Honorary degree citation - Guy Sylvestre*
By: Anne M. Galler, June 1984
Mr. Chancellor, I have the honour to present to you Dr. Guy Sylvestre; noted man of letters. Officer of the Order of Canada, recipient of the Centennial Medal of the Royal Society of Canada 1982 who for fifteen years was atthe head of the National Library of Canada.
The National Library News devoted its entire November 1983 issue to Dr. Sylvestre, its retiring head. This outstanding Canadian has worked assiduously not only to improve the standing of librarians in Canada, but also to improve the standing of Canadian librarians on the international scene.
The list of his accomplishments can barely be touched in the course of this brief presentation: he established ongoing cooperation between the Library of Congress and the National Library by providing a forum for senior staff to monitor projects in progress and instigate new ones.
He was instrumental in attracting major collections to the National Library, such as the Arthur S. Bourinot and Alexis Contant collections, the Claude Champagne music collection, personal papers and manuscripts of Roger Lemelin and Gabrielle Roy, music and papers of Glenn Gould as well as the incunabula Hebraica and Judaica of the Jacob M. Lowy collection.
Ending on a literary and not library note, I would like to mention his ardent and faithful recollection of history, giving us an authority of French Canadian poetry, reference works on French Canadian as well as English Canadian literature.
Mr. Chancellor, please allow me, on behalf of the Senate and by the authority of the Board of Governors to present to you Dr. Guy Sylvestre, that you may confer on him the Degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.