Monastère des Augustines Archival Centre
Tuesday thru Thursday, from 8:30 am to 12 noon and from 1 pm to 4:30 pm, by appointment only.
The Monastère des Augustines Archival Centre welcomes all researchers, specialists or curious persons wishing to consult the archive. The researcher must make an appointment with the archivist by telephone or by email before coming to consult the archives. Researchers coming for the first time or to undertake a new inquiry must communicate in advance with personnel to explain the nature of their research and the sources they plan to consult.
The archival centre was created to follow in the spirit of the Fédération des Monastères des Augustines de la Miséricorde de Jésus, bringing together the documentary heritage of their twelve monasteries. Preventing the dispersal of this heritage while facilitating its conservation and diffusion for the benefit of all, the Monastère des Augustines Archival Centre is the repository and the guardian of an institutional memory that is among the richest and most imposing in Quebec and in Canada. Since its opening in September 2015, it has progressively welcomed the archival collections of each monastery, making them available to researchers. It is worth noting that, since February 25th 2018, the Monastère des Augustines Archival Centre has been one of Quebec’s certified private archives.
DESCRIPTION OF FONDS AND COLLECTIONS
From 1610 to the current day, the Augustines’ archives trace the origins and development of the Catholic Church and Quebec society, including its healthcare system and its roots in the care provided by religious institutions for the sick, elderly, poor, infirm, and abandoned in regions across the province. The Augustines founded 12 monastery-hospitals over the course of the last 400 years, establishing the basis for Quebec’s current healthcare system. They contributed to the province’s development and to the vitality of its regions where they carried out with dedication the tasks of hospital managers, nurses, and pharmacists.
Whether pertaining to healthcare, spiritual and monastic life, finances, communication, social history, or property management, the Augustines’ archives are a documentary heritage without equal. This unique wealth is due in large part to the integrity of the archival collections, their continuity through time, and the impeccable state in which they were brought to the centre.
Several archival collections are listed in Quebec’s Cultural Heritage Registry.
The Archive Centre is also responsible for 13 collections of historical books, totaling around 13,000 individual works. Among them one notably finds the collection of antique books belonging to the Monastère des Augustines de l'Hôtel-Dieu de Québec (the collection contains 2,800 works dating from between 1567 and 1900) and the antique book collection of the Monastère de l'Hôpital général de Québec (this collection contains 1,560 works dating from between 1597 and 1900). Both collections are listed in Quebec’s Cultural Heritage Registry.
Over 40,000 artefacts and objects issued from the 12 monastery-hospitals are stored at the museum reserves of the Monastère des Augustines in optimal conditions for their conservation. Medical and pharmaceutical instruments, pieces of furniture, artworks, liturgical elements, ordinary objects linked to craftsmanship or to traditional skills and other testaments to the past wait to be showcased in the museum’s exhibitions.
Time span covered by archives: 1610-auj.
Technical specifications and geographic maps: 2,738
Iconographic documents: 148,940
Text documents: 416 m.l.
Digital data: 1,387,000 kB
Hours of audio recordings: 3,878
Hours of video recordings: 387
Number of fonds: 63
MANDATE AND MISSION
The Archival Centre hopes to remind future generations of an important part of their history and their identity, shaped by one of the religious communities central to Quebec’s founding. The archives are managed by the Monastère des Augustines, a non-profit organization. Their primary mission is to ensure the continuation of the Augustines’ tangible and intagible heritage and to make it accessible to future generations. The Archival Centre’s mandate is to conserve the Augustines' recorded memory. The centre assembles the the historical archives; it oversees their processing, description, conservation and preservation according to recognized archival standards. It is also charged with their promotion, diffusion and facilitating their consultation with a goal of making their history and the importance of the Augustines’ contribution known to the public.