The Centre du patrimoine's library acquisition mandate is to document the history of francophones and Métis in Western Canada and in particular to complement the archival collections. It focuses primarily on the acquisition of books published in French in Manitoba and Western Canada. Included in this acquisition mandate are included serials published in French such as newspapers, periodicals and journals. The library does not have a circulation service and consultation is only allowed on the premises of the Centre du patrimoine. 

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The genealogy section

The library contains a collection of books useful for genealogical research on francophone and Métis families of Western Canada. These books include indexes of sacramental registers, particularly of marriages and mostly of Quebec parishes. The library also includes publicaitons of family histories or genealogies, local histories of parishes, villages or municipalities. Often these local histories also include family histories.


The reference library

The reference library contains publications pertaining to the history of the Métis and francophones of Western Canada. Most books are collected in order as complementary documentation to the archival fonds at the Centre du patrimoine. For example, with the acquisition of the fonds Oblats de Marie-Immaculée Province du manitoba/Délégation, the library has collected publications on the Oblates of Western Canada and the history of the Oblate Congregation.  The collection provides the researcher with additional and contextual  information on the Oblats.  collection d'appui pour le chercheur.


The rare book collection

This collection includes books directly linked to an archival fonds (such as for example the incunabulum given to Bishop Alexandre Taché by a former Grey Nun student). Also included in the collection are what constitutes a francomanitobana collection, that is publications including brochures, leaflets, serial publications, books and other such publications which were published in Manitoba in French by francophones excluding publications published by the governments of Canada and Manitoba or by the City of Winnipeg (except for particular cases such as the Statutes of Manitoba from 1870 to 1890 because of their exceptional significance for Franco-Manitobans and Métis).  


The Archdiocesan National Library (BNA - Bibliothèque national de l'archevêché)

In the 1860 fire of the Saint-Boniface Cathedral, the first diocesan library started by Bishop Joseph-Norbert Provencher was destroyed. The establishment of a new library was immediatement undertaken by Bishop Alexandre Taché . Under Archbishop Adélard Langevin, third bishop of Saint-Boniface, the was important enough that it became the core of a new endeavour, the Archdiocesan National Library.  The acquisition mandate of the new library was defined as: "Create here in Saint-Boniface, the oldest and most important intellectual center of Western Canada, a proper library of Canadian and American books pertaining specifically to the West,  in French and English, but more particularly in French." The National Library collection is identifiable by its book stamp. Over the years other collections were added including the one of the Major Seminary and the particular collections of succeeding Bishops and other members of the Archdiocesan personnel. On the other hand some books of the collection were given away over the years and some of them entered the book colleciton of the Société historique de saint-Boniface. The BNA Collection contains over 30 000 volumes not including serials and newspapers. An inventory of the collection given was made and the collection as a whole was given to the Société historique de Saint-Boniface. This collection is accessible using the inventory database available on site. The main categories of the collection are: theology, philosophy, pastoral works, spirituality, history of the Church and history of Canada.  


Special collections

In cases of specific contracts, the Société historique de Saint-Boniface acquires book collections which fulfills a particular mandate. For example, the contrat with Maison Gabrielle Roy Inc. has entailed acquiring a book collection which has as objective to acquire all of Gabrielle Roy's publications. In the case of the National Historic Site of Canada of Riel House, during the 30 years the Société historique de Saint-Boniface has managed the site, an important book collection on Riel and the Métis was created.   


Centre du patrimoine, 340, boulevard Provencher, Saint-Boniface, (Manitoba) R2H 0G7 - T(204) 233-4888 ©2010 - Société historique de Saint-Boniface
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