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Donations to Library and Archives Canada Preserve the Nation's Memory

OTTAWA, Nov. 6, 2007 - Each year Canadians donate precious and valuable documents to Library and Archives Canada (LAC), ones that detail the social, cultural and economic history of the nation. These items include works of art, architectural drawings, rare books, film footage, audio recordings, stamps, photographs and more.

Both individuals and organizations make donations to LAC and in return are given charitable tax receipts. Without these generous gifts, Canada's documentary heritage may be lost or rendered inaccessible to Canadians.

LAC acquires a broad range of fascinating donations. Take for example the pencil, pen, charcoal, conté crayon and ink drawings of A.Y. Jackson, donated by family descendants. The late Colonel Jacques Ostiguy donated a rare portrait miniature - a watercolour on ivory - of patriote Siméon Marchessault. Photographer Orest Semchishen gave images of western and northern Canada, capturing the townscapes and Russian and Ukrainian religious architecture of Alberta. The family of Canadian Richard Taylor provided 1400 drawings, texts and photographs of the New Yorker magazine cartoonist.

"Library and Archives Canada relies on the generosity of donors who allow us to find out new things about ourselves, through the documents of the past. These priceless acquisitions allow all Canadians access to the personal and collective history of the nation. Canadian donors are building a national collection that all Canadians can access, either through personal visits, or via the internet," said Ian E. Wilson, Librarian and Archivist of Canada.

Other recent acquisitions include selected productions by OMNI TV, the multicultural network with stations in communities across Canada. The Tim Kotcheff fonds includes an amateur film of a canoe trip to the north by Pierre E. Trudeau and his friends, provides a priceless glimpse into the man and the times almost 30 years ago. Recently-donated publications include the first Canadian edition of Agatha Christie's first book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, given by Friends of Library and Archives Canada. LAC acquired the fonds of Québécoise writer Hélène Dorion, who has won public acclaim including the 2006 Governor General's award.

Library and Archives Canada collects and preserves Canada's documentary heritage, and makes it accessible to all Canadians. Its mandate is to preserve the documentary heritage of Canada for the benefit of present and future generations, and to be a source of enduring knowledge accessible to all.

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Louisa Coates
Senior Communications Officer
Library and Archives Canada

Photograph of Frederick Jopling, Navy Yard, Watercolour, 1904
Frederick Jopling, Navy Yard, Watercolour, 1904

Photograph of Letter from Louis-Joseph Papineau to his sister Rosalie Dessaules
Letter from Louis-Joseph Papineau to his sister Rosalie Dessaules

For historical information visit: Archived What's New