The national archival portal maintained by the Canadian Council of Archives (CCA)

To search our portal, click on "Search the archives" above

On this page:

What is it – National database

A joint initiative of CCA, the Provincial and Territorial Archival Networks, and Library and Archives Canada (LAC).

All archival descriptions and links contained in the searchable database are provided by provincial and territorial councils, their members, and LAC

Objective & Background

Provide the Canadian public greater access to the documentary heritage held by archives in this country.

Through the national database, hundreds of individual archival institutions across the country (each with holdings such as documentary records, maps, photographs, sound recordings, videos and more) regularly produce descriptions of these holdings, and make those descriptions accessible to the portal via their provincial/territorial network. has the support of governments across the country. In addition, the Canadian Historical Association, provincial/territorial councils of archives and professional associations of archivists have endorsed it as the most important single effort in the history of Canadian archives.

— Our Story

On October 20, 2001, the Canadian Council of Archives launched the Canadian Archival Information Network, an electronic initiative designed to provide online access to holdings in over 800 archival institutions across the country. Known initially as CAIN, the network has now become

— Our Method

Our means of doing this is by improving the administration, proficiency, capacity, and efficiency of archives through initiating and supporting national priorities, policies, and programmes for the development and operation of a Canadian Archival System.

— Our Initiative

Established and continuing to grow with the support of the Canadian Council of Archives, Library and Archives Canada and the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Canadian Culture Online Program. “We need more information about our history, our culture and our heritage,” said Minister of Canadian Heritage, Sheila Copps, in launching the initiative back in 2001.

Our Provincial Network Partners