Canadian Historical Association: Cuts of Service at Library and Archives Canada - Request for Information on Impacts
From: Craig Heron [email@example.com]
As anticipated in the August notice from the Canadian Historical Association, on 1 September 2007 Library and Archives Canada implemented its new regime of greatly reduced hours of service at its main research facility in Ottawa. In August, on behalf of the CHA, I wrote to the national archivist to express our serious concern over these cuts and their potential to gravely impair the capacity of professional historians to research and write the history of Canada. Many other historians and organizations have expressed similar concerns but LAC, which conducted no consultations prior to announcing the cuts in August, has not budged. Nevertheless, we have learned that the public outcry over similar reductions at the U.S. National Archives in Washington D.C. prompted that institution eventually to restore some of its reduced hours of service and we remain hopeful that we can generate a similar reversal at LAC.
To date, we have been advised by CHA members that at least three categories of users will be negatively affected by the LAC cuts in service, including:
- Historians operating from considerable distances from Ottawa, who indicated that the cuts in hours of service will impose an inordinate burden on their research projects.
- Graduate students operating on limited budgets, who advised us that the cuts will make many dissertation research projects more difficult.
- Historians from central Canada, who indicated that the cuts will make it difficult or impossible to carry out short single-day research trips, as retrieval of documents within the same day will no longer be feasible.
Canadian Historical Association