The photographic collections at Library and Archives Canada (LAC) contain more than 22 million images. Representing the history of photography from its beginnings in the early 1840s to the present day, these photographic collections are an invaluable resource for the visual history of Canada and Canadians.
Featuring photographs from various public and private collections, Framing Canada: A Photographic Memory presents a searchable database of digitized photographic images from 1843 to the mid-20th century. These images tell the fascinating and ever-changing story of how Canadians see themselves and their world.
Framing Canada also offers "Photographic Collections," a history of LAC's photo collections, as well as the following thematic essays: "Nation Building," "The Canadian Mosaic," "Portraiture," "Aboriginal Peoples," "Amateur Photography," "Photojournalism," "The Evolution of Photography," "Commercial Photography," "War and Conflict" and "A Sense of Space."
Other sections of the website are a glossary of photographic terms, photographic albums, the weird and wacky photographs in the collection, and educational resources.
As previously noted, the photographic holdings of LAC number more than 22 million images. Only those records that have been digitally copied are featured in the Framing Canada database. To search for all photographs that have been described individually, please refer to ArchiviaNet's photograph database. This larger catalogue includes images with digitized images found in Framing Canada, as well as those that have not yet been digitized but have copy negatives.
Framing Canada and ArchiviaNet's photograph database represent only a fraction of the entire photographic collections, however. Most photographs at LAC do not have individual records, and can only be researched at a collection (fonds) level in ArchiviaNet's General Inventory. Should you want to research photographs that have not been digitized, you will need to arrange an on-site visit to LAC in order to consult the material.