Jul 6, 2020
Ian Wilson was
chief Librarian and Archivist of Canada from 2004 to 2009. Prior to
this as National Archivist, with Roch Carrier the then National
Librarian, he developed and led the process to merge the National
Archives and National Library into a unified institution. "His
distinguished career has included archival and information
management, university teaching and government service." In
addition, he has published extensively on history, archives,
heritage, and information management and has lectured both in
Canada and abroad.
"Born in Montreal, Quebec,
he attended the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean and obtained
a master's degree from Queen's University in 1974. He began his
career at Queen's University Archives, later becoming
Saskatchewan's Provincial Archivist and Chairman of the Saskatchewan
Heritage Advisory Board. He was appointed Archivist of Ontario in
1986, a position he held until 1999."
He 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" - published in 1980 - has been described as "a milestone in
the history of archival development in Canada." He is currently a consultant.
I met with Ian at his home in Ottawa to
talk about how the merger between Library and Archives is going,
about Canada's great Dominion Archivist Arthur
Doughty and Canada and its Provinces his
monumental, under-appreciated nation-building publishing project,
and about the essential role Library and Archives Canada plays, or
doesn't play, in cultivating a distinctive national Canadian