Grey Nuns of Montréal – Department of Archives and Collections

Maison de Mère d'Youville
   138, St-Pierre St., Montreal (Quebec) H2Y 2L7

Monday to Friday, 8 am to 12 noon and 1 pm to 4 pm, by appointment only.

Since 1737, the Sisters of Charity of Montreal, the  ̎Grey Nuns  ̎ have pursued their mission of love, respect, and compassion toward the poor, as defined by their founder Marguerite d’Youville. Across time, the faces of the poor, infirm, and orphaned have changed. But poverty, isolation and exclusion have remained constant.   ̎Walking in the footsteps  ̎ of their founder, Marie-Marguerite Dufrost de la Jemmerais, widowed Youville, thousands of Grey Nuns have devoted themselves to the task of bringing care, nourishment, and comfort to as many people as possible.

The archives attest to the sisters' devotion to the poor, infirm, orphaned, sick etc. The archives department conserves the fonds of major institutions like Notre Dame Hospital, Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital, St. Boniface General Hospital in Manitoba, and Edmonton General Hospital in Alberta, etc. Close to one hundred establishments related to the fields of healthcare and education (hospitals, convents, schools, community organizations, etc.) were founded by the Gray Nuns of Montreal in Canada and in the United States. Today, these institutions are in the hands of the Ministry of Health and Social Services (Quebec) and of other corporations who have taken on the responsibility of their management and mission. The archives department possesses documents that reflect the nuns’ activities in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, the United States and Brazil.

Other collections
The department of archives and collections is responsible for the collection of rare and antique books which consists of approximately 3,900 volumes. We also manage a collection of artifacts which includes around 6,000 objects.

Time span covered by archives: 1688-today
Technical specifications and maps: 2,638
Iconographic documents: approx. 100,000
Text documents: 658.08 m.l.
Digital data: 23.8 Gb
Hours of audio recording: 75,540
Hours of video recording: 28,101
Number of fonds: 355

To bear witness to their rich and inspiring history, the congregation of the Grey Nuns has maintained an archives department since 1941. Today, this department preserves and conserves archives of historical importance produced by the congregation and, fostering access for members and researchers. Perpetuating the charisme of Marguerite d'Youville, represents the congregation’s collective memory.
The service mandate is to share the history of the congregation and its founder and to respond to internal and external requests for information while respecting all legislation pertaining to the archives. The department also provides daily follow-ups for researchers and different actors in the field.