If you have trouble opening a file
All electronic publications that departments and agencies submit to our catalogue must be in a portable format. If the publication is an audio, video or other type of electronic file, you may need a specific application to open it.
This information is for your convenience only. We do not endorse or recommend any particular software program.
On this page
- Archive file format: Zip format
- E-reader formats
- Machine-Readable Cataloguing format (MARC 21)
- Multimedia formats
- Portable Document Format (PDF)
Archive file format: Zip format
Zip files can compress data, which saves time and space, and makes downloading software faster. These files normally have a ".zip" extension and can generally be opened with the default software installed on your computer.
There are several format options available for e-reader users.
Amazon Kindle formats
Amazon Kindle formats (AZW, AZW3, KF8) are proprietary e-book formats developed by Amazon for the Kindle e-reader. You may also open these files on computers, tablets or smartphones that have the Amazon Kindle app installed.
Electronic Publication format
EPUB is an e-book format that you can open on most e-readers, tablets and mobile devices, except for the Kindle, which uses a different file format. You may also open these files on computers, but may require specialized software such as Adobe Digital Editions or the Kobo app to do so.
MOBI is an e-book format used by the Mobipocket Reader and the Amazon Kindle e-reader, as well as e-book applications on smartphones and tablets. You can also access MOBI files on computers, but may require specialized software to do so. E-books in this format have either a .mobi or a .prc filename extension.
Machine-Readable Cataloguing format
MARC 21 is a format commonly used by library computer systems to organize and exchange information about library items such as publications.
Library and Archives Canada creates download files of MARC 21 bibliographic records for each issue of the weekly checklist of government publications. The records in the download file are in the form of a continuous delimited text file intended for importation into catalogue applications that support the MARC 21 data format and MARC editors. These are made available on our website in association with the weekly checklist issue listing the publications associated with the records contained in the file.
Library and Archives Canada creates MARC 21 bibliographic records for all monographs and new serial titles in hard copy and electronic formats. As the library completes the cataloguing for a given weekly checklist issue, we add new download files to our website. The number of publications listed in a given issue determines how much time this process takes.
Note that download files of MARC 21 records are not created for supplementary checklists, although bibliographic records for individual titles may be available from the library’s online catalogue.
- MARC 21 standards
- archived weekly checklist issues
- archived supplementary checklist issues
- Library and Archives Canada online catalogue (AMICUS)
You may use these formats to open files containing audiovisual elements.
MPEG formats (MP3, MP4, MOV)
You may generally open audio files with an ".mp3" extension with the default audio player software installed on your computer. Several audio players are available free of charge such as:
You may open video files with an ".mp4" extension with programs such as these, which are available to download free of charge.
Video files with a ".mov" extension can be opened with programs such as QuickTime available to download free of charge.
Windows media formats
You may open audio files with a ".wma" extension and video files with a ".wmv" extension with these programs, which are available to download free of charge.
Portable Document Format (PDF)
To access the Portable Document Format version you need to install a PDF reader on your device. There are a number of PDF readers available for free download or for purchase on the Internet, including:
- Adobe Reader
- Foxit Reader
- Xpdf (available in English only)
- Expert PDF Reader (available in English only)
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