Perpetuating Canada’s memory with digital archives

By Knackles

Library and Archives Canada, the fourth largest library in the world, has launched a new initiative to migrate its extensive archives onto a digital platform.

The institution hopes that this large-scale project will make its grand archive of historical and modern records easier for Canadians to navigate. Representing one of the biggest digital preservation programmes initiated globally, it is estimated that over 7Pb of data will be processed.

Containing documents such as genealogies and family histories, published works, theses from Canadian universities since 1965 and governmental records, LAC’s archives are an extensive and far-reaching collection of national importance.

Discussing the new digital archive, Sylvain Bélanger, Director General of LAC, hoped that it would enable access to the library’s material in a more practical way. 

“In the past, we used multiple products and approaches to address different streams, but with this new centralized system we’ll be at the forefront of digital ingest and preservation, and we can focus on delivering practical ways of helping Canadians to innovate using information from the collection.”

Delivering tech solutions

Helping LAC to deliver its digital archive project is Preservica, a leading digital preservation software developer, and cloud-tech solutions provider TeraMach. The former will ensure the integrity of the archive, whilst the latter will assist in the design, installation and maintenance of the overall structure.


“It’s an honour to play a role in helping to preserve the documentary heritage of Canada now and for future generations,” said Mike Quinn, CEO of Preservica. 

“Being part of such a large-scale digital preservation program is an ideal opportunity to showcase how Preservica is helping organizations scale their archives and increase the use of unique digital assets to enrich citizen services and cultural initiatives.”

Hunter Li, President and CEO of TeraMach, expressed similar appreciation for having been chosen for such a prestigious project. "The new platform will use the AWS cloud infrastructure in Canada as part of the TeraMach Cloudx solution.” 

“This important award allows us to showcase the advanced and comprehensive IT solutions that are embodied in TeraMach Cloudx, which enables express connectivity to a broad array of SaaS provider solutions including AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud and Preservica,” he said.

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