How to Order Digitized Reproductions and Help Build the Digital Collection

Do you need a reproduction of an item in the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) collection? If so, follow the easy instructions and useful tips below to make the process a seamless one!

  1. Go to our online Order Form.
  2. Read the instructions carefully and select all mandatory options. (If you select purposes other than research or private study under Declaration of Use, your request may be subject to copyright restrictions.)
  3. Select Continue to go to the next page.
  4. Choose the reproduction format you wish to receive. (Each of the six format options varies in price.)
  5. Fill out the Item Description section, providing the reference number and all relevant information for the material you wish to have reproduced. When you are done, select the Add to shopping cart button to review your order.
  6. Select the Checkout button once you have all the items you need. This will bring you to the Client Information/Method of Shipping and Billing page where you can finalize your order.
  7. You can submit your order online or print the form and send it by fax or mail. Select the option you prefer at the end of the form.


  • Provide your contact information when you finalize your order so LAC staff can inform you of any restrictions.
  • Visit our Price List and Service Standardsto find out how much your order will cost and when you can expect to receive it.
  • Choose the Photocopy or PDF option to receive a reproduction of a textual document; choose the Digital Copy option for copies of photographs and larger items.
  • Access Examples of Reference Numbers to find out what information we need to process your order.
  • Complete the form with as much detail and information as you can to help us process your order quickly and easily.


Did you know that you can help make a broader range of LAC holdings available to others? You can do this by choosing the PDF option (either the URL link by email or the CD) when you order a complete file—for example, a soldier’s file from the First World War. Your images can then be repurposed for the LAC website, whenever permissible. Help us build the LAC digital collection; the URL link will save you money on shipping fees too!

Questions or comments? We would love to hear from you!

How to Order Military Records from the Personnel Records Unit

The Personnel Records Unit at Library and Archives Canada manages all Canadian military service files from 1919–1998 for Regular members, and until 2007 for Reserve members. These files have some access restrictions, which means that not everyone can view them because they are protected by the provisions of privacy legislation. Each file contains an individual’s personal information and details of employment history.

If you are interested in receiving your own or another individual’s record, please read and follow the steps in the Application for Military Service Information form. You must submit this form only if you wish to receive a military service file from 1919–1997, including those files of soldiers from the Second World War (not killed in action).

You can also request a Genealogy Package to receive military records of soldiers from the Second World War (killed in action). The package includes copies of selected documents from the file that highlight and summarize an individual’s service, including enlistment, units served, family details, etc. Your request must include the name, service number, archival reference and volume number, which you can find by searching the Second World War Service Files: Canadian Armed Forces War Dead database.

Requests for a Genealogy Package can be submitted online via the Genealogy Inquiry Form or by mail or fax to:

ATIP and Personnel Records Division
Library and Archives Canada
395 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0N4
Fax: 613-947-8456

Lastly, to order military records from the First World War, please consult our past blog post entitled “Canadians and the First World War”.

Questions, comments or feedback? We would love to hear from you!

Summary of comments received in French up to September 30th, 2013

Summary of comments received in French between April 1, 2014 and June 30, 2014

  • An elderly client requests some assistance looking for their father’s service file of the First World War.

What’s New? New Digitized Reels: War Graves Registers of the First World War

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is pleased to announce that you can now access 127,632 new images of war graves registers of the First World War on our website.

The volumes or registers form part of the series Accession RG 150, 1992-93/314, which holds records related to the death of service personnel from both the First and Second World Wars.

Discover these valuable resources with the Microform Digitization research tool, which allows you to browse page by page the Commonwealth War Graves Registers (volumes 39 to 144), also known as the Black Binders, and the Circumstances of Death Registers (volumes 145 to 238), also known as the Brown Binders.

As part of our commitment to provide Canadians everywhere with access to rich and varied holdings, LAC intends to continue digitizing other volumes from the same series in the near future.

For more information on recent announcements at LAC, visit “News”.

A Brief Introduction to Archival and Published Material Research

Archival Documents

Archives Search provides general information on all of our archival documents, such as maps, correspondence, photographs, diaries and audiovisual material. However, some of our holdings are also described individually in detail (down to the item level).

For example, the documents in the Transport Canada collection are described broadly in this database and include some airplane accident reports, which are described in more detail.  However, in the majority of cases, you will only find general references to these accident reports.

Published Documents

Library Search functions similarly to the Archives Search. It provides general descriptions of published material, such as newspapers, books, or magazines in our holdings.

For example, in the case of magazines, you will only find general information about the publication (title, publisher, etc.), but you will not find a complete list of all the years that we possess. In addition, the description does not include the titles of the articles that are published in the magazine.

Additionally, your research may prove unsuccessful if the keywords used are not recognized by the search engine. If this happens, try searching using a synonym or an alternate spelling of the keyword.

Questions, comments or feedback? We would love to hear from you!

What’s New? New Functionality for the Second World War Service Files: Canadian Armed Forces War Dead Database

A new functionality was recently added to the Second World War Service Files: Canadian Armed Forces War Dead database. It is now possible to add a keyword to narrow down a search, and specifically, to identify soldiers who died in the Battle of Hong Kong.

In November of 1941, almost 2,000 members of the Royal Rifles of Canada and the Winnipeg Grenadiers were sent to bolster the British colony’s defences. Soon afterwards, the colony was attacked by the Japanese Empire. Combat losses were heavy: over 290 soldiers died during the battle and 493 were wounded. All the survivors were taken as prisoners of war and during the next four years an additional 300 soldiers would die in captivity. The Battle of Hong Kong began on December 8, 1941 and lasted 17 days. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the battle.

For more information on recent announcements at LAC, visit “News”.

Canadians and the First World War: Discover our Collection

Did you know that there are several places on our website where you can find information about Canadians during the First World War? What pages to visit depends on what kind of information you are looking for. Below is a quick summary of frequently searched information.

Are you looking for:

  • Information about an individual soldier (for example, the soldier’s name, hometown, medical information and medals)?

If so, you will need the soldier’s service file. To locate this information, you may search a solider’s name and/or regimental number in our Soldiers of the First World War (Canadian Expeditionary Force) database . If you would like more information, please visit the Military page on our Genealogy and Family History website.

  • What battles a soldier or unit fought in?

This information is not in the service files of individual soldiers. You will need to look at a published history of the unit or at the unit’s war diary. To find a published history, search for the unit’s name in our Library Search database. To find a war diary, start with our Genealogy and Family History website.

  • Other information that Library and Archives Canada might hold on the First World War?

Start with our online exhibition, entitled Canada At War: A Guide to Library and Archives Canada’s Websites Recalling the Canadian War Experience.

  • A more detailed guide on researching Canadians in the First World War?

Legion Magazine published an article entitled “Researching War Veterans: 6 Steps to Discovery”. It is a step-by-step guide to researching veterans. Also of interest, may be a book entitled Canadians at War 1914–1919, A Research Guide to World War One Service Records, published in 2010 by Global Heritage Press.  Both publications were written by historian Glenn Wright.

Questions or comments? We would love to hear from you!

Summary of comments received in French up to September 30th, 2013

  • Additional information about an article written by Glen Wright was provided. This article was published in Legion Magazine, September/October 2011, (vol. 86, no 5, pages 18-22).

What’s New? The Launch of our Corporate Website

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) recently announced the launch of our corporate website, a complement to the established site that features our rich and varied holdings.

Browse the new LAC corporate website.

Visit our Discover the Collection website.

These enhancements are part of LAC‘s commitment to provide you with greater and easier access to discover the collection while keeping abreast of our corporate activities and initiatives. In making a clear distinction between what we have and who we are, LAC is better able to offer you the services and tools you need to find the information you want right away.

Our evolving presence on the Web has two primary goals:

  • to provide a searchable, accessible “collections” site with information on LAC holdings of Canadian documentary heritage; and
  • to provide clear information on LAC‘s role as a department of the Government of Canada.

For more information on recent announcements at LAC, visit “News”.