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Ask Us a Question

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) offers several ways for users to submit a request for information to its Reference and Genealogy Services.

Search the Collections

AMICUS: Library Research Tool
A national catalogue that provides bibliographic information about books, periodicals, music, videos and other published materials held at LAC and participating libraries across Canada.

ArchiviaNet: Archival Research Tool
Provides access to LAC's archival databases comprising records from governmental and private sources; includes textual records, maps, works of art, photographs, videos and films, sound recordings, architectural drawings, stamps, medals and globes.

Search All
This function allows users to search across the resources of LAC, including LAC's website, LAC's library catalogue, and the following archival research tools: General Inventory, Government of Canada files, Métis Scrip, War Diaries of the First World War, and Prime Ministers' Fonds.

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Newspapers and Internet News Sites
LAC collects, in hardcopy, a select number of Canadian current daily newspapers, all Canadian ethnic newspapers, all Canadian native newspapers, and student newspapers received from the Canadian university press.

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Genealogical Resources

Canadian Genealogy Centre
The Centre includes all physical and online genealogical services of LAC to facilitate the discovery of family histories in Canada. The Centre offers genealogical content, advice, research tools and opportunities to work on joint projects.

Moving Here, Staying Here. The Canadian Immigrant Experience
This site uses documents held by LAC to tell the story of immigration to Canada from the early 19th century to the outbreak of the Second World War. Narratives and records help users see first hand the trials of immigration. Users can also find out about their own family’s history through databases of digitized documents, including passenger lists, immigrant diaries and muster rolls.

Vancouver Public Library: Chinese-Canadian Genealogy
This site offers a variety of practical tools and resources to support all stages of Chinese-Canadian genealogical research. Major subject headings of the website include: Chinese Names, Family Sources, Documents and Records, and Back to China. The website also features milestones in Chinese-Canadian history, links to stories of Chinese-Canadian pioneers, and touches on patterns of migration and settlement.

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Web Projects

Anti-Slavery Movement in Canada
This site commemorates the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the Anti-Slavery Society of Canada in 1851.

From Colony to Country: A Reader's Guide to Canadian Military History
This site is organized by military campaigns with each campaign divided into ten thematic subsections that contain texts, notes and bibliographic references.

Living Memory
Living Memory is based on the exhibition Treasured Memories, which celebrated the 125th Anniversary of the National Archives of Canada. This online exhibition features more than 100 documents that tell part of the Canadian story.

The Shamrock and the Maple Leaf: Irish-Canadian Documentary Heritage at Library and Archives Canada
This site showcases Irish-Canadian documentary heritage held by Library and Archives Canada. Users will discover photographs, letters, books, music and other evidence of Ireland's vital influence on Canadian history and culture. The exhibition also recounts the experience of the Irish in Canada through the words of leading contemporary scholars in Irish-Canadian studies.

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Cultural Finding Aids

Chinese - Canadian Genealogy Centre

The Polish-Canadian Press: Historical Overview
[RTF 35 KB] [PDF 137 KB]

Polish-Canadian Periodicals at LAC, 1908-2005: Annotated Bibliography
[RTF 391 KB] [PDF 501 KB]
An annotated bibliography of Polish-Canadian periodicals (1908-2005) available at LAC. Included here are descriptions of periodical content and coverage, target audience and unique publication elements. This resource is designed to assist LAC clients with an interest in genealogical, historical and sociological research.

The Russian-Canadian Press: Historical Overview
[RTF 53 KB] [PDF 23 KB]

Russian Language Canadian Periodicals at LAC: Annotated Bibliography
[RTF 239 KB] [PDF 134 KB]
An annotated bibliography that explores the history of the Russian press in Canada as reflected in the collection of LAC. Included here are descriptions of periodical content and coverage, target audience and unique publication elements. This resource is designed to assist LAC clients with an interest in genealogical, historical and sociological research.

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Thematic Guides

Anti-slavery Issues in Canada, 1830-1870: A Selective Bibliography

Deportation from Canada, 1893-1977

Immigration of Farm Labourers to Canada, 1918-1945

Organized Crime in Canada After 1945 and Immigration Records

Records on the Immigration of Domestics

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Educational Resources

Children's Literature Service
The Children's Literature Service offers more than 141,724 items of fiction and non-fiction, including those published in languages other than English or French. The collection is targeted to children and youth.

The EvidenceWeb
The EvidenceWeb is an educational project to help users learn more about LAC's primary sources. All of the sources featured are linked to specific themes in Canadian history and culture. Users will find a wide selection of documents, including texts, photographs, maps, newspaper clippings and more.

The Kids' Site of Canadian Settlement
This site's settlement theme has curriculum tie-ins to history, national identity, human rights, culture, multiculturalism, language arts and geography in Canada.

Learning Centre
Teachers and students will find websites, educational tools, and digitized primary sources from LAC holdings. Qualified curriculum developers have created teaching units on specific topics and for a variety of levels (grades K to 12). Classroom activities, quizzes, games and tutorials are also included.

Read Up On It
Read Up On It is a program to promote Canadian children's literature and reading. It highlights notable books on a variety of themes, and features award-winning Canadian children's books in all categories. A new theme is developed annually.

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Art and Photography

Framing Canada: A Photographic Memory
Featuring photographs from various public and private collections, this site presents a searchable database of digitized photographic images from 1843 to the mid-20th century. These images tell the ever-changing story of how Canadians see themselves and their world.

Images Canada
The gateway to images of Canadian events, people, places and things with links to more than 131,000 photographs and illustrations from Canadian cultural institutions.

Karsh Masterworks-A Tribute
Born in Mardin, Turkey, Yousuf Karsh became an internationally renowned Canadian portrait photographer, and created an enduring legacy through his art. Karsh's artistic life is explored in the photographs, and masterworks included in this tribute.

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Celebrating Women's Achievements
On this site users can access biographies of diverse Canadian women who have made contributions to Canadian society and the world. Each woman's life and achievements are described, followed by a list of suggested readings.

Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online
The biographies that appear in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online reproduce those that were originally commissioned for its print version and were republished in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Volumes I-XIV, CD-ROM (2000). Biographies are drawn from every region of the country and from various social backgrounds and ethnic groups.

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Literary Archives
The Literary Archives houses fonds of diverse Canadian writers, as well as individuals and organizations active in fields related to literature (e.g., small literary presses, translators and illustrators).

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The Virtual Gramophone: Canadian Historical Sound Recordings
The site's database contains information and images on 78-rpm and cylinder recordings released in Canada, as well as foreign recordings featuring Canadian artists or Canadian compositions.

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Special Collections

Jacob M. Lowy Collection
The Jacob M. Lowy Collection consists of old and rare Hebraica and Judaica comprising 4,000 volumes from the 15th to the 20th century, including Hebrew and Latin incunables, over 120 editions of bibles in many languages and numerous editions of the works of the first century historian Josephus.

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Reports (LAC)

Community Consultations: Report on Activities and Outcomes
Multicultural Initiatives, Library and Archives Canada. Ottawa: Library and Archives Canada, 2006.

Multilingual/Multicultural Collections And Services: A Draft Proposal (EC 01:29)
Working Group on Collection Policies. Pierre Gamache, Libby Martin and Maryna Nowosielski. Ottawa: National Library of Canada, 2001.

The Role of the National Library of Canada in Support of Culture in Canada
Brief submitted to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. Ottawa: National Library of Canada, 1997.

A World of Information: Creating Multicultural Collections and Programs in Canadian Public Libraries
Edited by Joanne Godin. Ottawa: National Library of Canada, 1994.