Virtual Cathedral is a magnificent exhibit that highlights a Canadian heritage jewel: the archives of the Archdiocese of Quebec. Virtual Cathedral would like to demonstrate the role played by the Archdiocese of Quebec over the centuries in preserving historical documents.
In fact the chancellery of the diocese of Quebec is the oldest religious institution in North America devoted to preserving archives. In 1674 the diocese of Quebec was erected. But the missions of the Récollets and Jesuits respectively established at Quebec in 1615 and 1632 remained until 1649. This fact explains why the Archdiocese of Quebec holds documents from before the bishopric was established. In 1712 the diocese of Quebec covered the American continent to Louisiana. Only the British colonies that would later become the United States and the Spanish colony that has become Florida were not under the religious authority of the Bishop of Quebec. The documents we have from this historical period are important for studying and understanding our Canadian heritage.
The Virtual Cathedral exhibit is a precious legacy to Canadians from the Archdiocese of Quebec. It allows a series of documents from the Archdiocese of Quebec’s archives collection to be made available electronically. These pieces are unique and of historical importance for Canadians. Of exceptional documentary quality historically legally and geographically these archives tell us about the language and writing of such First Nations as the Innu and Algonquin. These documents like chronicles tell of the meeting of two civilizations Aboriginal and European. The texts also reveal the role clerics played in the colony’s economic development by contributing to exploration voyages and diplomatic alliances with Aboriginal nations.
This exhibit allow everyone to learn more about and better appreciate history.
The documents studied transcribed translated and virtually exhibited will also provide material to start a database which will be used to begin an archival publishing project entitled Virtual Archives.
Many churches and cathedrals keep worship objects the articles owned by bishops religious clothing reliquaries and works of art in a room that sometimes acts as a museum and which is called the treasury. The Archdiocese of Quebec is no exception. Since 2001 it has kept a treasury that measures approximately 12x12 feet in the Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica Cathedral. Given the small dimensions of this room only some of the objects of worship and art are kept there. The others are stored at the Réserve muséale nationale du Québec.