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Library and Archives Canada Business Plan 2008 - 2011

The Mandate of Library and Archives Canada

The preamble of the Library and Archives of Canada Act states that our mandate is:

  • to preserve the documentary heritage of Canada for the benefit of present and future generations;
  • to serve as a source of enduring knowledge accessible to all, contributing to the cultural, social and economic advancement of Canada as a free and democratic society;
  • to facilitate in Canada cooperation among the communities involved in the acquisition, preservation and diffusion of knowledge; and
  • to serve as the continuing memory of the Government of Canada and its institutions.

The Library and Archives of Canada Act introduced a new legal concept "documentary heritage," which includes publications and records in all media related to Canada. This includes electronic publications and websites of interest to Canada. The Act requires the transfer of any government records deemed to be at risk and LAC has a mandate to collaborate with federal departments to ensure the effective management of government information. The legislation also sets out an explicit mandate to make Canada's documentary heritage known and accessible for use by Canadians and those interested in Canada.

The LAC collection is one part of a national collection of cultural materials held by archives, libraries and museums across the country-and we are a partner to similar organizations around the world. Accordingly, we work with other institutions to provide access, enable learning and share our lessons and experiences as a knowledge institution.

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