Order archival material

While many items are available online, you'll need to consult the majority of the collection at LAC in person.

Order material online

Material in Vancouver and Winnipeg

The instructions on this page only apply to archival holdings in Ottawa. For holdings in Vancouver or Winnipeg, you'll need to order them separately.

To make a request

  • Contact the Vancouver or Winnipeg location.
  • Fill out and return a Retrieval Request Form.
    • Make sure to provide complete references (including titles and reference numbers)

Textual documents, photos and video

You'll need to go onsite at 395 Wellington Street in downtown Ottawa to consult most of the collection. Documents must remain in consultation rooms. Ordering materials before your visit will make your trip more efficient. Documents in various preservation facilities are only open to LAC staff.

We recommend that clients order material 10 business days in advance of their visits. We are only able to retrieve documents twice per week and we only process requests during working hours.

Onsite clients can request textual archival records using the paper Request for Archival Material form. You can find copies of this form in the Textual Documents Consultation Room on the 3rd floor.

Lockers are available for short-term storage of documents. Book one onsite from our staff at a circulation desk or in the Additional Information field when you order materials in advance.


We hold almost 400,000 microforms that you can order through our Material Retrieval form.

If you're onsite, we have copies of 40,000 of some of the most commonly-used microforms.  

Access them through the self-service section in the Microform Consultation Room.

  • Find a reel using the card catalogue.
  • Select it from the shelf.
  • Load it into a machine.

When you're done, leave the reel on the used shelf and our staff will return it to the right place.

Special collections

We store the Preservation collection, including rare book or fragile published material offsite. You'll need to consult it in the Special Collections Consultation Room.

To consult some originals, you may need to book an appointment at the Preservation Centre in Gatineau. If necessary, LAC will contact you to set up a date and time after you submit your request.