Access to Information and Privacy legislation or Donor restrictions and how they affect your access to our collections

Did you know that both government and non-government records held in the archival collections of Library and Archives Canada (LAC) are subject to access restrictions?

For federal government records, the Access to Information Act gives Canadian citizens the right to access information. It is also important to note that, in Canada, there is no “30-year rule” that applies to government documents, even if such rules exist in other countries.

For archival fonds or collections donated by private individuals, there will often be restrictions on research access. These are sometimes called “Donor restrictions.”

For access to both federal government records and documents donated by private individuals, legal mechanisms are involved and must be respected without exception.
So when you need to consult restricted material at LAC, you must factor into your project deadlines the time required to process your request. Processing time will vary based on the request and the materials involved.

For more information on restrictions and how to request access, please consult the Discover the Access Codes for Archival Records at Library and Archives Canada Part I and Part II pages on our blog.