French and Francophone

French resources

3. French resources in Canada

3.2 Libraries and Archives

National Libraries and Archives

La Grande Bibliothèque
Open and free access to more than four million documents, including one million books. The national collection contains books, reference works, government publications and microforms available directly on shelves or in filing cabinets as well as magazines and newspapers, available in mobile shelving, which BAnQ personnel can obtain for you.

Specialised services such as the online and onsite reference service can be accessed from here.

BAnQ Collections
Contains national and international collections. Collections related exclusively to Québec are:

Heritage Collections (textual and visual resources related to Quebec’s cultural and political history);

Archives (13 million photos, treatises, notarial acts, maps from the 17th century to the present);

Digital Collection(an ever growing digital collection of books, journals and newspapers, manuscripts, photos, postcards, prints, etc);

Images (free electronic access to over 20,000 photos and postcards, over 7,000 prints and engravings, over 2,000 posters and 600 other documentary images)

Centres d’Archives du Québec

BAnQ's nine archive centers provide a variety of services to the various groups that use them: consultation rooms, specialized documents (archives, genealogy, local and regional history), the loan of printed and microfilm works between archive centers, photocopies of written documents and the reproduction of visual and audio material, exhibitions and guided tours, educational activities and introductions to genealogical research, services provided by mail, fax and email, remote access to certain services, research tools and hundreds of thousands of items through the BAnQ web portal.

Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada (LAC) 

The collection held by the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is the shared documentary source for all Canadians. You can browse the site by subject area (22 collections for areas such as Aboriginal peoples, literature, politics and government or national identity) or by source type (databases, research aids, virtual exhibitions).

LAC hosts the thesis portal of Canada.

Archives Canada
Archives Canada is a gateway to archival resources found in over 800 repositories across Canada.

Provincial and Territorial Archives
This page lists Canada’s main provincial and territorial archives, with web access and main contact details.

Archives de la ville du Québec
Located at the 4th floor of the library Gabrielle Roy, Québec City. It contains a rich collection of both textual and non-textual documentary sources spanning from the 19th to the 20th century. Non-textual sources include 160 000 maps and architectural drawings, more than 100,000 images, 5 600 microfilms and 1800 audiovisual documents. 

Archives Montréal 1913 – 2013
The Archives Section contains private and public administrative documents of the city of Montreal as well as of external organisations and individuals whose activities are related to the city. Its corpus is divided into five distinct groups: Les fonds d’archives institutionnelles (VM et MTL),  Les fonds en provenance de la Bibliothèque de Montréal(BM), Les fonds en provenance de la Communauté urbaine de Montréal (CUM), Les fonds d’archives privées (P), Les fonds de la Société historique de Montréal (SHM).

The catalogue can be browsed by public or private collection, by individual or organisation.

National Catalogues

AMICUS is a free catalogue listing the holdings of libraries across Canada. As a national catalogue, AMICUS not only shows the published materials held at Library and Archives Canada (LAC) but also those located in over 1300 libraries across Canada.

AMICUS is an information resources system developed and maintained by the National Library of Canada (NLC) for libraries, researchers and the public. It is possible to search over 25 million records from 1,300 Canadian libraries and access the entire database including National Library records. Access is free but registration is necessary.

University Libraries

Library of the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) 
Online access to all UQAM’s libraries. The online catalogue lets you choose between different databases and submit a search by author, subject or collection. Access is free of charge.

Library of the Université Laval
The library of the Université Laval gives access to approximately six millions documents. books, periodicals, theses, films, music, cartographic references as well as a large number of online resources.The major part of the library’s collections is kept in the Bibliothèque des sciences humaines et sociales, located in the Jean-Charles-Bonenfantpavilion.

Library of the University of Toronto
A massive source of information and research tools for researchers. The list of libraries in the Humanities and Social Sciences can be accessed here.

It contains an important source of local digital special collections or full text digital collections that were developed at the University of Toronto Libraries, including:

Books Online
The collection includes page images, brief descriptions and full digital text of 858 digitized books from the University of Toronto Libraries.

Canadian Pamphlets and Broadsides
The collection includes items printed in Canada, by Canadian authors, or about Canadian subjects, mainly of a non-literary nature.

Canadian Poetry Online
Canadian Poetry is a collection of poetry from published contemporary and 19th century Canadian poets. Contemporary poets have selected their poetry and provided biographies. It includes, listing poems and poets both in French and English.

The Barren Lands Digital Collection

Canadian Printer and Publisher

The Labrador Inuit through Moravian eyes

This also offers access to a large database of newspapers and news indexes with Canadian contemporary and historical newspapers covering the whole of Canada, including the national newspapers and those in Ontario, Québec and other provinces.  Click here.

Public Libraries

La Bibliothèque de Québec
In French only. Bibliothèques Québec contains the catalogue Astrolabe with access to the collection of all public libraries in Québec City, including electronic books. The catalogue can be browsed online (access to and borrowing of electronic books is limited to library members only). It can be a good source for research related to the social and cultural life of the city. 

Bibliothèques Montréal
In French only. Bibliothèques Montréal hosts the catalogue with access to 44 public libraries in Montréal. It can be a good source for research related to the social and cultural life of the city.