The National Archives Gatineau Preservation Centre is the crown jewel of documentary preservation in Canada. Dubbed a “modern temple of memory,” this facility stores, protects, preserves and maintains a centuries-old collection of Canadian archival records.
The variety of media stored here — books, manuscripts, films, audio recordings, photos, cartographic records, artwork, medals and more — all play a role in the telling of Canada’s unique story.
This four-level facility brings together archival collections — previously housed in several locations throughout Ottawa — all under one roof, in 48 climate-controlled vaults. Three levels house the collections and the fourth floor contains laboratories arranged in a village-like setting for the experts overseeing conservation treatment, digitization and preservation copying.
To handle severe temperature fluctuations common in this part of Canada and to protect the collections from external contaminants, the design consisted of a building within a building. The outer building has a controlled temperature and humidity which allows the client to control the inner building to an almost perfect condition, depending on what type of material they’re storing in each vault space.
We built this home of history to last 500 years with minimal maintenance. Considering its contents, you might say we built it to stand the test of time.