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Library and Archives Canada Business Plan 2007 - 2010

The Mandate of Library and Archives Canada

The preamble of the Library and Archives of Canada Act states that the LAC 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 understood by Canadians and those interested in Canada.

While Library and Archives Canada has a broad mandate to preserve Canada's documentary heritage, to be a source of knowledge accessible to all, to cooperate with related institutions, and to serve as the memory of the Government of Canada, the LAC collection is, however, part of a national collection of cultural materials held by archives, libraries and museums across the country. Accordingly, we work with other institutions to provide access and enable learning.

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