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July 6, 2009


Patrick Dare, The Ottawa Citizen - A moratorium on buying new materials at Library and Archives Canada has some people wondering whether important cultural and historical documents could be lost to the country.

On May 19, an e-mail went out from Library and Archives informing its suppliers of an immediate halt to paid acquisitions as part of a review of policies by the new senior managers. It was a move that has shocked some librarians and archivists.

"It's just not done. It's just silly. It's like cutting the oxygen off," said Michel Brisebois, former curator of rare books at Library and Archives. "That's not acceptable for a national library.". . .

He said sending out a communication to suppliers that you are no longer buying will take Library and Archives off the radar of people such as rare booksellers. He said this is risky because there will be occasions when treasured cultural materials of national significance come on the market. . .

Library and Archives Canada receives copies of books published in Canada and has material donated. But it relies on acquisitions for things such as books written about Canada abroad.

David Ewens, of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of Canada, said dealers such as himself have sold all kinds of Canadiana to Library and Archives over the years, including early Canadian election posters and advertising posters, photographs and maps.


Anonymous Axel in Montreal said...

Well, it's more than a "major Canadian library". It is the equivalent of your Library of Congress and NARA in one great institution. Idiocies like this happen when conservatives are in power. They do damage every day.

July 14, 2009 1:31 AM  

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