Research Archives:  Explanation (Read first)

Researching Adrien Arcand

Whenever I discover an archive, or a research aid, useful to authors and students of Arcand, I will add a copy of the “fonds” in PDF format to this list.

What is a fonds?  The word fonds comes from the French.  Wikipedia says:

“In archival science, a fonds is a group of documents that share the same origin and that have occurred naturally as an outgrowth of the daily workings of an agency, individual, or organization.  An example of a fonds could be the writings of a poet that were never published or the records of an institution during a specific period.

Fonds are a part of a hierarchical level of description system in an archive that begins with fonds at the top, and the subsequent levels become more descriptive and narrower as one goes down the hierarchy. The level of description goes from fonds to series to file and then an item level.  However, between the fonds and series level there is sometimes a sub-fonds or sous-fonds level and between the series to file level there is sometimes a sub-series level that helps narrow down the hierarchy.

In the case of Adrien Arcand, fonds of his that I know of consist of his correspondence, draft manuscripts of some of his work, photos, diaries, and in some cases, collections of his published work (the little that remains of it:  much was confiscated and destroyed by the Liberal Mackenzie-King government).

You will find below a list of the documents I am currently aware of, with a link to the PDF, and a little explanation.

Available Archives (Fonds)

1.  L’État canadien contre le Parti de l’unité nationale et Adrien Arcand par David Rajotte, Bibliothèque et Archives Canada

PDF File 1046920ar ― David Rajotte’s “État canadien” is an essential research guide to the life and times of Adrien Arcand as held in the various collections of Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa.  David Rajotte is a senior archivist at Library and Archives Canada.  The article describes key events, key documents, and gives the Series and Folder and Pocket numbers where the recommended documents can be found.  It was written with researchers in mind.  The full title of the article is “L’État canadien contre le Parti de l’unité nationale et Adrien Arcand”.  It was published online on May 31, 2018.  The online article is currently here:  You can also download the same PDF on the red ribbon on that page, top-right.

2.  Adrien Arcand :  une grande figure de notre temps by Jean Côté, Outremont : Québecor, (1994).  Available to borrow at

This would appear to be the first book produced about Adrien Arcand.  It contains parts of newsclippings, photos, and commentary on his life.

3.  Collection Adrien Arcand Papers – CLUES, Concordia University, Vanier Special Collections.

File name:  Adrien Arcand_Container List_2014.pdf
This is the finding aid for Box 2.

Vanier Library (ConU) Arcands Fonds.  This fonds apparently consists of two boxes of documents, with a few books about Arcand tossed in.  It looks as though the books are by authors who had used the fonds.  This finding aid is handwritten and covers just ONE of the boxes, the one whose contents are mostly papers, letters, and a few documents written by Adrien Arcand.  I do not have the other container list.  You can ask for it by contacting Special Collections at the Vanier Library on Concordia’s Loyola Campus.  Vanier Library, Room VL-121, 514-848-2424 ext. 7762.  Appointments  preferred.

Current link to the Special Collections’ contact page: (13 March 2020)

Description of the fonds in the CLUES Library catalogue of Concordia University.  Click the double arrow top-right on the black border and choose “download”.

Click to access collection-adrien-arcand-papers-clues-concordia-university-vanier-special-collections.pdf

Adrien Arcand_Container List_2014 BOX 2

Click the double arrow top-right on the black border and choose “download”.

Click to access adrien-arcand_container-list_2014.pdf

4.  Collection Adrien Arcand.  See Worldcat.

Author:  Adrien Arcand; Centre de recherche en histoire éonomique du Canada français; Parti de l’unité nationale du Canada.

Publisher:  Montréal: Centre de recherche en histoire économique du Canada français, [1970?]

This collection is on microform.  It consists of 6 reels.  Microform is a microphotographic reproduction, on film or paper, of a manuscript, map, or other document, including books, electronic documents, journals, microform, and audio and video recordings.

Download a copy of the Worldcat entry (accessed 4 April 2020 @ 21:41), click the double arrow top-right on the black border and choose “download”:

Click to access worldcat-collection-adrien-arcand.pdf

5.  Collection Adrien Arcand. See worldcat.

Author:  Ecole des hautes études commerciales (Montréal, Québec
Publisher:  [Montréal?] : Recordak du Canada, [1968?]
Edition/Format: Journal, magazine : Series : Microfilm : French

Download a copy of the Worldcat entry (accessed 4 April 2020 @ 21:41), click the double arrow top-right on the black border and choose “download”:

Click to access collection-adrien-arcand-wodlcat-1968.pdf

6.  Fonds Adrien Arcand, MG 30-D91 National Archives of Canada, Archives nationales du Canada, Canadian Archives Branch / Direction des archives canadiennes.

Finding Aid No. 1293 / Instrument de recherche no 1293

Prepared in 1981 by Louise Ouellette of the Social and Cultural Archives
Preparé en 1981 par Louise Ouellette des Archives sociales et culturelles

File name:  p000000846 Fonds Arcand BAC-LAC.pdf

This finding aid produced by Library and Archives Canada lists the content of a fonds that for convenience can be called the “Gérard Lanctôt-Cameron Nish” fonds for Adrien Arcand.  Gérard Lanctôt succeeded Adrien Arcand as leader of the National Unity Party of Canada.  Lanctôt apparently recruited professor Cameron Nish to join him in ownership of Adrien Arcand’s personal papers after Arcand’s death.  Lanctôt is now deceased; Cameron Nish is the sole custodian or “owner” of these papers, subject of this fonds on Arcand.

If you plan to request copies out of this fonds, it is important to know that there is another document somewhere at LAC restricting access to this fonds without written permission.  Meaning permission from Cameron Nish.  If you didn’t know it’s restricted, the Repro department of Library and Archives Canada could waste a lot of your time (2 to 3 months, let’s say) giving you a run-around before finally stopping you with the restriction.

In my case, while the LAC demanded that I produce Nish’s written permission for them to make the copies for me, LAC pretended not to know where to find Nish.  LAC gave me an old email address for Nish, claimed it might or might not be good, and told me to go find him myself if the email didn’t work.

In other words, LAC didn’t want to make the copies.  Obviously, the LAC knew where the owner of its fonds was.  And if they didn’t know, it was their duty to find out.  So, be prepared before you waste your time filling out demands.  I made my demand on one page, in the same format as on this finding aid.  Thirty days later, on delivery due-date when I expected the documents, LAC demanded that I re-do the application, this time as one application per document requested, and in a different format.  That meant a dozen applications, one for each document instead of a one-page order for all 12 documents, all in the same BOX at the LAC.

I re-formatted and made the dozen applications as LAC required, and only after that did LAC demand from me the written permission of Nish, and pretended not to know where to find him.  I never got the copies, but the LAC, with these refined methods of evasion, managed to shirk their duty to make the copies.  LAC wasted 2-1/2 months of my time in the process.

To download a copy of this finding aid for the “Lanctôt-Nish” Arcand Collection, click the double arrow top-right on the black border and choose “download”:

Click to access p000000846-fonds-arcand-bibnat.pdf

7.  Collection Adrien Arcand in Media Commons at the University of Toronto Library.

Media Commons
130 St. George St.
Toronto, ON, M5S 1A5

Fonds description:
Guide available
Subjects:  Parti de l’unite nationale Canada
Canada – Politics and government – 20th Century

To get the available “Guide”, you would have to contact the Media Commons (email etc., above).  By “Guide”, I presume they mean the finding aid.

To download a copy of the Media Commons entry, click the double arrow top-right on the black border and choose “download”.

Click to access mediacommons_library_utoronto_ca_content_microform_collectio.pdf