Librarian and Archivist of Canada announces National Heritage Digitization Strategy collaboration

News Release

June 3, 2016—Ottawa—Library and Archives Canada (LAC)

Dr. Guy Berthiaume, the Librarian and Archivist of Canada, today announced the launch of the National Heritage Digitization Strategy (NHDS) at the Canadian Library Association Forum in Ottawa.

The strategy will reposition Canada and provide a cohesive path toward the digitization of Canadian memory institutions’ collections, thus ensuring the institutions remain relevant in the digital age by making their collections easily accessible.

The strategy will ensure the long-term viability of documentary heritage records by encouraging quality, standards-based efforts. It will complement the strategies developed by Canadian memory institutions and assist them in fulfilling their goals, while ensuring that a national plan of action is in place.

The NHDS will cover published and unpublished analogue material of national, regional and local significance and will draw from the collections of public and private archives, libraries, museums, galleries, associations and other memory institutions.

A National Steering Committee will be created in the fall to develop digitization initiatives and will include creators, writers, cultural communities and end users as well as representatives from libraries, archives, museums, galleries and universities.  Library and Archives Canada has established a secretariat to support the work of the National Steering Committee.

Quick Facts

  • Several organizations collaborated to develop the strategy and will be among the early adopters when it is implemented. These early adopters include the Toronto Public Library, Vancouver Public Library, University of Toronto libraries, the Ottawa Public Library and the Bibliothèque de l’Université Laval.
  • Funding will come from different sources, both governmental and non-governmental. The Salamander Foundation, which donates funds to programs related to Arts and Culture and the Environment, has already pledged to support the Strategy.


“As Minister of Canadian Heritage, I would like to salute Library and Archives Canada and everyone who will be working together to develop the national Documentary Heritage Digitization Strategy.  Many thanks for helping ensure the continuity of our documentary heritage!”

– The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“Vancouver Public Library has a long tradition in digitizing unique local heritage resources and has partnered with local groups to capture oral histories and to digitize important local community-based artifacts that are at risk of loss. A national strategy will allow us to align our work with memory institutions across the country, enabling the amplification of our community’s character, experiences, and history. We are delighted to see the launch of the Canadian Heritage Digitization Strategy.”

– Sandra Singh, Chief Librarian - Vancouver Public Library

“The development of the National Heritage Digitization Strategy was made possible through the collaboration of several memory institutions across Canada. Library and Archives Canada has been pleased to work with these organizations and we look forward to continuing our collaboration in the coming years.”

– Dr. Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada—Library and Archives Canada

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About Library and Archives Canada

The mandate of Library and Archives Canada is to preserve the documentary heritage of Canada for the benefit of present and future generations, and to be a source of enduring knowledge accessible to all, thereby contributing to the cultural, social and economic advancement of Canada. Library and Archives Canada also facilitates co-operation among communities involved in the acquisition, preservation and diffusion of knowledge, and serves as the continuing memory of the Government of Canada and its institutions. Stay connected with Library and Archives Canada on Twitter (@LibraryArchives), Facebook, Flickr and YouTube.

At the launch of the National Heritage Digitization Strategy (from left to right): Danielle McDonald, Ottawa Public Library, Guy Berthiaume, Library and Archives Canada and Sandra Singh, Vancouver Public Library

At the launch of the National Heritage Digitization Strategy (from left to right): Danielle McDonald, Ottawa Public Library, Guy Berthiaume, Library and Archives Canada and Sandra Singh, Vancouver Public Library

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