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What's New

Acquisition and Preservation of Film at Library and Archives Canada

Our Motion Picture Film Collection

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) acquires and preserves motion picture film of national historic significance, produced by individuals, film and broadcasting companies, corporations and government departments. This collection serves as one of Canada's richest sources of national memory.

Consult to find out how LAC acquires these works.

Our Film Preservation Strategy

Damage to film occurs through poor handling, improper storage and inherent chemical vice. Film can shrink, crack, melt or congeal. Its colour and imagery may fade, its magnetic soundtrack may fall off the base, and the film itself may break apart. Eventually, the film may disintegrate into dust.

The losses to our cinematic heritage are already high. For example, 80 percent of the films produced during the first 25 years of feature-film production in Canada are gone. Evangeline (1913), the first Canadian feature film, is lost forever.

Several strategies are used to combat film deterioration: storing all film under cool, dry conditions, printing old film onto new, more stable film stock, and providing public access to copies of films instead of to originals.

As the film industry moves toward greater use of digital technologies in the production and distribution of cinematic works, so, too, must LAC adapt to and employ new strategies and processes to preserve the works of our time for future generations.

To find out how LAC is preserving our cinematic heritage, visit:

Discover the Collection

Some of Canada's films and filmed history can be viewed on LAC's website at the following URLs:

Featuring: Gratien Gélinas

ARCHIVED - Through a Lens: Dieppe in Photographs and Film

ARCHIVED - Virtual Silver Screen