Special Events

In My Secret Life: The Leonard Cohen Archive

Leonard Cohen, Hallelujah Notebook

Leonard Cohen, Hallelujah Notebook, 1983-1984. Notebook. Overall: 23.5 x 19 cm. © Leonard Cohen Family Trust.

Members $20 | Annual Passholders and Public $30

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Special Events

In My Secret Life: The Leonard Cohen Archive

Saturday, March 25, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Jackman Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario

“The only thing I had a sense of is that I’m going to document this little life.”

− Leonard Cohen

Join writers, academics, archivists and librarians as they explore the extraordinary scope and depth of the Leonard Cohen archive and its importance to Canada as a cultural and educational resource. International speakers will explore the significance of the notebooks, song drafts, concert tapes and more, which make the archive a unique musical, literary, photographic and fine art collection. Panels and individual presentations will also examine what the Cohen archive means for universities, museums and the public across Canada    


8:30 am
Coffee and Pastries

9 am
Larry Alford and Guylaine Beaudry: Welcome and Introduction

9:15 am
Ira Nadel: Leonard and his Archive: What It Means for Canada

9:45 am
Panel with Julian Cox, George E. Clark, Guylaine Beaudry, Andrew Mosker: Importance of Cohen to Canadian Cultural Legacy

10:45 am
Coffee Break

11:15 am
Robert Faggen: Leonard Cohen’s Personal Vision for His Archive

Noon - Break

1:15 pm
Ira Nadel: Accessing and acquiring the LC archive

1:25 pm
Robert Kory and Craig Newmark: Preserving the Archive for Public Scholarship

1:45 pm
Cheryl Cordingley: Organizing and Digitizing the Archive

2 pm
Robert de Young: Advanced Search in the Cohen Archive

2:30 pm
Ira Nadel: Is Philanthropy the Answer?

3 pm
Attendees are invited to view the exhibition


Larry Alford is the University of Toronto’s Chief Librarian and oversees a system of 44 libraries and holdings of more than 12.2 million volumes in 128 languages.

Guylaine Beaudry is the Trenholme Dean of Libraries, McGill University.   

George Elliott Clarke, Canadian poet, playwright and critic was Poet Laureate of Toronto from 2012-15 and Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate, 2016-17. He is currently professor of English at the University of Toronto.

Cheryl Cordingley has an MS in Library Science from UCLA and is chief archivist of the Leonard Cohen archive with a specialty in digital archives.

Julian Cox is AGO Deputy Director & Chief Curator, and curator of the exhibition Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows.

Robert de Young is a professor, television producer, documentarian and working with print, sound and video elements of the Cohen archive.

Robert Kory is a Trustee of the Leonard Cohen Family Trust and was Leonard’s manager from 2009 until his death in 2016.

Ira Nadel, author of Various Positions, A Life of Leonard Cohen (1996, 2007), is professor of English Emeritus at the Univ. of British Columbia and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Craig Newmark is the founder of Craig’s List, and an internet entrepreneur and philanthropist.



For requests for Verbal Description, American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and/or live captioning for online and onsite programming, please provide three weeks notice in advance of the event date. The AGO will make every effort to provide accommodation for requests made with less than three weeks notice. Please note that automated captioning is available for all online programs. For onsite visits, the AGO offers these supports for an accessible visit. Please contact us to make a request for these or other accessibility accommodations. Learn more about accessibility at the AGO.


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