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Banner: Cataloguing and Metadata

MARC Records Distribution Service (MRDS)

This subscription service offers Library and Archives Canada's (LAC) bibliographic and authority records in machine-readable form either as a full service option or as a selected records option.

Full Service Option

With this service, Canadiana monographs, Canadiana Music and Sound Recordings (MSR), and Canadiana authority records are made available for the current year.

Canadiana monographs (weekly) includes all descriptions for all monographic items (books, videos, CD-ROMs, e-books, etc.) catalogued by NLC.

Canadiana music and sound recordings (monthly) includes all descriptions for all monographic sound recordings as well as printed music (CDs, DVDs, 45 rpms, printed music) catalogued by LAC.

Canadiana authorities (bi-weekly) includes all personal and corporate names, and uniform title and name-title series authority headings used in the course of LAC cataloguing or as created for the Library of Congress (LC).

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Selected Records Option

Clients using this service submit a file containing control numbers to search for matches in the AMICUS database. Only records catalogued by LAC, LC, and CONSER will be retrieved. Searching can be done by LC control number, Canadiana control number, ISBN, ISSN, or Conser control number.

Method of Distribution

The MARC Records Distribution Service (MRDS) offers Library and Archives Canada's (LAC) records in MARC 21 format via FTP (file transfer protocol) only.
Clients are authorized to retrieve the files from the LAC server when they subscribe to a service. The files are available for one year for the full service option or for 30 days for the selected records option.


The full service option is available by annual subscription
Canadiana authorities: $610.50
Canadiana monographs: $654.50
Canadiana music and sound recordings: $434.50

The price for the selected records option is $28.25 flat fee per submission. A submission is the batch of control numbers clients send us. Each batch equals one submission. Any one submission has a ceiling of 10,000 control numbers. For example, one would need 6 submissions for 58,000 record control numbers sent. In addition, every successful hit loaded to the FTP pick up directory is $0.19 per hit.

*MRDS fees have not changed for several years but they may be changed with little advance notice.

MRDS Contact Information

MARC Records Distribution Service (MRDS)
Library and Archives Canada
395 Wellington Street
Ottawa ON K1A 0N4
Telephone: 819-994-6913
Fax: 819-934-6777

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Retrospective Records

The retrospective files of Canadiana Authorities, Monographs, and Music and Sound Recordings (MSR), up to the end of the previous calendar year, are available from IHS Solutions, the company who assembles the data to create the annual Canadiana CD-ROM:

IHS Solutions Limited
1 Antares Drive, Suite 200
Nepean ON K2E 8C4
Telephone: 613-225-2300
Website: www.ihssolutions.com

While permision to use these records must still be sought from the National Library of Canada, the price for capture and transmission of retrospective data is negotiated directly with the company.

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Other Online Sources

Downloading LAC and Union Catalogue Records

It is possible to retrieve records from LAC's large AMICUS database by using AMICUS Web, Library and Archives Canada's Web service previously called Access AMICUS. With an AMICUS Web account (which is free of charge), one can search the database and download the records needed. Depending on one's situation, this might be easier than the MRDS service. For more information about AMICUS Web, it is possible to contact the Client information Centre at: cic@lac-bac.gc.ca

There is also some information about AMICUS at:

Registered AMICUS clients can download any of LAC's Union Catalogue records using the AMICUS Web service free of charge. The service is available online at:

Records downloaded using AMICUS Web are in MARC 21 format as well. There is more information about it in Library and Archives Canada's Web site:

Canadian Subject Headings (CSH): This is the LAC's online database of subject headings. Once a month the CSH database, with all the new and updated headings used in the past month, is reloaded in its entirety at Library and Archives Canada's Web site. It is available at:

Répertoire de vedettes-matières (RVM) is an online database providing French language subject headings. It is offered by Université Laval. All information on product and prices can be found at their website :

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Other Search Option

The Z39.50 search option allows clients to search the database at will. Searching and downloading are permitted free of charge. However, clients need to build the Z39.50 search strategy, learn the MARC 21 format where needed, and transform the records in their in-house system format where required. No NLC support is provided.

You can find more information on the Z39.50 services in LAC's Web site at: