Library and Archives of Canada Act (S.C. 2004, c. 11)

Act current to 2017-12-11 and last amended on 2015-02-26. Previous Versions

Library and Archives of Canada Act

S.C. 2004, c. 11

Assented to 2004-04-22

An Act to establish the Library and Archives of Canada, to amend the Copyright Act and to amend certain Acts in consequence


WHEREAS it is necessary that

  • (a) the documentary heritage of Canada be preserved for the benefit of present and future generations;

  • (b) Canada be served by an institution that is a source of enduring knowledge accessible to all, contributing to the cultural, social and economic advancement of Canada as a free and democratic society;

  • (c) that institution facilitate in Canada cooperation among the communities involved in the acquisition, preservation and diffusion of knowledge; and

  • (d) that institution serve as the continuing memory of the government of Canada and its institutions;

NOW, THEREFORE, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Library and Archives of Canada Act.

Interpretation and Application

Marginal note:Definitions

 The definitions in this section apply in this Act.

documentary heritage

patrimoine documentaire

documentary heritage means publications and records of interest to Canada. (patrimoine documentaire)

government institution

institution fédérale

government institution has the same meaning as in section 3 of the Access to Information Act or in section 3 of the Privacy Act or means an institution designated by the Governor in Council. (institution fédérale)

government record

document fédéral

government record means a record that is under the control of a government institution. (document fédéral)

Librarian and Archivist

Version anglaise seulement

Librarian and Archivist means the Librarian and Archivist of Canada appointed under subsection 5(1). (Version anglaise seulement)



Minister means the member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada who is designated by the Governor in Council as the Minister for the purposes of this Act. (ministre)

ministerial record

document ministériel

ministerial record means a record of a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada who holds the office of a minister and that pertains to that office, other than a record that is of a personal or political nature or that is a government record. (document ministériel)



publication means any library matter that is made available in multiple copies or at multiple locations, whether without charge or otherwise, to the public generally or to qualifying members of the public by subscription or otherwise. Publications may be made available through any medium and may be in any form, including printed material, on-line items or recordings. (publication)



record means any documentary material other than a publication, regardless of medium or form. (document)

  • 2004, c. 11, s. 2;
  • 2006, c. 9, s. 179.1;
  • 2015, c. 3, s. 130(F).
Marginal note:Application

 This Act binds Her Majesty in right of Canada.

Establishment and Organization

Marginal note:Establishment

 There is hereby established a branch of the federal public administration to be known as the Library and Archives of Canada presided over by the Minister and under the direction of the Librarian and Archivist.

  • 2004, c. 11, ss. 4, 54(E).
Marginal note:Appointment of Librarian and Archivist
  •  (1) The Governor in Council shall appoint an officer, to be called the Librarian and Archivist of Canada, to hold office during pleasure and to have the rank and powers of a deputy head of a department.

  • Marginal note:Acting Librarian and Archivist

    (2) If the Librarian and Archivist is absent or incapacitated or if the office of Librarian and Archivist is vacant, the Minister may appoint a person to act as Librarian and Archivist, but the term of such an appointment shall not exceed six months except with the approval of the Governor in Council.

Marginal note:Establishment of Advisory Council

 The Minister may establish an Advisory Council to advise the Librarian and Archivist with regard to making the documentary heritage known to Canadians and to anyone with an interest in Canada and facilitating access to it.

Objects and Powers

Marginal note:Objects

 The objects of the Library and Archives of Canada are

  • (a) to acquire and preserve the documentary heritage;

  • (b) to make that heritage known to Canadians and to anyone with an interest in Canada and to facilitate access to it;

  • (c) to be the permanent repository of publications of the Government of Canada and of government and ministerial records that are of historical or archival value;

  • (d) to facilitate the management of information by government institutions;

  • (e) to coordinate the library services of government institutions; and

  • (f) to support the development of the library and archival communities.

Marginal note:Powers of Librarian and Archivist
  •  (1) The Librarian and Archivist may do anything that is conducive to the attainment of the objects of the Library and Archives of Canada, including

    • (a) acquire publications and records or obtain the care, custody or control of them;

    • (b) take measures to catalogue, classify, identify, preserve and restore publications and records;

    • (c) compile and maintain information resources such as a national bibliography and a national union catalogue;

    • (d) provide information, consultation, research or lending services, as well as any other services for the purpose of facilitating access to the documentary heritage;

    • (e) establish programs and encourage or organize any activities, including exhibitions, publications and performances, to make known and interpret the documentary heritage;

    • (f) enter into agreements with other libraries, archives or institutions in and outside Canada;

    • (g) advise government institutions concerning the management of information produced or used by them and provide services for that purpose;

    • (h) provide leadership and direction for library services of government institutions;

    • (i) provide professional, technical and financial support to those involved in the preservation and promotion of the documentary heritage and in providing access to it; and

    • (j) carry out such other functions as the Governor in Council may specify.

  • Marginal note:Sampling from Internet

    (2) In exercising the powers referred to in paragraph (1)(a) and for the purpose of preservation, the Librarian and Archivist may take, at the times and in the manner that he or she considers appropriate, a representative sample of the documentary material of interest to Canada that is accessible to the public without restriction through the Internet or any similar medium.

Marginal note:Destruction or disposal
  •  (1) The Librarian and Archivist may dispose of any publication or record under his or her control, including by destruction, if he or she considers that it is no longer necessary to retain it.

  • Marginal note:Restriction

    (2) Any such disposition is subject to the terms and conditions under which the publication or record has been acquired or obtained.

Legal Deposit

Marginal note:Deposit of publications
  •  (1) Subject to the regulations, the publisher who makes a publication available in Canada shall, at the publisher’s own expense, provide two copies of the publication to the Librarian and Archivist — who shall acknowledge their receipt — within

    • (a) in any case other than one referred to in paragraph (b), seven days after the day it is made available; or

    • (b) in the case of a publication that is in a class prescribed under paragraph (2)(d), seven days after receiving a written request from the Librarian and Archivist or any longer period specified in the request.

  • Marginal note:Regulations

    (2) The Minister may make regulations for the purposes of this section, including regulations

    • (a) defining “publisher”;

    • (b) respecting any measures that must be taken to make the publications that use a medium other than paper and their contents accessible to the Librarian and Archivist;

    • (c) prescribing the classes of publications in respect of which only one copy is required to be provided; and

    • (d) prescribing the classes of publications in respect of which the obligation under subsection (1) applies only on a written request from the Librarian and Archivist.

  • Marginal note:Property

    (3) Publications provided to the Librarian and Archivist under this section belong to Her Majesty and form part of the collection of the Library and Archives of Canada.

  • Marginal note:Each version, edition or form of a publication

    (4) For the purposes of this section, every version, edition or form of a publication shall be considered a distinct publication.

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