Library and Archives Canada

Library and Archives Canada is the product of the amalgamation of the National Library of Canada and National Archives of Canada under the initiative of former National Librarian Roch Carrier and National Archivist Ian Wilson who "realized that the traditional lines between archives and libraries were blurring, and that it was time for us to come together as a resource for all Canadians." The formal union of the two institutions occurred on 21 May 2004 when the government of Canada passed the Library and Archives of Canada Act. Ian Wilson assumed the position as the first Librarian and Archivist of Canada in July 2004.

Situated in Ottawa in the former locations of the National Library and National Archives near Parliament Hill, Library and Archives Canada employs over 1100 staff. It houses millions of priceless textual records, including more than 19 million books, periodicals, newspapers and literary manuscripts; over 21 million photographs; 350 000 art works; and numerous film, sound and video recordings.

Canada leads the larger developed countries in amalgamating its national archives and national library into one institution, and it has since become a model for other countries intending to integrate these two services. Library and Archives Canada continues the mandate of its two founding institutions by endeavouring to take advantage of the latest in communications and information technologies, particularly those online, and to facilitate increased public access to the nation's vast library and archival holdings. Its library catalogue, AMICUS, is a database that houses the digital records of over 350 Canadian libraries. The former National Archives' online searching database, ArchiviaNet, continues its mandate of providing an online locator tool for millions of documents housed in Library and Archives Canada in all forms of media. The new institution also works with other libraries and archives across Canada that use its policies, standards, and resource-sharing activities as a model on which to base their own institutions' procedures.