Find of the Month – History of New France

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.



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.
© Archives du Monastère des Augustines 
Fonds Monastère de l’Hôpital général

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.

Sometimes, when examined, the books of Le Monastère’s Archives Centre are full of surprises. Here is a cross-shaped palm work, pansy flower, a rose petal and a small bear-shaped sticker.

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.

On the front cover of the book is a golden seal. There are two characters, one of which represents Justice. They are holding an open book on which is written the words “[i]ungit doctrina sorores”, as well as a date, 1733. It is possible that this seal represented the library of lawyers in the Parliament of Brittany, founded in 1733.

To discover more about the heritage of the
Augustinian Sisters, visit Le Monastère
des Augustines’s museum
. Explore other documents on the
Archives Center website
.