Brothers of the Christian Schools of Francophone Canada – Archives Department
300, chemin du Bord-de-l'Eau, Laval (Quebec) H7X 1S9
450 689-4151, poste 261
Tuesday to Friday, from 9 am to 4:30 pm, by appointment only.
The Brothers of the Christian Schools (FÉC) of Francophone Canada, called Lasallians, in honor of their founder Saint Jean-Baptiste de La Salle, are clerics, members of an institute of consecrated life, dedicated to the humanist and Christian education of young people, especially those in poverty.
In 1680, in Reims (France), Jean-Baptiste de La Salle founded the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. He developed an innovative, effective, and avant-garde curriculum for the time. He perfected simultaneous teaching, in which the professor addresses all the students at the same time, leaving none inactive. De La Salle established the first training schools for teachers, which later earned him the title, “the teacher of teachers”.
Monseigneur Lartigue, first bishop of Montreal and the Sulpician Joseph-Vincent Quiblier, summoned the first four Brothers of the Christian Schools from France and they arrived in Québec in 1837.
First established in Montreal, the Brothers developed a network of institutions expanding from Quebec City in 1843 to Trois-Rivières the following year, Baltimore (Maryland) in 1845, and New York in 1848.
Pionneers of business courses in Québec, they opened l'Académie commerciale de Québec in 1862, then in 1924, l'École supérieure de commerce de Québec, which led to the establishment of the Faculty of Commerce at the University of Laval (Faculté des sciences de l’administration de l'Université Laval) in 1952.
In Montreal, in 1888, they founded the Mont-Saint-Louis on Sherbrooke Street, one of the most modern schools of the time.
At the behest of Monseigneur Gauthier, the Brothers of the Christian Schools opened the teaching institute of Saint-Georges, a graduate school of teaching that became affiliated with the Université de Montréal in 1929. Additionally, between 1837 and 1945, the Brothers were significant producers of textbooks.
Today, the Brothers of the Christian Schools, helped by some 100,000 layperson collegues, teach more than 1,000,000 students in 80 countries.
DESCRIPTION OF FONDS AND COLLECTIONS
The archives of the Brothers of the Christian Schools of francophone Canada are located in a recently-constructed building, adjacent to the De La Salle Residence, in Laval (Sainte-Dorothée).
The archives bring together the collections sourced from the former districts of Longueuil, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City, Toronto, and Trois-Rivières. The archives of the Brothers of the Christian Schools of francophone Canada include several hundred collections concerning the administration, members of the community, its schools, its training centres, and its works.
Close to 600 artifacts have been catalogued, representing just a smallart of the collection. 800 rare and antique books coming from different communities complete the FÉC Archives Department’s Library.
Time span covered by collection: 1749-today
MANDATE AND MISSION
The archival documents conserved at the FÉC Archives bear witness to the history, the mission, and the life of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools of Francophone Canada since their arrival in 1837. The archives department conserves the historic records produced by the entirety of the FÉC community. A significant library of works written by the members of the community, books about them or their founder, and a large number of FÉC textbooks is also available for consultation.
The archives department promotes access to this heritage for members of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools and for researchers. It also preserves the institute’s most significant artifacts.
The archives department’s mandate is, on the one hand, to preserve the historical records, to acquire, and to process archival documents that have become inactive according to archival norms. On the other hand, it is to provide a written response to all internal and external requests for addressed to the FÉC Archives, in compliance with the legislation pertaining to archives, copyright, and access restriction.
Photo: Archives Building located in Sainte-Dorothée, Laval