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L'Opinion Publique and Canadian Illustrated News Collection (C572)

1869-1883. - 150 cm of textual records.

Administrative History - Biographical Sketch:

Georges-Édouard Desbarats (1838-1893) was born in Quebec City, approximately 300 km from Montreal, where the offices of the Canadian Illustrated News would be located. He came from a family of master printers whose influence would be felt for over two centuries.

When still a young man, it became clear that Desbarats would not be taking up the family profession. The Collège de Sainte-Croix noted in his file that he had trouble in French and English, finding it hard to distinguish between the two when he wrote. But by continuing his education at Collège de Sainte-Croix and later at Collège Sainte-Marie, in Montreal, he succeeded in mastering the two languages. He then enrolled at Université Laval and graduated with a law degree. After completing his articling in a law firm, Desbarats decided to postpone practising law in order to travel to Europe. There he saw the first printing shop that had belonged to his family. This awoke a deep sense of tradition in him and what turned out to be his real passion. The life of Georges-Édouard Desbarats would henceforth be devoted to establishing new standards for Canadian printers.

Scope and Content:

This collection concerns the history of Canada at the end of the 19th century. It consists of all the issues of two popular magazines of the period: L'Opinion publique and the Canadian Illustrated News.