Honorary Degrees

N.B.: The detail displayed about each honorary degree recipient varies, as the database was compiled from a variety of sources. However, more information may be available at the University Archives.

Name: Ian E. Wilson, M.A., LL.D., D.Litt.
Convocation date: June 1, 2010
Discipline / contribution: archives administration ; public service
Citation / biographical information:


In 1999, Ian E. Wilson was appointed as the 7th National Archivist of Canada. With Roch Carrier, then National Librarian, he led the process to amalgamate these two national institutions to create a new knowledge institution for the digital age: Library and Archives Canada. In 2004, Ian E. Wilson was appointed as the first Librarian and Archivist of Canada. On his retirement five years later, the Government gave him the unusual distinction of naming him Emeritus.

Born in Montreal, Quebec, he obtained his Master’s degree from Queen’s University in 1974 and returned this past year to receive an Honorary Doctorate of Law (LL.D). Honours include: Member of the Order of Canada, an Honorary Doctorate of Letters (D.Litt) from York University, fellow of both the Canadian and American archival associations, Commandeur de I'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France), and the Award of Merit from the Association for Canadian Studies.

Mr. Wilson's career is distinguished in many areas, including archival and information management, university teaching and government service. 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 Archivist of Ontario. He has taught as an Adjunct Professor in the Faculties of Information Studies and Graduate Studies of the University of Toronto. In March 2008, Mr. Wilson was elected President of the International Council of Archives.

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

Over a 40 year career, Dr. Wilson 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. He is now working with the University of Waterloo in establishing the Stratford Institute, an innovative think tank focused on the impact of digital media in modern society.
Degree received: Doctor of Letters
Degree presented by: Vicki Williamson, Dean of University Library

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