LIBRARY OF THE
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 :
- 65 % in religion ;
- 15 % in french, french-canadian, and quebecker literatures ;
- 10 % in history (especially Canadiana) and in politics ;
- 10 % in sciences, in governementals papers, in education, and some others
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).
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.
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