About the Depository Services Program

The Depository Services Program (DSP) was established in 1927 to provide a central and comprehensive distribution source for published Canadian government information for Canadian academic, college, legislative and public libraries, as well for federal Parliamentarians and departmental libraries. The DSP supports publication exchanges between parliamentary or legislative libraries outside of Canada and the Library of Parliament and Library and Archives Canada. It also provides Canadian government publications to foreign universities with Canadian studies programs. The Program is administered by Public Works and Government Services Canada.

This centralized distribution is necessary and effective because publication and distribution are de-centralized across government and within its larger organizations. Government publications are produced in great numbers by several hundred different departments and agencies located across Canada, on a wide range of subjects and in many different formats. All of these factors can create challenges for the Canadian public, researchers and parliamentarians when they attempt to identify, locate and acquire published information to meet their needs and interests. The services of the DSP ensure that free public access to published government information is available in most communities through our library network across Canada and freely accessible online.

Depository Libraries in Canada and abroad receive publications from the DSP. These libraries in turn provide bibliographic access, long-term preservation, reference services, inter-library loan and many other public services that ensure free public access to published government information. Canadian government departments and agencies play a key role in ensuring the success of the Program by providing copies of their publications to the DSP for distribution to the depositories. Author departments assume only the incremental cost associated with the DSP publications, while the DSP absorbs all other costs of acquisition and distribution of publications to depository libraries. The DSP publishes the Weekly Checklist of Canadian Government Publications listing bibliographic information for all publications available from the DSP during the week of issue. The Checklist has been in continuous production in various formats since the 1950's.

The DSP maintains and develops an online bibliographic database of publications acquired and catalogued since 1992 as well as a permanent, online, freely accessible collection of electronic publications. For additional information about the DSP, please consult the DSP Quick Reference Guide for Depository Libraries or contact us.