On July 4, 2018, the Monastère des Augustines inaugurated a web portal exclusively dedicated to the archives of the Augustinian Sisters. About 3,000 archival documents—nearly 32,000 pages or digitized photos—are accessible to the general public. There are photos, letters, contracts, etc. This is an incredible gift to researchers as well as all those interested in the religious, medical, architectural and social history of Québec! Let’s discover the 10 major themes for those curious enough to venture into the past!
A classification by theme
On the portal, archival documents are classified according to 10 major themes. You can first learn about the history and founding of the 12 monasteries-hospitals. This category allows, among other things, to review the portal documents according to a specific monastery-hospital. Since the Augustinian Sisters were hospitallers, there is a category dedicated specifically to the world of health care and medicine. Examples include photographs of operating rooms, laboratories and patient rooms of the past as well as 17th century patient records.
You can also learn more about the spiritual life of these sisters who followed the teachings of St. Augustine. You can discover old scenes of a clothing ceremony (taking the veil), chapels now destroyed or even pictures of external rituals, such as Corpus Christi. One category of research relates to the many properties of the Augustinian Sisters (seigneurie land, buildings), while another looks at the correspondence maintained between different communities.
The Augustinian Sisters are also said to have great managerial skills; one section in the portal is dedicated to finance. This may surprise many, but financial documents are very relevant to understanding, for example, the type of products that the Augustinian Sisters produced, sold and bought.
Although the Augustinian Sisters were hospitallers, they still played a pivotal role in education. Archives refer to nursing schools as well as to the boarding school of the Hôpital general de Québec. A section devoted to food shows that nutrition was an important aspect of hospital life.
The Augustinian Sisters were also involved with sports and cultural activities as well as handicrafts; information about these are found in the section on entertainment. Finally, the Augustinian Sisters founded several missions abroad; these are covered in yet another section.
A search tab allows you to enter keywords to easily find the documents or information you are looking for.
This portal represents an important addition to the monastery’s commitment to sharing its heritage. The Augustinian Sisters left the Québec population with archives, old books and more than 40,000 artifacts that spread over one kilometre long. The web portal can be very useful to researchers and anyone curious to explore the rich history of the Augustinian Sisters.
With more than 32,000 pages or photos, you can spend hours making fascinating discoveries on the new portal!
The creation of the web portal was made possible thanks to a donation of $200,000 from Québecor, in addition to the contribution of Library and Archives Canada, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, and the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec.