Library and Archives Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Institutional links

Cataloguing and Metadata

MARC Records Distribution Service (MRDS)

This service offers Library and Archives Canada's (LAC) bibliographic and authority records in machine-readable form on an annual subscription basis.


Canadiana monographs (weekly) includes all descriptions for all monographic items (books, videos, CD-ROMs, e-books, etc. ) catalogued by LAC.

Canadiana music and sound recordings (monthly) includes all descriptions for all monographic sound recordings as well as printed music (CDs, DVDs, 45 rpms, printed music) catalogued by LAC.

Canadiana authorities (bi-weekly) includes all personal and corporate names, and uniform title and name-title series authority headings used in the course of LAC cataloguing.

Top of page

Method of Distribution

The MARC Records Distribution Service (MRDS) offers Library and Archives Canada's (LAC) records in MARC 21 format via FTP (file transfer protocol) only. Clients are authorized to retrieve the files for one year from the LAC server when they subscribe to a service.

MRDS Contact Information

MARC Records Distribution Service (MRDS)
Library and Archives Canada
395 Wellington Street
Ottawa ON  K1A 0N4
Telephone: 819-994-6913
Fax: 819-934-6777

Top of page

Other Online Sources

Downloading LAC and Union Catalogue Records

It is possible to retrieve records from LAC's large AMICUS database, including LAC Canadiana cataloguing, Library of Congress and CONSER source files, by using AMICUS Web, Library and Archives Canada's Web service. With an AMICUS Web account (which is free of charge), one can search the database and download the MARC 21 records needed. For more information about AMICUS Web, please visit the Amicus Support Services at

Registered AMICUS clients can also download any of LAC's Canadian Union Catalogue records using the AMICUS Web service free of charge. The service is available online at:

Z39.50 Search and Download

If you have Z39.50 client software you can use LAC's large AMICUS database, including LAC's Z39.50 documentation to target the Library and Archives Canada collection or the entire AMICUS database. The Z39.50 search option allows clients to search the database and download records free of charge. Clients need to build a Z39.50 search strategy, learn the MARC 21 format where needed, and convert the records to their in-house system format where required. No LAC's large AMICUS database, including LAC support is provided.

More information on the Z39.50 services is available at:

There is also information about AMICUS at:

Canadian Subject Headings (CSH): This is LAC's online database of English-language subject headings on Canadian topics. Authority records for CSH are created in the AMICUS database of bibliographic data. Once a month, the CSH database, with all the new and updated headings from the past month, is reloaded in its entirety at Library and Archives Canada's Web site. It is available at:

Répertoire de vedettes-matières (RVM) is an online database providing French language subject headings. It is offered by Université Laval. All information on product and prices can be found at their website: