All records in our collection have an access code.
How to find the access code
- Go to the Collection Search record description.
- Click to expand the Ordering and viewing options.
- The code appears under Conditions of access in the far right column.
Types of restrictions
- Open (code 90)
There are no restrictions on this material and it can be accessed by anyone.
- Open, no copying (code 95)
The records are open and you can consult them. At the request of the donor, you can't copy or reproduce the records.
- Government restrictions (code 32)
You're not allowed to view material that contains sensitive information about:
- national security
- other governments
- police services
- program operations
- personal information
- medical records
- legal records
The Access to Information Act lists these restrictions under sections 13 to 26, 68 and 69. The Privacy Act lists them under sections 18 to 28, 69 and 70.
Canadian military services files after 1919 or other Government of Canada records (including records about LAC) contain sensitive information.
- Private records restrictions (code 18 and 10)
After individuals or groups donate records, LAC sets conditions for access. We make records open and available to the public as much as possible.
Private records often have sensitive content like personal information, medical or legal records. Some private records include government information about restricted topics. Topics include national security, other governments, police services, and program operations.
Private records may be closed for a specified time to protect sensitive information. Sometimes there can be certain conditions for accessing these records.
- Restricted (code 18)
You can access these through an application procedure established by the donor. These restrictions affect what you can consult, as well as what you can copy.
- Closed (code 10)
You can't consult these records. Sometimes a donor has specified a review date restriction for material. After a certain date, you can't consult them until someone reviews the records.
- Restrictions vary (code 96)
Within a group of records, there are more than one type of access condition. For example, a fonds may contain records that are open (code 90) and some restricted records (code 32). Thus the restrictions vary (code 96).
Access code 96 applies to more than fonds-level descriptions. A series, sub-series and accessions can have code 96 applied. It does not apply to individual volumes and files.
Access code 96 usually means that there are more specific descriptions available. In some cases, you can access records by clicking View lower level description(s). This button is available in the record description, under the Record information - Details section.
- To be determined / closed pending processing (code 99)
Access conditions for a group of records have yet to be determined. Usually this is because the records are being processed. For example, while the photographic material is open, the access conditions for the textual records are not yet determined.
Some material may be restricted for preservation reasons. This material is not available for viewing or copying because the material is:
- too fragile to handle or to transport
- getting conservation treatment
- too large for us to move it to a research room
- being copied or is being moved to a new location
In some cases, you can arrange to view fragile material with the help of our staff. We might also ask you to use another format to protect the original.
LAC holds a mix of public and private material, both published and unpublished, much of which is still protected by copyright. Sometimes LAC is the copyright owner. Often, LAC is not the copyright owner. An author, a creator, or the government can also be a copyright owner.
If you want to use copies outside of personal research reasons, LAC will let you know if you need written consent from the copyright owner.