Collections and Research

Heritage WallPart of the mission of the Centre du patrimoine is to document the French presence in Western Canada. Over the years it has built up collections that raise awareness of Western Canada’s Métis and francophones, as well as of their contributions to the development of this part of the country, with a special focus on Manitoba.



The Centre du patrimoine’s Lionel-Dorge Room provides a pleasant atmosphere for those who come to do their research here. The Centre’s archives and the books in its library can be consulted, microfilms viewed or databases accessed. To prepare for your research and make it simpler, please go to our Internet research tools. A free Wi-Fi connection is available on site; just ask the receptionist for the password. To facilitate your visit to our Website, see the Centre du patrimoine Research Guide.

We are now open Monday to Friday, 9am to 4:30pm (limited access)

Archival research by appointment only.
Please call 204-233-4888 (Attn: Julie) 


Our Website gives you access to a number of resources that are either available directly online or that are described in detail in our research tools. A guide to the search interface is available here.



Our archives include the very first documents created or acquired during the expedition to search for La Vérendrye’s Fort St. Charles conducted by the Société historique de Saint-Boniface (SHSB) in 1902, various documents created since then, and acquisitions of archival holdings from Métis and Franco-Manitoban organizations, associations and individuals. Over 700 archival holdings are now housed in the Centre du patrimoine. For over 100 years the Société historique has had a special interest in the social, cultural, political, economic, legal and religious evolution of Manitoba’s French-speaking population. It has been collecting the textual documents, maps, photographs, books, newspapers, recordings, films and digital documents that make up its archives. It processes the archives, making them easier to access and ensuring their preservation. Online access to a number of archival fonds descriptions and digitized documents is available on this site. Among the most prized archival fonds to be found at the SHSB are those of Louis Riel, the Société historique métisse, the Corporation archiépiscopale catholique romaine de Saint-Boniface, Joseph-Noël Ritchot, the Association d’éducation des Canadiens français du Manitoba, and several religious orders including the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, the Sœurs du Sauveur, among others. Added to these are the radio and television archives of the Société Radio-Canada in Manitoba, as well as the archives of the Cercle Molière, the Société franco-manitobaine and many other organizations and individuals, thus documenting every facet of life in Manitoba’s francophone and Métis communities, past and present. Our collection also includes photographs, animated pictures, maps and posters. In fact, the SHSB is the only provincial institution committed to acquiring archives of French-speaking Manitoba and the province’s Métis.


In addition to our library of almost 8,000 reference works and rare books, the SHSB has also acquired the Bibliothèque nationale de l’Archevêché de Saint-Boniface, one of the most significant collections of books (about 30,000 titles) and brochures on the history of francophones in Western Canada. A number of documents deal with the Manitoba school question. There are also a fair number of documents on caisses populaires and the Catholic Action movement. A number of periodicals and newspapers make up part of this collection, including Le Manitoba and Le Métis. The Library also holds a major collection of resources for genealogical research.


The expansion of our archives and our numerous book acquisitions have made it possible to develop considerable resources for genealogical research. This includes documents to be found in our library catalogue, databases that have been built up from information found in church records and documents making up family files.


Over the years the SHSB has also acquired a number of magazines along with several newsletters and numerous periodicals. These documents can be accessed either through our archives database or our library catalogue. In addition, some issues of the Bulletin de la Société historique de Saint-Boniface are available in digital format.


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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