Founded in 2006, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) results from the merger of two major national institutions: the Bibliothèque nationale du Québec and the Archives nationales du Québec.
The Archives of the province of Quebec were created in 1920, and a famous historian Pierre-Georges Roy was appointed as government archivist. The next year, the institution published its first annual report. On August 12, 1967, the National Assembly of Quebec passed a law creating the Bibliothèque nationale du Québec, under the control of the ministère des Affaires culturelles. Since 1968 Quebec publishers were required to deposit two copies of their printed works with the Bibliothèque nationale du Québec.
The regulation applied to books, brochures, newspapers, magazines, artists' books and musical scores. Two years later, in 1970 the Archives du Québec became the Archives nationales du Québec.
Through legislation, the latter was entrusted with the power to decide about the preservation or disposal of government documents. Throughout the years the Archives nationales du Québec expanded with the opening of the Centre d'archives de la Mauricie, of the Centre-du-Québec, Trois-Rivières, in Hull (now Gatineau), of the Centre d'archives de l'Outaouais, of the Centre d'archives du Saguenay−Lac-Saint-Jean located in Chicoutimi, Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Nord-du-Québec (in Rouyn-Noranda), Estrie (in Sherbrooke) and of Bas-Saint-Laurent et de la Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine (in Rimouski), and of the Centre d'archives de la Côte-Nord (in Sept-Îles). In 1985, the Archives nationales du Québec adopted a policy on the management of the active documents of the Québec government as well as a regulation on retention schedules.
A management policy for active and semi-active documents followed in 1988, then a management policy for the inactive documents of public institutions. In 1989 the low establishing the Bibliothèque nationale du Québec as a corporation came into effect on April 1. The same year the Archives nationales du Québec adopted a policy on private archives, and, the following year, a regulation granting private archives services the status of authorized service.
The Iris catalogue, which allows free online access by the public to all collections of the Bibliothèque nationale du Québec, was launched in 1994. Later, the Archives nationales du Québec implemented Pistard, a new computer system which provides researchers with a direct access to information holdings on archives kept in the archives centres. On April 30, 2005 an official opening of the Grande Bibliothèque took place. In 2006 Bill 69 came into force on January 31. It is the official genesis of the new institution, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec.
BANQ is Quebec’s premier cultural institution, entirely dedicated to democratizing knowledge and culture. The Library is perceived to be a crossroads, a hub and an intermediary for the mission of the Ministère de la culture, des communications et de la condition feminine of Quebec.
BAnQ is represented in all regions of the province, promoting social inclusion and enhancing cultural diversity. It is truly an institution for all. BAnQ collects preserves and disseminates Quebec’s archives and documentary heritage, and thus represents the society’s memory of the past. But it also squarely faces the future, relying on optimal use of new technologies to share its resources. Note that the institution offers rich and diversified public programming.
Find out more about BAnQ : www.banq.qc.ca