To mark Montreal's 375th anniversary, Sun Life Financial and the McCord Museum are partnering to give everyone a chance to experience "Our Amazing Families: Three Centuries of Quebec Documents and History", a textual records holding enhancement project that will spotlight the economic, social and family history of Quebec. With support from Sun Life Financial, the McCord Museum will describe, digitize and post online 36 sets of records between now and next year. Incorporating private archives selected from the museum's extensive collection, the project will shed new light on the city, its inhabitants, and city life in various periods.
"Developing a historical project as part of the 375th anniversary of the City of Montreal was very important to us, given that Sun Life Financial had its beginnings here over 150 years ago. The documents that are now being opened up to the public will help foster a better understanding of the cultural and social richness of our province and the families who call it home. The topics range from social justice, to Montreal as an urban city, to family health, and even vacations and leisure activities," explains Isabelle Hudon, Executive Chair, Sun Life Financial Quebec and Senior Vice-President, Client Solutions, Sun Life Financial Canada. "By making all these textual archival holdings from various families accessible, we are giving the public an opportunity to discover a little-known part of our history and heritage and draw on it as a basis for artistic, educational and cultural projects. "
The McCord Museum celebrates our life past and present, making our history, our people and our communities accessible to the general public. "The goal of this project is to showcase Quebec's rich heritage and highlight unusual or interesting facts, similarities or differences between life back then and life today. We have thousands of photos, engravings, newspaper clippings and artifacts of various types that show us what daily life was like and reflect the mentalities of the time. They tell the stories of dedicated men and women, and how our ways of thinking have evolved – there are even some beautiful love stories in there! These archival materials are invaluable in helping us to better understand the social issues and trends that prevailed at various points in our history," explains Nathalie Lévesque, Executive Director of the McCord Museum Foundation.
The 36 sets of records will be released in four lots between now and June 2018, each one accompanied by a video highlighting various Quebec families. The first video features Michèle Audette discussing a selection of archives taken from the records of the Casgrain, Forget and Berthelot families. She reads excerpts from the archives of Thérèse Casgrain, learns about a little-known aspect of her activities, and shares her impressions of Casgrain's social involvement. The video and all of the archival materials are accessible via the McCord Museum's online catalogue at: http://www.musee-mccord.qc.ca/en/our-amazing-families/
The McCord Museum is dedicated to the preservation, study and appreciation of Montreal's history, as recounted by its people, artists and communities living in the city's past and present. The McCord Museum is home to one of the largest historical collections in North America, consisting of First Peoples objects, costumes and textiles, photographs, decorative and visual artworks, and textual archives, totalling more than 1,450,000 artefacts.
— Sun Life Financial Canada