Library and Archives Canada
Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is the federal institution tasked with preserving the documentary heritage of Canada and is the result of the merging of The National Library of Canada and the National Archives of Canada in 2004 by an Act of Parliament. LAC has been housed at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa since 1967. This facility is the forward facing services of LAC including reference services and has been used to exhibit archives from its collection including its vast portrait holdings. In 2015, after a nearly four year exhibition hiatus, Library and Archives Canada has reinstated its exhibition program and is currently in the process of expansion.
Lord Cultural Resources was engaged by Library and Archives Canada to evaluate its current exhibition program and to provide recommendations for expanded capacity. LAC’s exhibition program was assessed within multiple development scenarios. Our analysis identified critical issues and opportunities facing the LAC exhibition department. These findings were informed by a series of interviews with LAC staff, opinion leaders and partner institutions, staff workshops and comparable organizations. We applied our experience and judgment to identify a series of challenges in the areas of operations and facilities, communications, public and educational programming, partnerships and outreach and recommendations intended to help guide the LAC exhibition program as they transition to new roles and expand the program. The resulting recommendations were aspirational as well as actionable and implementable.