Discover Library and Archives Canada’s Exciting Open House Event

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Members of the public will be allowed to tour laboratories and vaults. (Annie Bergeron-Oliver)



“Explore Canada’s Rich Heritage at Library and Archives Canada Open House”

Have you ever wanted to get a closer look at some of Canada’s most precious historical artifacts? Well, now is your chance! Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is opening its doors to the public this weekend for a special open house event. This rare opportunity will allow visitors to step inside two of LAC’s largest facilities and discover the wealth of Canadian history that lies within.

State-of-the-Art Storage Facility

One of the highlights of the open house is the guided access to LAC’s Gatineau Preservation Campus, which is home to a brand new, state-of-the-art storage facility. This facility, which opened in November 2022, is the world’s largest automated storage facility for archival records. Not only is it an impressive feat for the Government of Canada, but it is also net zero carbon, showcasing a commitment to sustainability.

Rich Collection of Canadian Heritage

Library and Archives Canada boasts the fifth largest collection in the world for heritage organizations. With over 20 million books, 250 linear kilometres of government and private textual records, 3 million architectural drawings, 425,000 works of art, 550,000 hours of audio and video recordings, and the largest Canadian sheet music collection in the world, the collection truly reflects the diverse stories of Canada.

Reflecting Everyone’s Stories

Leslie Weir, the Librarian and Archivist of Canada at Library and Archives Canada, emphasizes the importance of representing the many histories of Canada. The collection is a treasure trove of unique items, from a globe from 1695 to a paper dress from the 1968 campaign for Pierre Elliot Trudeau. It also includes extensive collections on events like Expo 67 and Olympic sports, showcasing the breadth of Canadian history.

Innovative Preservation Methods

One of the most fascinating aspects of LAC’s facilities is the new Preservation Storage Facility. With a storage capacity equivalent to eight and a half Olympic-sized swimming pools, the facility is fully automated, allowing robots to easily access artifacts. Each vault is designed to preserve items for up to 500 years, ensuring that even the most delicate pieces will stand the test of time.

Join the Journey Through History

As part of the open house event, visitors will have the opportunity to tour laboratories, meet LAC specialists, and see some of the national treasures up close. The Library and Archives Canada Preservation Campus will be open to the public on Friday, May 24th, and Saturday, May 25th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free, and no registration is required.

Conclusion

The Library and Archives Canada open house is not just a chance to view historical artifacts, but a journey through the diverse and rich tapestry of Canadian history. By opening its doors to the public, LAC is inviting everyone to explore and engage with the stories that have shaped our nation. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to connect with Canada’s heritage and uncover the treasures that lie within Library and Archives Canada.



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