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Section title: About Us

Librarian and Archivist of Canada
Ian E. Wilson

Biographical notes

Biographical notes


Canada is the first country to fully integrate the services and programs of its national library and national archives. Library and Archives Canada is a new type of knowledge institution designed to collect, to preserve and to provide Canadians with access to our nation's documentary heritage.

I have the great privilege of being the first Librarian and Archivist of Canada, and I invite all Canadians, regardless of where they are located geographically, to visit and explore, in person or virtually, the richness of our documentary heritage.

 -- Ian E. Wilson

In 2004, Mr. Ian E. Wilson was appointed Librarian and Archivist of Canada. In his former position as National Archivist of Canada, appointed July 1999, he and National Librarian, Roch Carrier, developed and led the process to create a new knowledge institution for Canada in the 21st century.

Born in Montreal, Quebec, Mr. Wilson attended the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean and obtained a Master's degree from Queen's University in 1974. In 2001, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters (D. Litt.) from York University in recognition of his contribution to Canadian archives. In 2002, he became a Member of the Order of Canada. In 2003, he was elected Fellow of the Society of American Archivists and appointed Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Government of France. He received the 2005 Award of Merit from the Association for Canadian Studies.

The career of Mr. Wilson is distinguished in many areas, including archival and information management, university teaching and government service. He began his career at Queen's University Archives (1967), later becoming Saskatchewan's Provincial Archivist (1976 - 1986) and Chairman of the Saskatchewan Heritage Advisory Board. He was appointed Archivist of Ontario in 1986, a position he held until 1999. For several years he was responsible for the Ontario Public Library system. He has taught as an Adjunct Professor in the Faculties of Information Studies and Graduate Studies of the University of Toronto. He has also served as President of the Ontario Historical Society (1975 - 1976) and more recently as President of the Champlain Society (1995 - 2003) and Vice-President of the International Council of Archives (2000 - 2004).

Mr. Wilson chaired the Consultative Group on Canadian Archives on behalf of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. The Group's report, "Canadian Archives" -- generally known as the "Wilson Report" -- was published in 1980 and is described as "a milestone in the history of archival development in Canada."

As Librarian and Archivist of Canada, Mr. Wilson serves on two advisory committees for the Treasury Board of Canada and chairs the Group of Heads of Federal Agencies.

Mr. Wilson has been involved with the Canadian archival and library communities for over 30 years. He has worked diligently to make archives accessible and interesting to a wide range of audiences. He has helped safeguard the integrity of archival records while at the same time encouraging the public to use them. He has published extensively on history, archives, heritage and information management and has lectured nationally and internationally.