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The National Archives of Canada’s virtual Canadian Postal Archives

Over the next three years, the National Archives will work closely with Canada Post to create the Virtual Canadian Postal Archives. Designed for national and international users, the site will provide access to the philatelic library, documents and other archival material, as well as 15,000 images displaying the entire National Archives stamp collection and related documents.

The first stage of the Virtual Archives Project will open on Friday, April 6, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the issuing of the first Canadian stamp. On that day, the National Archives will open its online version of the philatelic library.

The Virtual Canadian Postal Archives will open officially at the end of August, 2001. Over the next two years, new material will be continually added to the Website, such as biographies of stamp creators, bibliographies and scanned library material.

Background information:

The National Archives of Canada is responsible for the preservation of Canada’s archival heritage for the benefit of present and future generations of Canadians.

The Archives subscribes to the government of Canada objective to increase the availability of and access to Canada’s key cultural collections through Internet access, in both English and French.

As part of its mandate, the National Archives acquires and documents Canada’s philatelic heritage. The National Archives holds nearly one million philatelic and postal documents, the vast majority of which were transferred from Canada Post to the National Archives in 1988.

The postal and philatelic holdings of the National Archives are unique in the world. The National Archives is committed to providing Canadians with greater access to these holdings both through visits to the collections in Ottawa, and by virtual Internet visits on its Website.

The Project

The virtual Canadian Postal Archives project will:

  • provide a single portal of entry, in both official languages, to National Archives information and holdings that relate to the postal heritage of Canada
  • digitize and make accessible 15,000 images and 65,000 pages of the Canadian Official Postal Guide, which covers the period from 1875 to 1952
  • provide access to the holdings to national and international clients through the National Archives website, which received 72 million hits in 2000
  • provide a link to the Canada Post Corporation, the Canadian Postal Museum and the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada websites

The NA and Canada Post sign historic agreement

For more information on this exhibition, please contact:
Louisa Coates
Communications and Public Programs Division
National Archives of Canada
Telephone: (613) 992-9361