Through the years

Learn about milestones in the Library of Parliament’s long history.


1790s origins
The Library of Parliament traces its roots to Upper and Lower Canada’s legislative libraries, created in 1791 and 1792. This is an 1850 catalogue from the libraries.

1841 unification
When Upper and Lower Canada unified in 1841, their libraries’ collections were amalgamated. This map shows what Canada looked like in 1842.

1876 opening in Ottawa
Opened on Parliament Hill in 1876, the Library's Gothic Revival building was designed by Thomas Fuller and Chilion Jones.

Today’s Library
The Library established its parliamentary research service in 1965 and assumed responsibility for Parliament’s public programs and services in 1996. Today, guided tours and publications provide information on Canada’s parliamentary institutions and issues affecting Canadians.