The province of Québec, the sole province in Canada where the citizens are a French-language majority, is also the only province with its own national library. The Bibliothèque nationale du Québec and other significant libraries around the world collect and preserve memory in ways that create a context for cultural recall. The first part of this article traces the heated debates that took place in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries over the creation of a public or municipal library in Montréal. The second part traces the events leading to the development of the Bibliothèque nationale du Québec and its subsequent merger in 2005 with the Bibliothèque municipale de Montréal to form the Grande Bibliothèque, or "the new national library of Québec." The stages of evolution of the Bibliothèque nationale/Grande Bibliothèque, in parallel with the development of public libraries in Québec, can be viewed as a reflection of the evolution and metamorphosis of society and cultural memory in Québec throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to the present.


Grande bibliothèque du Québec, Bibliothèque nationale du Québec, Bibliothèque de la ville de Montréal-Bibliothèque centrale, Memory (Philosophy), Libraries and society--History

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Publication Date

Fall 2007