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Volume 2, Number 5, September-October 2006

Banner: Library and Archives Canada - e-Newsletter

In Focus

A gift that lasts...and lasts!


For well over 50 years, the practice of legal deposit has ensured that Canada's published heritage is preserved for the benefit of every Canadian now and in the future. First established in France in the mid-1500s, it is a common practice today worldwide. Legal deposit has been in effect in Canada since 1953 when it was introduced as part of the National Library Act, the predecessor of the Library and Archives of Canada Act.

How does legal deposit work in Canada? Canadian publishers are required to deposit a maximum of two copies of each publication with Library and Archives Canada (LAC). As a result, LAC receives a wide range of books, serials, sound recordings, multimedia, microforms, CD-ROMs, video recordings and electronic publications, all of which are carefully preserved. A description of each item is entered into the LAC online database, AMICUS. This way, the public is kept informed of each new work received at LAC. The same description is also distributed internationally.

Over the years, legal deposit regulations have been modified a number of times to keep current with publishing developments, such as the introduction of microforms, CDs and videos. In the near future, legal deposit will be presented with the new challenge of including Canadian Internet-based publications! Watch for a notice on the LAC website home page about the proposed regulations and the steps LAC is taking into this exciting new world.


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