the LAC

On a recent road trip, Dave and I visited the LAC. Sounds like an exciting open water swim destination, but, in fact, it stands for the Library and Archives of Canada. Fun, in a different sort of way for a couple of gradual students in History.

20130616-154208.jpg It’s an impressive building, all marble inside with a heavy security presence – who are all very friendly. What was more impressive was how close Dave managed to get us some fantastic digs near the archives. We stayed at the Albert on Bay which is literally a stone’s throw away. The hotel was far swankier than many of the dumps Kim has taken me to over the years. (Most recently, the fleabag motel we stayed in for last summer’s Barrie show, where I refused to take off all my clothes for fear of catching something nasty, comes instantly to mind.) Too bad I don’t have a picture of that place. Instead, here’s a shot of Dave, with a pre-archival beer in our fancy-ass hotel room before we set off to the Lac.

20130616-154700.jpg It was a most productive visit for me. The fact that it poured rain the whole time only added to the experience. (It’s not like we were wishing we were anywhere else.) I got to examine the personal papers of three different war correspondents while Dave acquired the services of an archivist to help him crack into some CSIS documents from the 1930s. CSIS makes it almost impossible for anyone to do any research about them in any time period, it would seem. Big surprise. The files are there, but the finding aid is kept top secret. Nice trick. Anyway, Dave did make some headway with the helpful staff while I was blown away by the view and the fact that the reading room is open until 11 p.m. Now I just have to write my MRP (that’s Major Research Paper in silly academic lingo.) I had best get started on that…


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