Preserving Canada's Memory

The rising influence of digital communications and social media has created significant challenges for the institutions responsible for preserving Canada's memory. Archivists, librarians and historians are working to determine whether to store new forms of communication, including blogs, emails and tweets, and how to make them accessible to future generations.

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has begun to address these challenges by modernizing the methods used to manage its vast collections and working with other organizations who have similar mandates. By implementing a new framework to better acquire, preserve and discover Canada's documentary heritage, LAC will be better positioned to identify and store relevant digital information, connect with more Canadians, and respond to new challenges well into the future.

In order to help realize this important opportunity, Canada's Public Policy Forum assembled and engaged senior business, government, non-profit and academic leaders to explore how stakeholders might work together to develop common approaches to these challenges. Structured as a multi-themed roundtable series, Preserving Canada's Memory is seeking to provide clarity on key questions, including:

• What digital information should our memory institutions preserve?
• How should these institutions most effectively make information available to Canadians?
• And, is guaranteeing authenticity in a digital era still possible or desirable?

In 2012 we convened roundtable sessions in Halifax, Edmonton and Montreal that provided valuable insight into the challenges private, public and non-profit organizations face when preserving and accessing vast amounts of information in a digital era. In 2013, we plan to build on these three roundtable discussions by bringing together a select group of multi-sector stakeholders in Toronto and Ottawa to help identify whether and how LAC might develop a collaborative network that helps to establish consistent practices across sectors and identifies new technologies for the preservation and dissemination of information.

For more information, please contact:
James Mclean
Research Associate
(613) 238-7858 ext. 225

Thank you to our partner:


Toronto Roundtable Summary Report

Halifax Roundtable Summary Report

Main Findings Report

Montreal Roundtable Summary Report