The war on knowledge: notes from the front - 2013-10-16
Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is a vital Canadian heritage institution, an important source of evidence for social and historical research. Its mission is to collect, preserve and make accessible Canada's documentary heritage: published books and periodicals, historical documents, images and archival materials, and the personal papers of important Canadians.
It sounds simple enough — maybe not so glamourous — but like libraries and archives everywhere LAC plays an important part in helping us all understand our past, present and future. If you check the bibliography of almost any history book or scholarly article, you'll see references to archival materials, as well as the kinds of books and periodicals that you would find in a library. The acknowledgements sections of such books and articles are also heavily populated with thanks and praise for the librarians and archivists who build the collections and support the research enterprise.
But, like science, heritage institutions in Canada are under threat from the current Conservative government, and Library and Archives Canada is no exception. In fact, there are many parallels between what is going on at LAC and what is happening to Canadian science.