Austerity obliterates history: Canadian heritage docs no longer available through interlibrary loan

A reader writes, "Canadian heritage documents that used to be accessible through inter-library loan will be no longer accessible. If you want to access documents of Canada's history, be prepared to do some traveling, and even at that, those documents may no longer exist since standards of preservation may be compromised. This is of particular concern since the Harper government has revealed revisionist tendencies in the past."

From Laura Mueller in Nepean/Barrhaven Local Community News:

"Unless something is done soon, Canadians are at risk of losing key parts of their historical and cultural record," Harder wrote to Minister James Moore. "Preservation of our country's heritage is not something we can afford to sacrifice."

The Ottawa Public Library system relies on the national library for key Canadian heritage documents accessible through inter-library loans.

"It's going to have a huge impact on inter-library loans," said Jennifer Stirling, OPL's manager of service and innovation. "(The archives contains) Canadiana that just can't be replicated elsewhere ... it's very sad to see this happen."

Here's the national campaign to save Canada's archives.

Federal archive cutbacks impact local libraries, Canadian heritage archives will no longer be accessible by inter-library loan


  1. Hzarper’s Bazaar and the Americanization of Canada. Soon enough I will be able to cross the border and live in poverty but warmth year round.

  2. I don’t see how this is political.  It seems reasonable for any library system to restrict circulation of valuable, perishable, out-of-print materials.  Sounds more likely to be a mere coincidence that it is happening under Harper.

    If people really care about having easy access to this stuff they should start raising money to have it photographed and digitized. 

    1. Except that Harper fired most of the digitization staff, and shrank the rest of Library & Archives Canada down as well. The current government is definitely to blame for most of this.

    2. It’s political because the quasi dictatorship has been on a campaign against factual information, from trying to eliminate long form census to muzzling scientists to classifying environmental groups and anyone who opposes them as terrorists. They’ve also been fixated on mythologizing specific fetishistic historic events like the war of 1812. Reducing access to historical documents is just another notch in their belt.

  3. Well, hell, if we’re hurting so much for money, why don’t we just sell the lot! There’re bound to be massive treasures that’ll fetch a good price.

    *gag* I wouldn’t put it past Harper to think of that, but he’d never try, not until he’s managed to Idiocracy-ize Canada’s political atmosphere (or just fine and jail protestors, like Quebec’s decided to do).

  4. Harper is remaking Canada in the image he chooses. This obviously includes the elimination of access to our history, etc.
    Honestly the worst politician Canada has ever produced, and the most dangerous to our future. I sincerely hope the rest of Canada wakes up and doesn’t reelect him when the next election happens – if he doesn’t suspend those aspects of Canadian politics as well of course

  5. When Harper claimed that the NDP supported Hitler, we had the records to prove that the NDP didn’t exist then. The Harper Government is working hard to correct this oversight. If history disagrees with thier dogma, history must be destroyed. 

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