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Biographies of Prominent Quebecers


Last revised:
August 2004

Alfred Duclos DeCelles



Damien-Claude Bélanger,

Department of History,

McGill University

Historian, journalist, and librarian, was born at Saint-Laurent, Canada East. He was educated at the Séminaire de Québec and at the Université Laval. After working for nearly fifteen years as a journalist and editor of the Journal de Québec and La Minerve , DeCelles was appointed assistant librarian of the Library of Parliament in 1880, and became its head librarian in 1885, a position he would hold until his retirement in 1920. In 1885 he was elected a member of the Royal Society of Canada. Though a prolific writer - he wrote numerous books on the history of early and mid-nineteenth century Quebec -, A. D. DeCelles' influence on the evolution of French Canadian historiography was fairly limited. However, his Histoire des États-Unis (1896) was widely read, particularly in Quebec's classical colleges, and received a prize from the French Académie des sciences morales et politiques. Re-edited in 1913 and 1925, its success inspired Sylva Clapin to write a similar but more generally accessible Histoire des États-Unis in 1900 for use in French Canadian and Franco-American schools.

[Read about DeCelles' opinion of Jews , elsewhere at the site, and consult abbé Élie Auclair's biography of the librarian and author in the Encyclopedia section of the site.]

© 2004 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College