Archives Services of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame
A Dialogue between Past and Present for the Future
In 1877, the General Council of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame established the Archives Office. Its mandate was to record the community’s history from its inception, that is, from Marguerite Bourgeoys’s arrival in Ville-Marie (Montreal) in 1653. Archival records constituting the fonds and collections were preserved in the motherhouses. In 1683, 1768 and 1893, fires destroyed considerable quantities of old records. A number of sisters were then assigned the task of restoring the Congregation’s institutional memory through various initiatives.
Meticulously, the archivists reconstructed the histories of all Congregation schools and works. In addition to the detailed work of transcribing, describing and writing, the archivists and librarians also updated registers and created several indexes still in use today.
In the 1970s, the Archives Office moved to a more modern space – where it still is today – and took the name Archives Services. In the 1990s, the premises were completely renovated to improve conditions for the better preservation of valuable documents and rare books.
Fonds and Collections
The Archives Services preserves about 820 linear metres of archival textual records, graphic and audiovisual material on various support media. Its holdings constitute a collection of 5,000 rare books, 20,000 reference books and almost 5,600 objects, which include mainly art works by the sisters and various artefacts.
At the heart of the collections are records that bear witness to the history of more than 340 schools established or directed by the Congrégation de Notre-Dame since 1658.
Mission and Services*
From its inception, the role of Archives Services has remained the same: to serve the members of the Congregation by being its living memory and to make society aware of its contribution since 1653. This is accomplished through the acquisition, processing, preservation and circulation of unique heritage records that have been entrusted to it. Simply put, its mission is to join past and present.
In order to make the Congrégation de Notre-Dame archives more accessible, the service also collaborates with various museums, historical societies, schools and organizations. On an annual basis, it responds to several hundred research questions and contributes to various dissemination activities - depending on the archivists’ availability.
- Research assistance
- Consultation on-site or remotely (by appointment only)
Reproduction of Records
- Photocopy and scanning
- Usage permit
Dissemination and Collaboration
- Guided visits
*Please note that fees may be associated with certain services.
To send a request to the Archives Services, kindly complete the following form
Resource person: Marie-Josée Morin, Archives Services Coordinator
Telephone: 514 931-5891, ext. 253
Congrégation de Notre-Dame
2330 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal (Quebec) H3H 1G8