In the spring of 2017, historians, researchers and the public on the West Coast will have easier access to services and extensive online collections from the national archive thanks to a new arrangement between Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and the Vancouver Public Library.
LAC will offer in-person orientation and reference services to the public from a service desk located within the Special Collections area of the 7th floor of VPL's Central Library in downtown Vancouver. Visitors will have access to specialized databases and a vast collection of digital online content such as census files, photos, films, sound recordings, art, maps, and more.
The announcement was made on October 5, 2016 by Sandra Singh, VPL's chief librarian, and Dr. Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada. “This is an exciting partnership, and it represents an important opportunity for VPL to support the expanding reach of Canada’s national heritage institution," said Singh. "In concert with VPL Special Collections, this will bring together an extraordinary suite of heritage resources, not only connecting to Vancouver and British Columbia but on the national level as well.”
“Having a significant footprint on the West Coast is a priority for Library and Archives Canada and this new partnership represents an exciting opportunity," Berthiaume said. "It will allow us to offer greatly enhanced in-person services thanks to this collaboration with the Vancouver Public Library, an institution renowned for being at the cutting-edge of innovation.”
LAC currently has a warehouse and offices in Burnaby where researchers can access the local collection. Those visiting the new service point will continue to have access to the archival records created by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), and its predecessor institutions in BC and the Yukon. The remainder of the archival collections from Burnaby will be available for consultation at LAC’s facility in Ottawa or by obtaining copies through LAC’s reprography service.