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Research Guide

Canada Declassified holds a growing library of declassified government records, interactive historical research exhibits, and new materials posted on a continuing basis. We also maintain an unpublished inventory of records donated from scholars, authors and journalists, all obtained under Canada's federal Access to Information Act.

To access our holdings, click 'Search Our Records' and enter keywords to consult the documents currently available. If necessary, you may contact Canada Declassified to find out what other relevant materials we maintain in our unpublished holdings. Our contact information appears below.  

Please keep in mind that we do not have the staff to provide research services beyond helping to identify the existence of records in our collections.  

In this section:
1) Document Collections
2) Address and Contact
3) Citing our Materials
4) Terms and Conditions

Document Collections

Our holdings contain records spanning the Cold War period from 1945 through 1991. While some of the materials in our collection were created before 1945, Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa maintains the largest collection of archival documents pertaining to Canada's history and heritage. The Directorate of History and Heritage in Ottawa is another valuable government depository worth consulting. 

Here is a breakdown of our holdings:


  • Canada Declassified Digital Repository: This website provides open-access to government records declassified under the Access to Information Act and maintained by Canada Declassified. As a researcher, you may freely consult and download the documents contained in our digital repository. Use the custom search box anywhere on our website to find documents that have been collected through our primary research efforts, or use the advanced search engine. Searching keywords will identify records with each individual word. In order to narrow your search, use the Boolean function and separate keywords with a comma (e.g. NORAD, SAC, tripartite, etc.). You may also use an Exact match search, which will identify documents containing a group of words, term, or phrase (e.g. Atomic Energy of Canada Limited).
  • Electronic Briefing Books: In addition to maintaining a growing digital repository of declassified records, Canada Declassified publishes online exhibits as Briefing Books on a wide range of historical topics and subjects. Our Briefing Books highlight particular documents in our collection and provide historical context for students and researchers alike. We regularly add new documents and Briefing Books to our collection, so please check back often.


If you are interested in learning about unpublished collections held by Canada Declassified, contact us via email and describe your research topic and the time period it covers. We will search our internal indexes and let you know if relevant materials are available.

Address and Contact

Canada Declassified
Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History
6 Hoskin Avenue
Toronto, ON M5S 1H8

E-mail: tim.sayle@utoronto.ca

At the moment, Canada Declassified is strictly a digital repository. We do not provide physical space for researchers to consult our holdings. Accordingly, our mailing address is only for contact purposes.

Should you wish to obtain information about our unpublished holdings, please email tim.sayle@utoronto.ca.

Citing Our Materials

Note: Canada Declassified follows The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS). The online manual and CMS "Quick Guide" are available at http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/home.html.

I. To cite correspondence such as letters, memoranda, and cables identify as many of the following elements as available and relevant:

Names of sender and recipient
Title or subject
Place at which it was written
Type of communication other than letter
Date of the communication
Record group
Volume and file number
Identifier and repository


Hume Wrong, Canadian Ambassador to the United States to Lester Pearson, Secretary of State for External Affairs WA-3124, 4 December 1950, RG25, vol. 4758, file no. 50069-C-40, part 1, Library and Archives Canada (LAC), CDTT00069, Canada Declassified.

Charles Foulkes, Chiefs of Staff to Dana Wilgress, Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs, 9 February 1953, RG25, vol. 4903, file no. 50115-P-40, part 2, Library and Archives Canada (LAC), CDTT00103, Canada Declassified.

II. To cite documents other than correspondence such as of reports, memoranda of conversation, and executive orders identify as many of the following elements as available and relevant:

Title of document
Type of document
Date of document
Record group
Volume and file number
Identifier and repository


Memorandum to the Cabinet, "The International Situation," 18 December 1950, RG25, vol. 4758, file 50069-D-40, part 1, Library and Archives Canada (LAC), CDTT00084, Canada Declassified.

Memorandum to the Acting Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs, 2 Mar. 1954, RG25, vol. 4903, file no. 50115-P-40, part 2, Library and Archives Canada (LAC), CDTT00021, Canada Declassified.

Bibliographic Entries

Canada Declassified. "Canada Declassified Digital Repository." Accessed November 15, 2018. https://declassified.library.utoronto.ca/. 

Terms and Conditions

Canada Declassified aims to expand and enhance public discourse about Canadian foreign, intelligence and economic policy. Unless particular materials are specifically restricted as noted on the site, it is the policy of Canada Declassified to encourage reproduction and distribution of the materials posted on our website. Your use of this website indicates your acceptance of these terms and conditions.

License to Use Materials Posted on the Canada Declassified Website

You may copy, reproduce and distribute materials from this website pursuant to this nonexclusive, limited license, provided that: 

  1. You maintain all copyright, trademark or other proprietary notices contained in any site content in the course of any use of such content. Copyright is not claimed as to any Government of Canada work.
  2. You cite Canada Declassified as the source of the materials in any reproduction, publication, distribution, or transfer of the materials and you link to the www.declassified.library.utoronto.ca website in any electronic reproduction, publication, distribution, or transfer of the materials.
    1. When reproducing, publishing, distributing, or transferring a published or unpublished document in the Canada Declassified digital repository, you credit Canada Declassified as the source of the document. For your convenience, we provide citation standards for published documents in the Canada Declassified digital repository.
    2. When reproducing, publishing, distributing, or transferring an article or section of the Canada Declassified website in its entirety, you include the following statement: "These materials are reproduced from www.declassified.library.utoronto.ca with the permission of Canada Declassified."
    3. You may not edit or otherwise change the substance of the content in any reproduction, publication, distribution, or transfer of an article or section of the website that is credited to Canada Declassified, except that you may excerpt portions of the content with credit to the author, where applicable, and Canada Declassified.

Limitation of Liability

The Canada Declassified website includes information about the Access to Information Act and other laws relating to access to government information in Canada. This information does not constitute legal advice. Access to information and privacy laws change and, accordingly, we do not guarantee that any information on this website is accurate and up-to-date. Canada Declassified does not provide legal advice, nor does the information provided on this website substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.

Canada Declassified, its managers, associates, contacts, agents, successors, or assigns shall not be liable for any loss, injury, claim, liability, or damage of any kind, including any special or consequential damages, resulting in any way from the unavailability or interruption of its website, delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions on its website, or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof.

Disclaimer of Warranties

The materials contained on this website have been prepared and compiled as a service to students, scholars, journalists, policymakers and public readers around the world. Canada Declassified endeavors to provide accurate material on its website, but it does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, completeness, adequacy or currency of the information contained in or linked to this website. People using these or other government documents are reminded that government records sometimes contain material that is unverified, inaccurate, distorted or untrue. The government records available on this site are merely true facsimiles of government records, to the best of our knowledge, and Canada Declassified has not necessarily verified their content independently. Users of information from this website and related links do so at their own risk. 


For any other information about the Canada Declassified website, please contact tim.sayle@utoronto.ca.

Last update: Canada Declassified Website Terms and Conditions, last updated 15/11/2018.

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