THE EXPO FILES | LAC + »The Memorial Album of the first category universal and international Exhibition held in Montreal from the twenty-seventh of April to the twenty-ninth of October nineteen hundred and sixty-seven«

Kaleidoscope

Pulp and Paper

Africa Place

Czechoslovakia’s »Diapolyécran« La Création du Monde (10:11) by Josef Svoboda

France

Québec

Ontario

USA

Canada

Wayfinding by Paul Arthur + Associates

USSR/CCCP

Monaco

The Memorial Album of the first category universal and international Exhibition held in Montreal from the twenty-seventh of April to the twenty-ninth of October nineteen hundred and sixty-seven may be the longest title in my personal library. It’s also my favourite.

The tome’s 368 pages document the history, construction, and themes of Montréal’s extraordinary expo 67 in a gorgeously illustrated design by Gérard Caron and edited by Jean-Louis de Lorimier. Each participating nation gets a spread and the (uncredited) photos are top-drawer.

This is (was) Pierre Depuy‘s book. He was the “Ambassador and Commissioner Director” of expo and this book (published by Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1968) was most likely distributed from his office to all the nations and companies that participated in the expo. There are probably a few copies still floating out there in the world’s diplomatic offices.

My copy is showing signs of of age — a cracking spine and pages that feel more and more fragile — but it’s the one book I truly treasure for its images.

Expo 67: The memorial album is a loving testament and memorial to that magical summer in ’67. It sparked my childhood imagination and my lifelong love of cities of the future. For expo 67 showed what might have been possible.

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I was trolling Library and Archives Canada’s (LAC) website for images of expo when I began to recognize photo after photo. That’s what got me to drag the Memorial Album out in the first place. And lo and behold, a lot of the photos from the Album are now housed at Canada’s national archives:


Makes sense. Expo was an extravagant and expensive party that cost the Canadian taxpayer a fair bit of change. So it’s nice to see these photos in the public domain where they belong.

And unlike my frangible paper copy of the book, these digital images should last a while longer.

Here’s to the world’s archivists for keeping the public memory alive.

And here are my expo 67 collages based on LAC’s database of expo images:


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