The collections composing the library

      In 2014, we estimate that the whole monographics and periodicals collections have reached around 200,000 items.  The books occupy all the first main library's level, and one section of the mezzanine, and a good part of the conservation room.

      Roughly, our collections are divided in many different subjects, it corresponds to :
      This large diversity of the collections is explained by the facts, that the Seminary has been during a long period of time, from 1811 to 1970, a private teaching house for the level of secundary, college and university degrees.  The library was uniquely used by the priests living at the Seminary.  Those priests were all teachers at the Seminary's college.  In order to help them in their teaching, the library has accumulated a lot of books and periodicals, on all the subjects teached in this private secundary school and classical college and in the Great Seminary.

      We should not forget that the Seminary has been associated for a long time to the University Laval, then, with the University of Montreal for the teaching of the Belles-Lettres.  This affiliation has strenghten the willingness of the previous Seminary's leaders, to invest in the library collections, so, the library could manage the requests of the teachers and of the students during all those years.  Actually, we are still working in cooperation with the Dominicans Institute of Pastorale of Montreal. The students could obtain a Certificate in Pastoral Studies (CPE) from the University College in Philosophy and Theology from the Dominicans of Ottawa. And we are able to loan items to the pastoral or theology students and the teachers of the night courses teached in our diocese.

      We also possess many thousands of periodicals, edited as early as the beginning of the XIXth century to today.  The two third of the mezzanine are occupied by the religious periodicals and the non-religious periodicals.  An inventory for the non-religious periodicals, gives us an amount of 1  285 titles. But we have already made a computerized inventory of the religious periodicals.  There are more than 1  182 titles in our computerized catalog.  The library is still subscribed to 25 periodicals and 4 newspapers (La Presse, Le Devoir, Le Courrier de Saint-Hyacinthe, La Voix de l'Est).

Oldest books

      The library possess a great collection of old and rare books.  Our stacks contain many thousands of titles dated from the early XVIth to the XIXth centuries.  Our most ancient book precedes the arrival of Jacques Cartier in canadian land.  It dates from 1511.  It is a Bible Concordance written from the works of Saint Jerome.  The Bible was written in latin and published in France.  It is not as famous as the 42 lines Bible published by Gutenberg at Mayence around 1454-56, but it is rare to find a such book in Quebec or in Canada.

      Speaking of scarcity, by example, we are the only library owning all the exemplaries of the periodical entitled "La Revue du Monde Invisible" (1898-1908) in ten volumes.  Another library's scarcity owned by our library is entitled "Dieu et les Dieux : ou un voyageur chrétien devant les objets primitifs des cultes anciens, les traditions et la fable : Monographie des pierres dieux et de leurs transformations", and written by the Knight R. Gougenot Des Mousseaux.  It was published by Lagny Frères at Paris, only in 1854.  The only other copies available for research, are located at the National Library of Québec, the National Library of Canada.  Otherwise, you have to go in France at the National Library of France or Bibliothèque Nationale de France at Paris.

      Also, we possess three copies of the famous Encyclopédie Diderot.  That encyclopaedia has been the first encyclopaedia published in french by Mr Denis Diderot (1713-1784, philosopher, theologian, lawyer, and erudite).  The copies dated from 1747 to 1766.  We have a copy in large format of 17 volumes of texts and 11 volumes of engravings.  There is also another copy in large format, but it is incomplete.  And there is a third copy printed in smaller format dated from the XVIIIth century, it includes text and engravings.

      You should know that during our process to computerize all the library collections, all items older than 1870 is shipped to a conservation room with controll atmosphere, so their conservation life will be expand.  The items published after 1870 are kept inside the main library room and are available to researcher during opening hours of the library.