Are you missing out on the joy of podcasts?

A screenshot of the podcast page of the Library and Archives Canada.

There is a podcast for everyone on the LAC website

Podcasts have been around for many years, but in case you are not aware, here is some information.  Podcasts are sometimes described as internet radio that you can listen to on demand. They are series of episodes released online in the form of individual digital media files. Once downloaded, podcast episodes can be listened to anytime, anywhere. One of the reasons that podcasts are so popular is the variety in style, form and content that they offer listeners. They can act as informal think tanks, offer a space for storytelling, keep us informed about current events, delve into niche topics, and expose us to a myriad of new ideas.

A black-and-white photograph of a crowd of people around a white aircraft.

The rollout of the first Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow in Malton, Ontario, October 4, 1957. The people in the crowd give a sense of the size of the aircraft. (e999912501)

In the case of our own podcast, Discover Library and Archives Canada, the medium acts as a gateway to Library and Archives Canada’s (LAC’s) rich and extensive collection. In the podcast, we explore a wide range of topics related to Canada’s documentary heritage. Whether we’re discussing an early pannotype with a Photo Conservator,  delving into the controversial story of the Avro Arrow or spotlighting the remarkable life of Tom Longboat, our podcast informs, surprises and entertains.

Our dedicated team of podcasters labours over each podcast episode. With such abundant archival and bibliographic collections to pull inspiration from, selecting topics for upcoming episodes can be quite the task. However, through brainstorming sessions, research and meeting with experts, the team is able to choose topics that it feels listeners will find fascinating.

A colour image of a paper case with red velvet. On the right-hand side, a black-and-white photograph in a brass mat of a man wearing a dark jacket.

A pannotype of an unknown sitter, in a paper case (e011200812_s15-v8)

Next, discussions with the experts are recorded, and then the behind-the-scenes magic begins. Our multimedia production specialists spend hours editing the material in order to select conversational gems from the recordings and stitch them together into a cohesive, streamlined whole. Multiply that by two—because in order for all Canadians to enjoy the podcast, we produce French and English versions of each episode.

To date, we have released 67 full length podcast episodes and 5 shorter ones in our Treasures Revealed  series and our listeners seem thrilled. The popularity of the episodes consistently places LAC’s podcast in the top rankings of its category on iTunes. The breadth of topics covered in our podcast, and the depth of knowledge shared by the subject experts we interview, allow Discover Library and Archives Canada to make a valuable contribution to the international landscape of podcasting.

If you haven’t listened to it yet, it’s time to check it out. Listen to episodes in the car, while doing dishes, alone or with friends. Discover Library and Archives Canada is the perfect cure for boredom and will draw you into the fascinating world of Canada’s cultural heritage as it can be found in our wonderful collection.

A black-and-white photograph of two men in First World War military uniforms smiling and buying a newspaper from a young boy. The man on the right is accepting a newspaper from the boy and giving him money in exchange.

Private Tom Longboat, the Onondaga long-distance runner, buying a newspaper from a French boy, June 1917. (a001479)

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