Quebec Seminary Collection, 1623-1800 (17th-19th centuries)
Documentary heritage submitted by Canada and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2007.
The Quebec Seminary Collection, 1623-1800 (17th-19th centuries), describing the birth of Quebec and Canada, is hereby nominated for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register.
Founded in 1663 for the purpose of training priests and evangelizing Amerindians in the diocese of Quebec, which then covered the whole of North America, the Quebec Seminary bears witness to the migration, introduction, continuity and influence of French culture and Catholic spirituality in North America and to their interaction with indigenous cultures and with other cultures of European origin. Its Archives and Library, established early on, contain in particular documents produced or received by its members during the French regime (1534-1763) and the first decades of the British regime (1763-1800). They also include a part of the library of the Jesuit College, the first institution of higher education founded in North America (1653-1765).
By virtue of their large number, their many different origins and their coherence as a collection, these documents form an irreplaceable part of the Canadian and North American culture of Quebec. They constitute an invaluable source for the study of the colonial history of North America. They confirm the decisive role played in exchanges between the Old and New Worlds by Quebec, a four-hundred-year-old cultural, spiritual and political capital placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985. They are located in the historical place where they came into being and from which they cannot be dissociated.