Today, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) launches its online Portrait Portal, making available more than nearly 15,000 high-quality digitized images from the national portrait collection.
The Portrait Portal showcases the largest collection of portraits in the country, which includes works acquired since the 1880s. This collection is comprised of paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, caricatures, medals and other works representing historical figures who played an important role in Canada’s development as a nation.
“This digitization initiative now makes available to Canadians across the country many thousands of works by renowned Canadian artists, ranging from portraits made by Yousuf Karsh to those of William Topley,” said Deputy Head and Librarian and Archivist of Canada, Daniel J. Caron.
“Hockey fans can even find rare hockey cards, circa 1910, from the C.J. Haynes collection.” In addition, many works by Arnaud Maggs are now accessible on the Portrait Portal.
The National Gallery of Canada is currently holding an exhibition that features this internationally acclaimed photographer’s works, some of which LAC has supplied from its collection. “The Portrait Portal gives Canadians the ability to access their national portrait collection at the time and place they want, wherever they are. For millions of people across the country, this will also be an exciting first step in their discovery of the wealth and diversity of LAC’s documentary heritage holdings,” concluded Daniel J. Caron.
Looking to the future, LAC is committed to posting 2,000 digitized portraits every month for the coming years. This project illustrates LAC’s commitment to adapting to the new digital environment by making the national portrait collection more accessible to all Canadians from coast to coast.