The Archive of the Jesuits in Canada (AJC) is seeking a candidate for the position of Project Archivist, under the Young Canada Works Program. This is a 24-week position projected to begin on September 23, 2024, and run through March 21, 2025. The AJC is located in Montreal, Quebec. The internship will be on-site, at Maison Bellarmin, in Montreal. The hourly wage for the internship is $21.00 per hour (35 hours per week; 24-week project; unpaid statutory holidays and 10–12-day seasonal break in December/early January).

The AJC provides an access point to its collections, as well as resources concerning the history of the Jesuits in Canada. It supports the research of members of the Jesuit community, genealogists, academic researchers, Indigenous researchers, artists, and students from a variety of disciplines. The archival collection holds more than 1.5 km of textual records, more than 500,000 photographs, more than a thousand maps and cartographic material, hundreds of audio-visual records, as well as born-digital records.

The main objective of the project is the processing of different fonds that testify to the presence and activities of Jesuits in Northern Ontario, from 1844 onward. This includes the appraisal, the processing, and the creation of finding aids for the selected fonds. The project also includes the digitization of selected records – textual records and photographs – pertinent to larger research undertaken. In total, the selected fonds to be processed include approximately three meters of textual records and about 2,000 photographs. The selected candidate will create file level inventories of the fonds as well finding aids on the fonds level to ameliorate the discoverability of the material. These will be ingested into our online databases. As such, the selected candidate will work with standardized description templates and other standardized processes associated with the processing of the fonds. The Project Archivist will also need to write reports on the project processes and scope.

This initiative of processing and improving the discoverability of material that highlights encounters between Jesuit and different Indigenous nations and communities is being conducted in the context of the AJC commitment to promote access to records for Indigenous researchers about material that concerns them.

TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION WITH INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

The AJC are engaged in a process of truth and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. The AJC supports Indigenous resurgence. The selected candidate will need to demonstrate an understanding of the main challenges regarding archival concepts and practices. The candidate must be familiar with the principles stated in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action, the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Taskforce of the Steering Committee on Canada’s Archives as well as demonstrating a knowledge of national and international strategic orientations and principles
concerning Indigenous peoples and associated archival records.

QUALIFICATIONS AND COMPETENCIES

  • Recent graduate. University level education in Archival/Information studies or a related field with a demonstrated interest in archival theory and practice; with preference for candidates with a master’s degree in Information studies with a specialization in Archival studies;
  • Demonstrated ability in the use of collections management tools and the Rules of Archival Description(RAD);
  • Interest in digital archives, including digitization practices and processes;
  • Ability to communicate information to small and large groups;
  • Oral and written fluency in English, with a working knowledge of French, is required;
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team on collaborative initiatives;
  • Ability to develop objectives and to implement procedures.

The primary language of the archival records that will be handled by the intern is English, with some material in French. The selected candidate will need to be able to write in English. The working environment of the AJC is in French. Operational activities are delivered in French, English, or both, depending upon the researcher, the initiative, and the intended audience. The selected candidate will need to be comfortable working in a bilingual environment.

The position is in Montreal, Quebec, a city with a diverse population. It is an urban environment with a significant number of universities and cultural institutions.

Preference will be given to Indigenous candidates. Candidates from the Government of Canada’s job equity groups are encouraged to apply.

To find more information about the AJC, please visit our website: https://archivesjesuites.ca/

The deadline for applications is June 17, 2024.

Applications, which must include a letter of interest and a curriculum vitae in one Word of PDF file, should be sent to François Dansereau, Director of The Archive of the Jesuits in Canada: CANAJCdirection@jesuites.org.

The candidates must be eligible to the Young Canada Works program and submit their application through the portal. For more information: https://jeunesse-canada-travail.canada.ca/

We thank all applicants for their interest in this position. Only those selected for the short list will be contacted for an interview. Personal information received from prospective candidates will be used only for this recruitment process.

AJC director François Dansereau recently gave an interview to the Association of Canadian Archivists as part of their “In the Field” blog series. He discusses his academic path, how he came to work at The AJC, and the challenges that face religious archives these days. To read the full interview, click here: Association of Canadian Archivists – A Spotlight on Religious Archives with François Dansereau.

Grâce à la générosité de la famille de Christopher Rupert, S.J., nous sommes heureux de pouvoir partager avec vous sa thèse de doctorat sur notre plateform Omeka. Elle est accompagnée de plusieurs autres textes rédigés par Jean-Marc Laporte, S.J., dont une courte biographie du père Rupert ainsi qu’un résumé de sa thèse. Vous trouverez également des photographies du père Rupert dans les premières années de son ministère comme prêtre jésuite.

Thanks to the generosity of the family of Christopher Rupert, S.J., we are thrilled to share his PhD dissertation on our Omeka platform. The thesis is accompanied by several other texts written by Jean-Marc Laporte, S.J., including a short biography of Father Rupert as well as a summary of his dissertation. You will also find photographs of Father Rupert in his early years as a Jesuit priest.

This year, we drew from a remarkable item in our collection to illustrate The Archives of the Jesuits of Canada (AJC)’s Christmas card: a scene of the Adoration of the Magi, taken from Philippe de Montholon’s Book of Hours, which dates from the late fifteenth century.

Book of hours are collections of daily prayers created for the laity. They are counterparts to the breviaries used by clerics, which collect the prayers recited for the eight offices of the day. The first books of hours appeared in the thirteenth century and were widely distributed over the next centuries. Often beautifully illuminated, they were primarily designed for the aristocracy but gradually expanded to other layers of society. The books were generally small, in order to be easily transported.

The launch in 2018 of the exhibition Resplendent Illuminations: Book of Hours from the 13th to the 16th Century in Quebec Collections at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) gave a team of researchers, directed by Brenda Dunn-Lardeau, a professor in the Department of Literary Studies at UQAM, a chance to deepen our knowledge of this precious manuscript. We do not know when and how it entered the AJC collection, but we know it has been with us since at least 1892, the date that Father Arthur E. Jones—Father Félix Martin’s successor as head of the Archives of the Collège Sainte-Marie—lent out the manuscript for an exhibition at the Antiquarian and Numismatic Society of Montreal.

However, it is possible the manuscript arrived in Quebec much earlier. We know that such works were in circulation in New France. The Hospital Sisters of Quebec regularly asked their European benefactors for them for the benefit of the ill, and passages from the Jesuit Relations reveal that the Jesuits also used them in their missions. One hypothesis suggests that the manuscript reached the Ursulines in Quebec through Catherine de Montholon, a descendant of one of the book’s first owners, Philippe de Montholon. After the death

of her husband, Catherine de Montholon retired to the Ursulines of Dijon, who were themselves benefactors of the Ursulines of Quebec. If the manuscript was indeed in Canada before the suppression of the Society of Jesus at the end of the eighteenth century, Father Félix Martin could have recovered it when the Jesuits returned to Canada in 1842. Indeed, before his death in 1800, Father Jean-Joseph Casot, the last surviving pre-suppression Jesuit, entrusted part of the order’s records to the Hospital Sisters of the Hôtel-Dieu in Quebec City. The records that Father Martin retrieved in the nineteenth century became the core of the Collection des Archives du Collège Sainte-Marie, one of the foundational collections of the AJC’s current holdings.

Other hypotheses remain to be explored, however, and we cannot rule out that the manuscript was integrated into the collection at a later date. Philippe de Montholon’s Book of Hours has not yet shared all its secrets! You can learn more about it in the note written by Brenda Dunn-Lardeau, Helena Kogen, and Geneviève Samson in the stunning Catalogue raisonné des livres d’heures conservés au Québec, produced in the wake of the MMFA exhibition.

References:

Dunn-Lardeau, B. (dir.). (2018). Catalogue raisonné des livres d’Heures conservés au Québec. Presses de l’Université du Québec. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctvt1shn9

Biron, J. (2016). Enquête sur la provenance et les pérégrinations de deux livres d’Heures enluminés du XVe siècle conservés aux Archives des jésuites au Canada. Renaissance and Reformation / Renaissance et Réforme, 39(4), 19–72. https://doi.org/10.33137/rr.v39i4.28159

Today at The Archive of the Jesuits in Canada (AJC), we celebrate the birthday of Félix Martin, S.J. (1804-1886), Superior of the Jesuits of Lower Canada, founder of Collège Sainte-Marie, and archivist. Martin’s story is inextricably woven into the history of the Society of Jesus in Canada after its restoration.

Félix Martin (standing center right with crossed arms) among jesuites at the Collège Sainte-Marie.

Though the Jesuits in Canada were not forced to return to Europe when the Society of Jesus was suppressed on the continent and in its missions around the world, new missionaries were prohibited from joining them. When the last of the pre-suppression Jesuits passed away in 1800, it took another forty-two years before the Society of Jesus returned to its missions in Canada. The precious records of the first generation of Jesuits were either destroyed, lost, given to other entities, or brought back to France.

When Father Martin arrived in Canada in 1842, among the first party of missionaries to return post-suppression, he began the work of collecting and preserving the records that survived. The story of how he received documents from the Hospital Sisters of the Hôtel-Dieu in Quebec City—which had been entrusted to them by the last Jesuit in Canada—is part of the AJC’s origin story. Eventually, when he founded Collège Sainte-Marie in Montreal, Father Martin set up the archives that would contain both the pre-suppression materials he collected and future documents related to Collège Sainte-Marie and the activities of the Jesuits in Canada.

Today, The AJC holds Father Martin’s papers, writings, and publications, as well as a number of sketches, drawings, and paintings of architectural structures and landscapes, for which he was known. Indeed, in addition to his talent as an archivist, Martin was a skilled architectural artist. Though his most famous piece is likely his watercolour of Collège Sainte-Marie, the following images demonstrate the range of Martin’s interests as an artist:

To find out more about our holdings on Father Martin, check out his entry in our catalogue here.

Recently, the director of The Archives of the Jesuits in Canada, François Dansereau, spoke with Fannie Dionne, project historian with the Jesuits of Canada, about the role of archives in relation to truth and reconciliation. He highlights the importance of access to archives and records and communication with Indigenous researchers and communities, as well as finding new ways to better reflect Indigenous cultures in the archives.

Check out the full article here: https://presence-info.ca/article/actualite/culture/pensionnats-pour-autochtones-des-sources-aux-archives/

Independent online media platform Présence – information religieuse recently visited the AJC to learn more about the archive’s holdings and priorities.

Journalist Frédéric Hountondji spoke with AJC director, François Dansereau, about the AJC’s role in supporting Indigenous researchers and research groups, and upholding the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s call to actions as well as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

It is really one of the archive’s priorities to facilitate work by Indigenous researchers. This can mean trying to bring to light subjects that concern them.

Follow this link to read the full article (in French): https://presence-info.ca/article/actualite/patrimoine/les-ajc-une-vitrine-des-jesuites-du-canada/