SÉRAPHIN MARION,
ARCHIVIST, PROFESSOR, WRITER AND HISTORIAN
 
Séraphin Marion was born in Ottawa on November 25, 1896. After receiving his doctorate from the Université de Paris, he taught French at the Royal Military College, Kingston (1920-1923). He then became successively head translator and director of historical publications at the Public Archives of Canada (1923-1953). In his work as an archivist, he discovered a mine of information on the body of French-Canadian literature that was little known at the time. Later, he taught French-Canadian literature at the University of Ottawa and presented the fruits of his research in some 20 studies, including a nine-volume collection entitled Les Lettres canadiennes d’autrefois (published between 1939 and 1958). A member of the Royal Society of Canada (1934), the Académie canadienne-française and the Société des Dix (1962), Séraphin Marion lectured all over Canada on the rights of Canada’s French-speaking minorities. Over the course of his career, this writer and scholar received numerous awards and honours: the Académie de Lutèce Gold Medal (1933), the Conseil de la Vie Française en Amérique Silver Medal (1972), officer of the Order of Canada (1976) and member of the Ordre de Saint-Grégoire-le-Grand (1982). Séraphin Marion died in Ottawa on November 29, 1983. An Ottawa primary school and street have been named in his honour, and the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Montréal annually awards the Prix Séraphin-Marion.