Archival Holdings

 

The Archive of the Canadian Jesuits holds about 1.5 linear kilometres of materials accumulated over the last 400 years by Jesuits in the course of their various works throughout New France, Canada and abroad. The archival holdings include personal and institutional records. The oldest are documents from the 17th century, including travellers’ accounts and letters from the missionaries who worked in New France.

There are also records that witness to the experiences of Jesuits working in the international missions. For example, there is a collection of hundreds of photographs from the 20th-century Jesuit missions in China.

Many of the materials come from Jesuit institutions of learning.

Jesuits have played a major role in social and spiritual movements, and a number of the Archive’s fonds originated in such areas of activity as the Sodality of the Sacred Heart, Christian Life Communities, the École sociale populaire, the Jesuit Centre for Social Faith and Justice, and publications such as the French-language magazine Relations.

A considerable portion of the Archive’s holdings consists of the personal archival fonds of Jesuit priests and brothers. Many of them have high research value because the Jesuits who assembled them wanted to share their knowledge and life experience with those who would come after them. Generally, they are available for consultation after a 30-year waiting period from the time of the Jesuit’s death.