Library and Archives Canada (French: Bibliothèque et Archives Canada) is a new cultural institution created by the Parliament of Canada in 2004 (S.C. 2004, c.11). Its director with the rank of deputy head of a department is known as the Librarian and Archivist of Canada. The first holder of this title is the former National archivist Ian E. Wilson.
It merges the Public Archives of Canada founded in 1872 and the National Library of Canada founded in 1953. Its purpose is to collect and preserve the documentary heritage of Canada through texts, pictures and other documents relevant to the culture of Canada and the politics of Canada. Archival and library material are acquired from government departments, national groups or organizations, private donors, and legal deposit. The maximum fine for not obeying legal deposit is defined by Section 735 of the Canadian Criminal Code as $100,000.
The building of Library and Archives Canada was opened on June 20, 1967 by Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson with 400,000 volumes of information which has grown to over 18,000,000. After the merger there are now slightly more than 1,100 employees in the Library and Archives.
The Secret Bench of Knowledge
The official entrance and the public services are located in Ottawa, Ontario at 395 Wellington Street, near other significant buildings such as Parliament Hill, the Supreme Court of Canada and others. Located at the front of the building is a sculpture named The Secret Bench of Knowledge by Lea Vivot. The building has five floors and covers 52,600 square metres. It was built for a cost of $13,000,000. The administrative units, including the sections responsible for acquisitions (gifts, purchases, and legal deposit), cataloguing, ISBN numbering, conservation and other matters, have long ago overflowed from the main building to several other venues on or around Wellington Street. As of autumn 2004 the 600 or 700 employees in these units will be consolidated in a temporary building in Gatineau, Quebec about 12 km to the North and to the East.
- Bibliothèque nationale du Québec
Former National Archivists
- 1872-1902 Douglas Brymner (1823-1902)
- 1904-1935 Sir Arthur George Doughty (1860-1936) - a statue of Doughty is located on the north side of the Library and Archives building.
- 1948-1968 William Kaye Lamb (1904-1999)
- Wlfrid I. Smith (1919-1998)
- 1985-1997 Jean-Pierre Wallot
- 1997-2004 Ian E. Wilson
Former National Librarians
- 1953-1967 William Kaye Lamb (1904-1999)
- 1958-1983 Guy Sylvestre (1918- )
- 1984-1999 Marianne Scott
- 1999-2004 Roch Carrier
- Library and Archives Canada Official Website (English) (http://www.collectionscanada.ca/index-e.html) (French) (http://www.collectionscanada.ca/index-f.html)