Dr. Guy Berthiaume is a Canadian historian specialized in the study of Classical Antiquity. On June 23, 2014, he became the Librarian and Archivist of Canada. Before that, he served for five years as the Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec.
A native of Montreal, he earned a doctorate from the Université Paris VIII in 1976, following an M.A. from Université Laval (1973) and a B.A from UQAM (1972). His doctoral thesis, written under the supervision of Marcel Detienne, was published in 1982 under the title Les rôles du mágeiros. Étude sur la boucherie, la cuisine et le sacrifice dans la Grèce ancienne (Leiden and Montreal).
Starting in 1976, the first 20 years of his professional life were dedicated to research administration. After five years at Université de Montréal, he joined the Fonds FCAC (which eventually became the Fonds FCAR), a non-profit organization created by the Government of Québec in 1981. He founded the Scholarships department and subsequently headed the Research Support and Dissemination department. In 1984, he joined Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) as Assistant Director, Research and Creation Services, a position he held until 1987, when he relinquished it to become Assistant to the Vice-Rector, Academics and Research. During this period, Guy Berthiaume sat as a member of the Executive Committee of the Canadian Association of University Research Administrators (CAURA), an association he chaired from 1989–1990.
In 1989, at the invitation of Rector Claude Corbo, he was named Vice-President and Director General of the UQAM Foundation, the university’s fundraising arm. Under his leadership, the Foundation raised more than 31 million dollars over the next seven years.
In 1996, he became a professor with UQAM’s history department. He devoted the next two years to teaching Classical Antiquity. After spending a year at the helm of UQAM’s Office of Partnerships (1999), he was appointed in 2000 to serve as Director of the Canadian Students’ House at the Cité internationale universitaire de Paris. Over the next two years, he organized the festivities for the 75th anniversary of the House (October 2001) and edited the proceedings of a colloquium held on September 10, 2001 (La Cité internationale universitaire de Paris. 75 ans d'évolutions, Paris, 2002).
In 2002, he was recruited by Université de Montréal to become Assistant Vice-Rector and Chief of Staff to Rector Robert Lacroix. In March 2003, he was appointed Vice-Rector, Development and Public Affairs, a position he continued to hold following the appointment of the new rector, Luc Vinet, in June 2005, with the title of Vice-Rector, Development and Alumni Relations.
August 2008 marked his return to Université du Québec à Montréal, where he held the position of Vice-Rector, Research and Creation, in the new team established by Rector Claude Corbo. In this capacity, he was responsible for the development of scientific and artistic activities at UQAM, as well as for international relations.
From June 22, 2009, to June 20, 2014, he was Chair and CEO of the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec. That institution includes a major public library—the Grande Bibliothèque—a preservation centre, and 10 archives centres: Gaspé, Gatineau, Montréal, Québec, Rimouski, Rouyn-Noranda, Saguenay, Sept-Îles, Sherbrooke and Trois-Rivières. On March 25, 2010, he was elected Secretary General of the Réseau francophone numérique (RFN), an organization that includes 22 heritage libraries from member countries of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie.In May 2012, he was re-elected for two years.
Guy Berthiaume is a Knight of the Ordre des Palmes académiques of the French Republic (2006). He received the Dan Chase Award from the Canadian Association of University Research Administrators in 2000, and the medal of the Centre Jacques Cartier in 2007. In November 2012, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Université Jean Monnet (Saint-Étienne, France), and in December of the same year, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
From 2004 to 2008, he served as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Corporation de la Cité universitaire internationale de Montréal. Since April 2009, he has been a member of the Centre Jacques Cartier's Executive Committee. From 2011 to 2013, he was President of the Alumni Council of UQAM’s Humanities faculty, and from June 2012 to June 2014, he served as President of the institution’s Comité institutionnel des diplômés.