Government of Canada Web Archive back online — improved

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is pleased to announce the return of its renewed and improved Government of Canada Web Archive (GCWA). The GCWA is a discovery and access portal for LAC’s collections of preserved web content from the Government of Canada as well as private websites. The return of the GCWA is a major milestone for LAC. Acquiring Canadian web content allows the preservation of 20th- and 21st-century digital heritage while it is still available and will guarantee access in the future.

The renewed GCWA launches with the following curated collections:

  • COVID-19. No other organization in the world has documented the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Canada to the depth and breadth that LAC has. This collection shows the response from public health agencies, governments, charities and other groups. It also documents the impact of the pandemic on life in Canada.
  • Government of Canada. This collection provides access to most of the Government of Canada web resources captured from 2005 to the present.
  • Truth and Reconciliation. This collection gives access to copies of the websites of organizations involved with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. The collection is the result of LAC’s collaboration with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, the University of Winnipeg Library, and the University of Manitoba Libraries.

GCWA users can also discover and access the content of thematic research collections (e.g. the first and third collections above) by sub-theme. For instance, they could search for all content collected on the sub-theme of “economic impact on Canada of COVID-19.”

To help users, the portal now features better search functions, such as:

  • Advanced search;
  • Full-text search;
  • Exclusions; and
  • Ability to limit search to
    • collection
    • keywords
    • exact phrase
    • URL/domain
    • electronic resource type (e.g. PDF, DOC, XLS, HTML)
    • date range

The GCWA provides access to approximately 75 terabytes of preserved websites in total. Additional collections will be curated and made available in the future.

Collecting web content has been part of LAC’s mandate since 2004 under the Library and Archives of Canada Act, subsection 8(2).

Associated links