Dr. Ian Wilson

The Librarian and Archivist of Canada

Ian WilsonIn 2004, Mr. Ian E. Wilson was appointed Librarian and Archivist of Canada in Library and Archives Canada. He had been appointed National Archivist of Canada in July 1999 and with the 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, in April 1943, Ian Wilson attended the Coll├Ęge militaire royal de Saint-Jean and obtained a Masters 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 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.

Mr. Wilson has had a distinguished career in several 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 (1976-86) and Chairman of the Saskatchewan Heritage Advisory Board. He was appointed Archivist of Ontario in 1986, position he held until 1999. For several years he was also responsible for the Ontario Public Library system.

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 has been described as “a milestone in the history of archival development in Canada.”

As Librarian and Archivist, Mr. Wilson serves on the Information Management Sub-Committee of the Treasury Board of Canada and was appointed their Information Management co-Champion for the Government of Canada in 2002. He is a member of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada and, in September 2000, he was elected Vice-President of the International Council on Archives. 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 was President of the Champlain Society from 1995 to 2003.

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 an active use of them by the public. In addition, he has published extensively on history, archives, heritage, and information management and has lectured both nationally and abroad.

“Canada is the first country to fully integrate all of 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, preserve and provide Canadians with access to the documentary heritage of our nation.

I have the great privilege of being the first Librarian and Archivist of Canada, and I invite all Canadians, no matter where they are located geographically, to visit and explore, in person or virtually, the richness of our documentary heritage.”

– Ian E. Wilson, 26 July 2004