John Abbott College ILT News

Habs Archivist Visits John Abbott College

by Geoff Tucker

Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, November 27.

Carl Lavigne spoke today at John Abbott College about his work as archivist-historian for the Montreal Canadiens.    

Lavigne began working for the Canadiens in 2000, having previously worked for the Ottawa Senators. His first major project in Montreal was to reconstruct the team's history for its centennial celebrations in 2009. He is the only archivist  in the Canadiens' organization.

The presentation, which attracted students from Information and Library Technologies as well as from other departments, covered almost all aspects of Lavigne's work. He explained the history of the Canadiens and other Montreal hockey teams, such as the Wanderers; his methodology for identifying the subjects and context of photographs; and his latest project, an attempt to list all player trades,which has been ongoing for 3 years.

Lavigne also discussed the contents of the Canadiens' archives and collection; over 1,000,000 photographs, many of them negatives; newspapers, scoresheets, yearbooks and greeting cards, both original and photocopies; and as many books about the team, or written by persons associated with the team, as possible.

Lavigne explained his work as a form of public relations: anticipating and providing for the media's desire for information on the team's history.

"It's always a game of being ahead of the game," he said.

Lavigne's visit was arranged by students in the public relations class in the Information and Library Technologies program.