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Process for the Consultation of Textual Records Subject to the Access to Information and Privacy Acts by Departmental Researchers


In order to be granted departmental researcher status, a letter (on official departmental letterhead) from the Director level of the department involved must be obtained. The letter is to include the following:

1) Name of the proposed departmental researcher;

2) Employment status (ie. indeterminate / term / contract);

3) Security level of employee (enhanced reliability / secret / top secret);

4) Purpose of research (or stating that records are required for operational purposes);

5) An indication of which files the researcher is allowed to access (either all departmental files that fall within the range of their security clearance or particular files listed by Record Group, Volume and File Number);

6) Permission to (or not to) order photocopies;

7) Expiry date of departmental authority (maximum 1 year or end of term/ contract). If researcher's rights to the same material is being extended, please clearly indicate such.

8) Telephone number of the departmental researcher. Please also indicate the researcher's client card number if he/she has been previously registered at the Library and Archives Canada.

9) Telephone number and business address of the Director signing the Letter of Authorization.

Note: A Director may only request access to records for his/her department. If there is a need to view files from another department, permission must be sought from that other department. (e.g. If an employee of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada needs to see some Parks Canada files, permission must be obtained from the Director level at Parks Canada.).

An example of such a letter may be found at the end of this document.

Consultation Process:

1. The researcher sends only one copy of his/her request for material, consisting of a complete archival citation, and the appropriate Letter of Authorization from the department by mail or by fax to, Library and Archives Canada (LAC), 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N4; fax number: 613-995-6274. We require a minimum of 5 working days notice.

Researchers must indicate clearly on their request any deadlines which may affect their request. Researchers will be notified when the material has been ordered.

2. LAC reviews the request and determines the appropriate action based on the information provided.

3. Library and Archives Canada may contact the researcher if the Letter of Authorization contains insufficient information, etc.

Note: Containers will only be held on behalf of a researcher for 30 days, at which time they are returned to storage.

Obtaining Photocopies


Regular service Rush Service
$0.40 $0.80
*$0.30 for Students and Senior Citizens (65 years of age and over) *$0.60 for Students and Senior Citizens (65 years of age and over)
* Identifcation Cards required:
Students: a valid full-time Student Photo Identification Card from an accredited educational institution
Senior Citizens (65 years of age and over): a document confirming the age (e.g.: driver's licence; birth certificate, medicare card, passport)
ID cards have to be presented in person or a photocopy has to be sent with the written request
GST and applicable PST will be added to the total cost. Orders mailed outside Canada are tax exempt.

Methods of payment:
Orders must be prepaid!

Credit card:
For prepayment by VISA, MasterCard or American Express, please include your credit card number and the expiry date. When the copies have been produced, the exact amount of the order will be charged to your credit card account.

Interdepartmental Settlement Note: For pre-payment by Interdepartmental Settlement Note, clients must provide a Department Number, an Organization Number, and a Reference Number.

Corporate Purchase Order:
A fully completed corporate purchase order will be accepted.

If you have any questions concerning payment, please contact Textual Records Reproduction Unit at 1-866-578-7777, option 4, or at 613-995-7778.

Postage and Handling
Category Regular Mail
Air Mail
Air Mail
Letters 0 - 500 g $0.96 - $2.10 $1.40 - $4.60 $3 - $10
Parcels 0 - 5 kg $2.66 - $28.82 $4.25 - $25.25 $4 - $122.60
Parcels > 5 - 30 kg $4.14 - $141.09 $25.25 - $102.75 $36.15 - $492.80
Price of postage varies by weight and by destination of the mail item. Prices are subject to annual postage or mail service rate increases.
Handling Fee $0.35

Service Standards:

Regular service: Orders are processed within 30 days of receipt of orders for a maximum of 250 photocopies per month, per client. The time it takes to process an order is affected by the following factors:

  • the number of items ordered
  • the need to search for additional information
  • our current workload

Rush service: Orders are processed on a rush basis only if all the following conditions are met:

  • full archival reference number is provided
  • access restrictions do not apply or a letter of permission is included with the order for restricted documents
  • requested documents are available
  • "rush service" is indicated on the request
  • you agree to pay the additional surcharge of 100%
  • prepayment is done by cash, banking card (Interac), credit card (VISA, MasterCard or American Express) or through an established deposit account

Response Times for Rush Orders

Please note that written requests cannot be processed in less than 5 working days due to the following factors: registration of requests; delays of 24 hours for delivery of documents from off-site storage; identification of requested documents by staff; special handling of archival documents.

Processing times apply once orders have been received in our services.

Number of copies

Response time



In-person requests

Written requests



Maximum of 100 copies per 24 hour

5 working days



500 - 999

5 working days

7 working days

1000 - 1999

10 working days

2000 - 2999

15 working days

3000 - 3999

20 working days

4000 - 4999

25 working days

5000 - 6000

30 working days

All prices and time estimates are subject to change. To check on the status of a specific photocopy order, call 613-995-7778.

Further Information on Consulting Records:

For questions relating to the status of requested material, and arrangements for lockers, contact the Consultation Desk (613-995-3991). Note that this is a voice message system; researchers should indicate in their message if their question is time sensitive and requires immediate attention.
For questions relating to the Letter of Authorization, contact the Access to Information and Privacy Division by telephone at 613-996-5115 or by email at:

Example of Letter:

Please print on official departmental letterhead

Director, ATIP Division
Library and Archives Canada
395 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0N4

To the Attention of the Director, ATIP Division:

Re: Departmental Researcher Access to the Records of ___________________

This is to introduce ____________________ , _____client card number______ a (indeterminate / term / contract) employee from our department who can be contacted at _______address______ and telephone number 613-- . He/she has an (enhanced reliability / secret / top secret) security clearance. In order to carry out his/her duties, __________________ will need access to (all / the following) files from our department until _____________ (date - maximum one year or length of term / contract). This permission (does / does not) include the right to order photocopies as necessary.

If you have any questions regarding the above, please contact me at ________________.



Director, _________________________

Business address:

Telephone number: