The archives of the Séminaire de Québec are tangible signs of the establishment and spread of the French culture in North America, as well as of Québec City's key role in the relations and exchanges between the Old and the New World.
A significant part of these archives is classified Memory of the World UNESCO.
Musée de la civilisation, photographer Jessy Bernier - Perspective Photo, 0534_relv_0377
Musée de la civilisation is the privileged custodians of these archives. To ensure their preservation for future generations, these archives are undergoing a preventive conservation process begun in 2013 through the Archives Project.
This huge operation will improve their storage conditions and their traceability leading to their future move to the Centre national de conservation et d'études des collections (CNCEC)
A specialized team
Musée de la civilisation, photographe Jessy Bernier - Perspective Photo, 0534_relv_0163
Flattening, surface cleaning, construction of customized containers, minimal restoration, cataloguing, standardizing data, optimizing reserve storage spaces… these are few of the operations currently being carried out by our personnel in partnership with the Centre de conservation du Québec.
Musée de la civilisation, Chantiers des collections, photographe : Jessy Bernier - Icône, 0534_relv_422
Musée de la civilisation, Chantiers des collections, photographe : Jérémie LeBlond-Fontaine - Icône, 0534_relv_0496
The 2014-2015 year was a time of transition for the collections, particularly due to the redesign of the integrated data management system, and the inventory and preventive conservation work done on the archives. The redesign of the collections management system led to a virtual reorganization of the collections and archival documents sectors. For its part, the Archives Project recorded documents yet to be inventoried.
By the end of this project, which is expected to stretch over a decade, the following documents and objects to be treated:
More than 1 linear km of textual documents including :
- 197 426 old books
- 221 317 documents and objects in which we can find :
- 54 000 photographs
- 34 000 numismatic items (coins and medals)
- 32 000 philatelic items (stamps)
- 14183 paper-based works
- 4 400 manuscripts
- 4 000 maps and plans
- 900 sigillographic items (seals)
Musée de la civilisation, photographe Jessy Bernier - Perspective Photo, 0534_relv_0223 et 0534_relv_0224
These items will be inventoried and their state of conservation improved. The storage conditions of some will be upgraded (change of folder, different box, fewer documents per drawer, etc.) depending on their state of conservation. Some of the maps, plans, photographs, historical archives, manuscripts, old books, and other paper-based works will be digitized.