The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) has, through its Shared Purchase Program, acquired 230 reels of the Montreal newspaper Le Devoir. Founded by politician and journalist Henri Bourassa, Le Devoir enjoys a strong intellectual reputation documenting over a century of Quebecois history and culture. This purchase completes CRL’s holdings of the backfiles for the years 1910-1986 (CRL already owns 1987 to the present). As the micropublisher intends to transfer their master copies of the Le Devoir backfiles to the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec who will not be duplicating microfilm, this purchase represents a last chance for CRL member institutions to acquire these backfiles.
The CRL Shared Purchase Program coordinates the acquisition of major microform sets that are of high interest to a subset of CRL member libraries, but are too costly for libraries to purchase individually. This year, the University of Washington, the University of Michigan and CRL all contributed monies to purchase the Le Devoir backfiles. Scholars affiliated with any research library belonging to CRL will now be able to request microfilm reels of Le Devoir for long-term use (or, depending on the number of issues requested, receive a digitized copy).
The University of Washington’s contribution to this purchase – which greatly increases scholarly access to an important part of Quebec life and culture – was made possibly thanks to the generous support of the Government of Quebec and the Jackson School’s Canadian Studies Center.