Fonds MG2074 - Laurier L. LaPierre Fonds

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Laurier L. LaPierre Fonds

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  • approximately 1956-1978 (Creation)
    LaPierre, Laurier L.

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15 m of textual records and photographs

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Biographical history

Broadcast journalist and historian, Laurier LaPierre was born at Lac Mégantic, Québec, and received his bachelor's (1955), master's (1957) and doctoral (1962) degrees from the University of Toronto. He lectured in history at the University of Western Ontario from 1959 to 1961, and at Loyola, Montréal, from 1961 to 1963. In 1962 he came to McGill as Lecturer in history; he was promoted to Assistant Professor in 1963 and Associate Professor in 1965. In 1963 he served as secretary, and in 1965 as Director of McGill's French-Canada Studies Programme. LaPierre is best known to Canadians as co-host of C.B.C. television's public affairs programme, This Hour Has Seven Days and of LaPierre. He also ran as an N.D.P. candidate in Lachine in 1968 and has been involved in a number of publication ventures. In 1978 he left McGill to become a commentator for radio station CKVU in Vancouver.

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Scope and content

This extensive archive documents four aspects of Laurier LaPierre's career: academic, journalistic, political and entrepreneurial. The academic series comprises 2 m of historical research - notes, information files, and bibliography- on a wide range of topics in Canadian and Québec history (ca 1956-1978). Included are research notes for his doctoral thesis on Joseph Israel Tarte, and for two articles on Church-State Relations in French Canada. Related to these are files raised as a professor at McGill (1968-1978) containing minutes of faculty and departmental meetings, papers pertaining to the McGill Faculty Union and to Lapierre's views on student participation in university government, and of student essays prepared for his courses, as well as correspondence with and about students whose theses he directed. The typescript of his and Ramsay Cook's unpublished Source-Book of Canadian History is also included. LaPierre's role as television and radio journalist is illustrated by 2.5 metres of files. Those concerning This Hour Has Seven Days (1964-1966) contain material on the CBC crisis of 1966 and on arbitration between LaPierre and the network. Letters from viewers and friends air their reactions to the programme. LaPierre's files for the Radio-Québec series En se racontant l'histoire d'ici contain documentation for each broadcast and annotated scripts (ca 1975-1976). Similar files were raised for a historical series (with Patrick Watson) aired in Toronto and Vermont, for Inquiry, and for CBC International programmes. There is also correspondence with CTV and the C.R.T.C. (ca 1970-1971). Illustrating his political involvements are minutes and executive lists of the N.D.P.: materials on their 1971 convention; speeches, expense accounts and photographs on LaPierre's Lachine campaign (1968); political speeches (1966-1967); and reactions to the War Measures Act (1971) and wage control legislation (1976). Closely related to these files are 70 cm of speeches, correspondence related to articles by LaPierre, and book reviews, all on contemporary political and social topics (ca 1966-1970); some speeches were probably written for the 1968 campaign. Material on LaPierre's publishing, business and consulting activity include the files of Immedia, formed with Patrick Watson ca 1971-1974 to produce TV and film documentaries; LaPierre, Thomas and Associates (public relations, consulting, translation and publishing); and Investissements Laurier LaPierre. Considerable documentation survives for "Saberdache Québecoise", a series on French Canada planned by McClelland and Stewart but never realised. Personal papers (50 cm) comprise general correspondence and letters regarding speaking engagements (ca 1972-1974), desk diaries (1968-1969, 1972-1975), travel accounts, insurance and family expenses, and other financial papers.

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