, social and economic advancement of Canada;

to facilitate in Canada co-operation among communities involved in the acquisition, preservation and diffusion of knowledge; and

to serve as the continuing memory of the Government of Canada and its institutions.

One of its important roles includes serving as the continuing memory of the Government of Canada and its institutions by supporting accurate record keeping ensuring transparency and accountability. As part of its mandate, LAC works with other archives and libraries to acquire and preserve Canada's documentary heritage in all its forms.[citation needed]

The mandate as well as more information about the institution can be found on LAC's website.[5] The full text of the Library and Archives of Canada Act may be found at the Department of Justice website [6].

Documentary heritage collection

LAC's holdings include the archival records of the Government of Canada, representative private archives, 20 million books acquired largely through legal deposit, 24 million photographs, and more than a petabyte of digital content.[citation needed]. Some of this content, primarily the book collection, university theses and census material, is available online.

Modernization Policy

Modernization is a continuous process of adapting to the information environment and working collaboratively to ensure that LAC is effective and fulfills its mandate. This includes managing both digital and analogue materials that constitute Canada's continuing memory.

LAC's collaborative approach with external partners on a number of issues, including finding the most effective ways of preserving digital documents over time, and housing parts of the documentary heritage in the most relevant locations, will continue to foster an atmosphere for dialogue and a climate for discussion.

The Documentary Heritage Management Framework[7] focuses on the three main functions of LAC's mandate: acquisition, preservation and resource discovery.

The framework also includes:

·        Using an approach based on four guiding principles (significance, sufficiency, sustainability and society) to select acquisitions.[8] These principles will help LAC consider whether it is the most suited to acquire the documentary heritage, or whether another institution is better placed to acquire it and/or to be its repository.

·        Seeking the right balance between resources dedicated to the preservation[9] of digital documents and analogue documents, and to ensure there is no digital memory gap. In this way, LAC will continue to work in both analogue and digital worlds.

·        Working with other organizations and Canadians to make resource discovery[10] more user-friendly. The term "resource discovery" includes description, discovery, access and services to the public.

In this way, the framework will define a manageable and results-driven approach for LAC to follow in the upcoming years.

Finally, LAC is conducting a number of pathfinder pilot projects, including rethinking newspapers in a digital age, approaching long-term loans in a more collaborative way and considering challenges and opportunities for Canada's military documentary heritage.

More information about modernization can be found on LAC's website.[11]


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Source: Wikipedia
Contributed by Anonymous
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