The Library and Archives Canada Foundation, an independent non-governmental registered charity, supports Library and Archives Canada in its mission to collect, preserve, and make it easier to access and share the stories, memories and knowledge that foster the sense, meaning and identity of Canada as it has evolved throughout our shared history.
What is Canada? The empathy of Tommy Douglas or the courage of Viola Desmond? The vision of Emily Carr or the vitality of Denys Arcand? In reality, the chorus of all our diverse voices across the ages is what makes a country. Library and Archives Canada allows you to see, hear and connect with Canada’s living soul, and those who have shaped it, in all its creative and hopeful energy. It also empowers you to trace your own family back in time to learn where you fit in our ongoing journey. After all, self-knowledge fosters pride and wisdom in all of us.
Such self-knowledge is the heart and soul of Library and Archives Canada’s mission, and that is why the Foundation wants to support it in its hard work of making this knowledge more accessible to every Canadian, to improve the connectivity its collection: to put a library on every tablet; an archive on every phone. To help people anywhere in the world to quickly answer questions and find critical content, to put more Canada at everyone’s reach to inspire connection and help us navigate the future in ever changing times.
A book, a performance, a song can change a life, inspire extraordinary work, and build bridges around the world. Momentous meetings, decisions or actions can change the course of history and of thousands of lives. Walking a mile in Canada’s past with Library and Archives Canada’s passionate collectors and interpreters who keep safe and available hundreds of years of authentic paper, digital, audio and visual history.
Funds collected for Library and Archives Canada will facilitate that contact with Canada’s memory by making possible more travelling exhibitions, which can create a pop-up archive in every town: imagine the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, famous Canadian portraits, or the history of notorious Canadian creators in yours.
Are we really living in a ‘post-truth’ era? More and more, we need to be able to see past the bias, the airbrush, the hype, and unpack fake news so that we can debate and create on the basis of actual events. Life is complicated; history even more so. Unfiltered archives tell it like it was, from many perspectives. They render possible and empower scholarly research from original sources.
We need to be able, now and in 100 years, to discover and uncover, get inspired or irate, acknowledge mistakes, embrace reconciliation, rediscover hidden strength, always sharpening the lens on what it means to be Canadian.
There are so many reasons why the Foundation wants to support Library and Archives Canada’s important mission to preserve and render our past more accessible: because good conversation start and end with truth, sound decisions with facts, and healthy democracies with enlightened voters.
About Library and Archives Canada
Library and Archives Canada’s holdings are the fourth largest in the world, among national institutions, containing:
- 250 km of archives
- 7 petabytes of digital content
- 30 million photos
- 22 million publications
- 3 million pages
- 550,000 hours of audio & video recordings
- 425,000 works of documentary art
- Every Canada Post stamp ever issued
Library and Archives Canada serves the public not only in preserving their heritage but also in making sure that they have access to the information that concerns them, online and in four main locations across the country:
- In Ottawa, Library and Archives Canada personnel provide a number of services for researchers wishing to gain access to its vast collections and where working spaces are available for those wishing or needing to consult documents on-site.
- In Gatineau, members of the public may visit the Gatineau Preservation Centre, currently Library and Archives Canada’s most vast storage facility.
- In Halifax, Library and Archives Canada offers library services in a facility co-located with the Pier 21 Immigration Museum.
- In Vancouver, Library and Archives Canada similarly offers library services in a facility co-located with the Vancouver Public Library on Library Square.