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CBC Digital Archives

A Visit to the Archives

It makes the most sense to think of CBC Archives as one big library. But if you go looking, don't expect to find it all in one place.

For starters, the CBC Broadcast Centre in Toronto is a massive building - 10 storeys high and another four storeys below ground. It stretches across a city block and has a footprint the size of three football fields. Within that, there are at least a dozen different archive vaults, libraries and staff offices on a half-dozen floors. And that's just the network's national English-language holdings.

The Société Radio-Canada's French-language archives consist of four vaults in the basement of Radio-Canada headquarters in Montreal. CBC also has archives in offices across the country, where most local and regional programming are stored. For good measure, more CBC material is stored in several provincial archives and at the National Archives in Ottawa.

CBC's Toronto headquarters, which opened in 1994, is the English-language archives' main hub. Here, the vast holdings are divided among video archives, film archives, Radio Archives, paper records and photographs. You'll need a map to find them all. Visitors should also bring a sweater - the video, film and radio vaults in the basement are specially climate-controlled, to keep their treasures in the best possible condition.

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