Library and Archives Canada
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About the Collection

Acquisition of Private Sector Records

Gifts to Library and Archives Canada

The mandate of Library and Archives Canada

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is a federal cultural institution whose mandate is to acquire, preserve, promote and make accessible Canada's documentary heritage. This heritage includes works and documents of all types that relate to our country's history and culture.

The collection of Library and Archives Canada

Since 1872, LAC has assembled an outstanding collection that reflects the achievements of Canadian society and that continues to be enriched through new acquisitions. LAC acquires various works and documents through a number of ways, including legal deposit, partnerships and the legislation governing federal departments. By far, the most valued source of acquisitions is private gifts donated by individuals, companies, organizations or associations.

What type of works or documents is Library and Archives Canada looking for?

LAC is interested in works or documents created or published in Canada, regardless of subject, language or format, and those created or published outside of Canada, provided the author or subject has some national relevance. They can be archival documents, books, films or videos, photographs, maps or architectural plans, portraits or other works of art, sound recordings, musical scores, microfilm, digital or analog material.

Why make a donation?

By offering your gift to LAC, you help enrich the national collection, you ensure the preservation of your works or documents and you contribute to the passing of knowledge from one generation to the next.

How do you go about it?

  • Before you contact LAC, it is useful to have a brief description of the material you wish to give. This can include such information as titles, dates, quantity and physical condition.
  • The items are then assessed by staff according to the selection criteria and needs of LAC.
  • Items accepted are subsequently processed by LAC; they are described, preserved, promoted and made accessible by means of the latest technology.

What if your donation is not accepted?

LAC does not accept every gift. Various factors such as an item's genuineness, age, rareness, condition, relationship to other items in the collection, and restrictions on access or use are considered in the final decision.

LAC may also decide that it is more appropriate to give certain items to provincial or regional archives, or other heritage centres.

Tax credits

Donors of documentary heritage are eligible for tax credits according to provisions in the Income Tax Act and the Cultural Property Export and Import Act. LAC is authorized to issue official tax receipts to donors. The value of most works or documents is determined by a committee of experts independent of LAC. Appraisal of value for tax credit purposes is applied exclusively to items received as donations.

More information

If you wish to give works or documents to LAC, discuss the donation of a collection, or learn more about our donations policy, call 819-934-5793.