Every month, an object from the heritage bequest by the Augustinian community is selected by the museum storage facility and archives center teams. Featured this month: a book written by Pierre-François-Xavier de Charlevoix, Histoire de la Nouvelle-France: Journal d’un voyage fait par ordre du roi dans l’Amérique Septentrionale, tome III, 1744. On November 14, 1823, the Hôpital géneral de Québec received this book as a gift from Mademoiselle de Saint-Ours, a resident and benefactress of the institution.
After gathering over 1,000 boxes of books from various Augustinian monasteries in 2015, a meticulous inspection was undertaken to eliminate all traces of insect pests. Pests such as silverfish can irreversibly alter books’ physical integrity. During the process, archivists made a surprising discovery: leaves, flowers, and palm creations gently inserted between the pages, having been there several years. Taken out of the books so as not to hinder their preservation, today, these specimens bear witness to a drying technique. They could then be reused to make herbariums and various handicrafts.
The archivists made an astonishing discovery: leaves, flowers and books made of palms (branches) had been resting quietly between the pages for many years. The book by P. de Charlevoix is an example among many others as archivists often discover these findings in several other books of the collection and monastery archives.
Removed from the books so as not to harm their preservation, these specimens are today proof of a drying technique. They could then be reused for the preparation of herbaria and various handicrafts.