Our Facilities - Library and Archives Canada Preservation Centre - Library and Archives Canada
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Home > Preservation > LAC Preservation Centre

Library and Archives Canada Preservation Centre

Our Facilities

The Preservation Centre is a building-within-a-building. An outer shell of glass and steel creates an environmental buffer zone for the interior concrete structure which comprises preservation laboratories, records storage vaults and other operations. Book conservation laboratory

Preservation Laboratories

Individual laboratories for conservation treatment and copying of records are constructed in a village-like setting, on the top floor of the building, directly over the three-story vault structure. This enables all of the Library and Archives Canada preservation experts, approximately 70 in total, to work together under the same roof.



Motion picture quality control laboratory



Records Storage

Forty-eight vaults for the storage and handling of archival records, offering 4 different environments and approximately 350 square metres each, house a variety of archival records. Vaults are designed to protect documents by eliminating potential threats, by a sophisticated fire detection and suppression system, and by carefully controlling all materials used inside the vault to maintain a contaminant-free environment.



Storage of textual records in boxes on mobile shelving.

Storage - Oversize paper records Storage of black-and-white motion picture film
Storage - Colour and black-and-white film. Art Vault

Circulation of Archival Records

Archival records are transported from the Preservation Centre in Gatineau to researchers in downtown Ottawa. The movement of documents between storage and reference areas is controlled by an automated tracking system. Dedicated circulation staff receive, transport and circulate over 100,000 containers of documents annually to and from 5 sites.


Records are transported between facilities on specialized carts by climate-controlled trucks.

Containers and their locations are bar-coded to enable automated ordering and retrieval.

Mechanical Plant

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems are located in a mechanical plant designed to be separate from, but connected to, the records storage and laboratory facilities. This feature separates and isolates the sensitive laboratory and storage functions of the building.


The mechanical plant.

Diesel Generators