This section contains a virtual depository of the archival documents used on this website. Usually, a researcher would be required to go to the various buildings where the documents produced or accumulated by an administrative group, an institution, a community, a family, or an individual are kept. Thanks to digitization, researchers are now able to consult documents without having to leave home. Certain digitization projects aim to reproduce archival groups in their entirety. We have chosen rather to provide documents that offer information on specific themes from this period in history.
Numerous documents on Nouvelle-France are kept in France, at the Archives nationales, Centre des archives d'Outre-Mer (Aix-en-Provence). Copies of these documents (first transcripts and then microfilms) were sent to the National Archives of Canada. In recent years, digitized archival documents on Nouvelle-France have been kept at http://www.archivescanadafrance.org/english/accueil_en.html, thereby providing direct access to the documents and reducing the need to consult the originals.
Documents kept in France contain the exchange of information between the authorities in the Colony and metropolitan France. Other documents produced by administrators, notaries and the courts have been kept here at the Archives nationales du Québec (ANQ). Most of the documents used on this site come from the Montreal centre of the ANQ, including the transcripts of Angélique’s trial, notarized acts, a few ordinances and some plans. The sentence appeal having been made to the Conseil supérieur in the city of Québec, related documents are at the Québec centre. A digitization project for these archives is underway at http://www.banq.qc.ca/.
In order to provide an overview of Montréal in 1734, we referred to other sources for transcripts and hard copies. Our method of thematic digitization allows you to consult a wide range of documents on related subjects that would otherwise be found in various archive centres. You will not find newspaper articles on this site. Newspapers (as well as printing presses) were forbidden in Nouvelle-France.
Although this may appear quite complex, these archives have in fact been greatly simplified. In order to set the historical background surrounding the events, and to present archival material that will allow you to study the past in your turn, researchers went through major amounts of documents within the archives in order to find, select and transcribe documents pertinent to the research you are about to undertake.
You can access the diverse sections of our archives by clicking to the left on the various types of documents.