Given the broad range of their subject matter (furnished by OS, parishes, bishops, priests, religious communities and numerous diocesan corporations) and their dates of origin (as early as 1648), the Diocesan Archives are among the most important private collections in Quebec.
Indispensable to the understanding of religious, cultural, political and social history, the Diocesan Archives constitute documentary evidence of the majority of events marking the evolution of Quebec, from the British conquest through the rebellion of Lower Canada and including the Louis Riel affair.
Above and beyond this, however, the Diocesan Archives recount the Church’s dynamic and living mission reflected in the life of its parishes, in the Archdiocese, and more generally, in the community of the Faithful. As Pope Paul VI declared in his address of September 26, 1963 concerning the Church archives: ‘‘It is Christ Himself entering into time in order to write his own history, in which our scraps of paper are the echoes and traces of the Church’s journey, or rather, of the Transitus Dei, of Our Lord Jesus’ passing through the world.’’
The holdings and collections housed in the Diocesan Archives provide a record of the activities of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Montreal, a not-for-profit corporation representing the largest of all the religious organizations in Quebec. Created a Diocese in 1836 and subsequently an Archdiocese in 1886, its mission is the pastoral and temporal administration of the Catholic parishes of the Greater Montreal area.
The historical documents preserved in the Diocesan Archives span more than four centuries, from 1660 to the current day. They contain the writings of the bishops and priests of Montreal concerning the administration of the diocese, correspondence with the Holy See and with dioceses across five continents, communications with institutions of consecrated life and associations of the Faithful, in addition to exchanges with educational, healthcare and social services institutions: in short, a reflection of the many instances of Catholic Church of Montreal’s involvement in the spheres of religious life and civil society.
The Holdings and Collections of the Catholic Church of Montreal are structured as follows:
Collection A: Diocesan administration
Collection B: Parishes and Missions
Collection C: Clergy
Collection D: Diocesan institutions and corporations
Collection E: Collection of the Bishops of Montreal
Collection P: Individuals and communities
The Collections contain thematic portfolios (albums), rare publications and books, registries, maps and plans, animated and still pictures and artefacts.
In September 2019, the diocesan Archives inaugurated its online catalog, accessible at the URL address: https://archivesdiocesemontreal.accesstomemory.org/
This evolving catalog is an inventory of the Archives’ collections maintained by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Montreal.
The Catholic Church of Montreal’s Archives are accessible to the public and to researchers, provided certain conditions are observed.
Our offices are located at:
2000 Sherbrooke Street W.
Montreal (Quebec) H3H 1G4
As a preliminary step, kindly consult our online catalog:
Visits to the consultation room are by appointment only. To consult documents, kindly forward your request in writing to the diocesan archivist:
Requests for information and consultations are handled preferably by email. Requests are processed in the order in which they are received.
SERVICES AND FEES
We provide research and document reproduction services. Fees are reasonable and we rely on the support of the Faithful and researchers in order to maintain our activities.