Terms and conditions
User cards are valid for two years and allow you to consult published and archival materials. Library and Archives Canada (LAC) reserves the right to cancel the user privileges of any person who contravenes the terms and conditions of this agreement. Please report the loss or theft of your user card immediately to LAC.
Users must wear their user card and it must be visible at all times while using the research facilities of LAC.
Use of LAC facilities
If an alarm bell rings, you must evacuate the building immediately. Use the stairs, not the elevator. Once outside gather at one of the assembly points to the east or west side of the building. At all times during the evacuation, users must follow the instructions of personnel or the emergency staff. If you need help during emergency evacuations, you're responsible for letting the commissionaires know. Each time you enter the building, let them know of your specific needs. You can find commissionaires on the main floor.
You must sign in and out at the security desk each time you enter and exit the building. If you received a key, it's not allowed to leave the facility.
The public spaces and research facilities are under video surveillance.
For health and safety reasons, you must keep your footwear on at all times. We don't want you to create the potential for hazardous situations such as tripping.
Users must leave all personal belongings in the ground-floor cloakroom or lockers. This includes:
- food and beverages
- any other items that LAC alone deems harmful to the collection material or the facilities or could inconvenience others
You're allowed to bring the following items into the research facilities:
- one bag (no larger than 25 cm x 25 cm x 30 cm)
- a laptop
- a camera
- research material
You can pick up plastic bags for carrying these items at the commissionaires' desk. Commissionaire's will check the contents of all bags and materials you bring into the research facilities. We're not responsible for the loss, damage or theft of personal effects belonging to users.
You must turn off your cellular phone ringer in the research facilities. Phone conversations must not take place in these areas.
You're not allowed to access staff areas or offices. To access them, you'll need to make special arrangements and access them with a staff member.
You must conduct yourself in an appropriate manner and refrain from any inconvenient or annoying behaviour. We won't tolerate loud, threatening, disrespectful or abusive language or behaviour.
LAC encourages and supports a scent-free environment.
LAC's research facilities provide internet access on its computers. Users with their own computer have acess to complimentary wireless internet. When accessing the internet, you're not allowed to:
- play computer games
- download software
- send, receive, or display text or graphics that are illegal, obscene or offensive
In times of increased demand, we may impose a time limit on computer use.
Care of LAC collections
The holdings of LAC are unique and often fragile. We must preserve them for future generations.
Users are responsible for all collection material loaned to them. You can't remove the following documents from specified rooms unless authorized by staff:
- reference material consulted in the reference rooms
- collection material consulted in the consultation rooms
You can store some collection material in lockers on the third floor. Do not leave collection material unattended. You'll need to return them to the Consultation Desk or to your assigned locker when leaving the Consultation Room. Unauthorized removal of material from the premises or damage to material may result in sanctions under Canada's Criminal Code. LAC reserves the right to impose limits on the amount of material you can sign out at any one time.
You must handle documents as little as possible and with extreme care. Some documents might be in poor condition. On rare occasions, documents may contain mould. Please notify staff immediately of any suspected problems. Hands must be clean and free of hand lotion or cream before you handle collection material.
Don't rearrange the order of archival material. Work with one file at a time. Mark the page/file place by using paper flags provided by staff. Also use paper flags to mark pages for copying. Realign documents in the file folders before returning the material to its container. Do not tap folders down on the table; please realign documents manually. Do not remove documents from protective sleeves. Keep the lids of boxes closed to avoid light damage to the documents contained inside.
Don't stack or overlap documents and do not lean on them; do not press down on documents and bound materials. Staff will provide special mounts to consult and photograph documents.
You'll need to use pencils when working in the:
- Textual Documents Consultation Room
- Restricted Documents Consultation Room
- Special Collections Consultation Room
Pens, felt-tip markers and adhesive labels are not allowed.
Don't annotate, mark, tear, fold or damage collection material. Please do not remove paper clips, staples, pins, string or any other fasteners.
- Be careful when handling specialized collection material such as:
- fragile items
Our staff will let you know of other procedures specific to the collection.
Reproduction of LAC collections
Three types of access and copying restrictions may apply to the holdings of LAC:
Users must respect all three.
Users agree that they will not use LAC collections in a way that infringes the rights of others. You assume liability for the use of a copy. LAC accepts no responsibility for unauthorized use of collection material by users.
Reproductions made by the user will not be represented as an official version of the documents reproduced or as having been made in affiliation with, or with the endorsement of LAC.
LAC provides self-serve photocopiers. Terms posted at the copiers govern the use of the photocopiers. This includes a licence from Access Copyright. The copiers may be used only to make copies of published material (e.g., books, magazines, newspapers). For preservation reasons, researchers are forbidden to copy archival documents (those contained in cardboard boxes) at the self-serve photocopier station.
LAC provides self-serve microform printers and microform scanners for use by researchers. You can only use these machines to make copies of unrestricted collection material.
In the research facilities, you can use a camera to obtain copies of the collection material. Users must complete a Self-Serve Photography Application and get authorization from staff. The application form must be visible on the table where the copying is to take place. This allows staff and commissionaires to identify which users have proper authorization. This service is available during service and opening hours. Note that you can only get authorization from a staff member during service hours.
The source of the material and its reference number should always go with the copy. We'll provide a template so that you can capture the source of the material and its reference number in the reproduction.
You must attach your camera to a neck or wrist strap, which you'll wear while photographing images. Users must not stand on tables or chairs or place collection material on the floor to capture an image. Do not:
- place tripods on top of documents
- obstruct aisles in the research facilities with photographic equipment, especially tripods
You're not allowed to use equipment which can have negative effects on the preservation of documents. This includes but is not limited to flash photography and scanners. LAC reserves the right to refuse the use of any device. Staff will inspect photographic equipment for its suitability.
We value peoples privacy, so you're not allowed to photograph anyone without their express permission. You also cannot photograph our research and exhibition facilities without our express permission.