Tours and Exhibitions

SHARP 2015 will include several exhibitions and guided tours at no extra cost to participants. These activities will permit you to discover the rich collections of the host institutions and the different locations where the conference will unfold.

There are no fees associated with the tours but registration is necessary (except for the exhibition “Between Author and Reader: The Archive”). You may participate in the tours with or without your official SHARP 2015 conference package; it is not necessary to pick it up first. Eating and drinking is not permitted during the tours.

All tours offered by BAnQ will begin in the main foyer of the relevant building. Please arrive 10 minutes in advance of the start time of the tour. Those visiting the National Collection will be obliged to leave all personal effects in the lockers provided at the entrance to the Collection.

Between The Author and The Reader: The Archive

In collaboration with the researchers of the Groupe de recherches et d’études sur le livre au Québec (GRÉLQ), the University of Sherbrooke has, over the last decades, collected precious archives about the history of the book in Quebec. The exhibition “Between Author and Reader: The Archive” aims, first of all, to show concretely how these various documents are fundamental to the advancement of knowledge in this discipline. Then, thanks to precise examples, it plunges into the heart of the history of the book and of literature in Quebec since the mid-twentieth century. Based primarily on the archives of the publisher Fides and secondarily on those of the publisher l’Hexagone, as well as of the authors Anne Hébert, Henri Tranquille, and Jean Simard, the exhibition “Between Author and Reader: The Archive” demonstrates that the fragments left behind by those who make books effectively whisper submerged messages that, once siezed, reveal the secrets of the fabrication and meaning of books. The exhibition catalogue, comprising commentary in English and French, will be inserted into the participants’ conference bags.

Curators: Julie Fecteau and Marie-Pier Luneau
Location: Carrefour de l’information, Universite of Sherbrooke (Longueuil Campus), 150, place Charles-Le Moyne, room 2455
Date and Time: This bilingual exhibition is open throughout the conference. The official opening will take place on Wednesday 8 July from 6 to 8 pm.

Archives at BAnQ Vieux-Montréal

 Situated in a complex that includes the building in which the Commerce School (HÉC Montréal) formerly resided, BAnQ Vieux-Montréal is one of ten centres in the Province of Quebec dedicated to preserving the public- and private-sector archives that have been acquired by BAnQ. Participants will discover the richness of the collections here and learn about the services offered on site and remotely. The tour will highlight the history and institutional mission of the BAnQ and the impressive architecture of the building. Participants will learn more about the acquisition, cataloguing, and conservation of private, governmental, judicial, and civil archives through original documents related to the history of printing. These documents take various forms: for example, correspondence, contracts, photographs, and legal case files.

Led by: Marie-Pierre Nault
Location: BAnQ Vieux-Montréal (535, avenue Viger Est, Montréal)
Rendez-vous : in the main foyer
Date and Time: Monday 6 July, 11 am – 12 pm
Number of Participants : 20
Language : in French only

The Grande Bibliothèque – Architecture and Design

 The Grande Bibliothèque is the product of an international architecture competition, the first to have been held for a public edifice in Quebec. The tour will reveal what makes up the special character of this building, which won a prestigious architecture prize in 2007. To begin, there will be a short video on the construction of the Grande Bibliothèque. A brief tour of the « wood chambers », named in reference to the novel Les chambres de bois by Anne Hébert, will provide a glimpse into the poetic character of the premises and the artworks created for them through the Quebec Public Artworks Program.

Led by: Paulina Gomez
Location: Grande Bibliothèque (475, boulevard de Maisonneuve Est, Montréal)
Rendez-vous : in the main foyer (entry through the revolving doors, rue Berri)
Date, Time, Number of Participants, Language: Monday 6 July, 2 – 3:15 pm : 20 (French), 20 (English) ; 3:30 – 4:45 pm : 20 (English)

The National Collection, the Living Memory of Quebec

As the hier of great private and public collections, the BAnQ National Collection gathers together all printed materials of or about Quebec. Situated at the Grande Bibliothèque, this space is something of a jewel case in which researchers and curious members of the public stop to appreciate the evolution of Quebec society. The visit will reveal the history of the National Collection and of its component collections. Pausing at several places, participants will discover the architecture of the premises and glimpse special aspects of Quebec culture. The tour will conclude with a presentation of some of the remarkable books in this incomparable collection, including monographs, magazines, and newspapers.

Led by: Simon Mayer
Location: Grande Bibliothèque (475, boulevard de Maisonneuve Est, Montréal)
Rendez-vous : at the meeting point, La Capitale, in the main foyer
Date and Time: Tuesday 7 July, 11 am – 12 pm
Number of Participants, Language : 25 (tour in both French and English)

Rare Books and Special Collections at McGill Library

The outstanding special collections at McGill Library contain materials ranging from ancient Mesopotamia to contemporary Montreal. Highlights include the Lawrence Lande Collection of Canadiana, the David Hume Collection, and the Blackader-Lauterman Collection of Art and Architecture. The current exhibition, “Across the Channel : English Literature on the Continent,” displays the Library’s unique holdings in English authors such as Frances Burney whose works were printed abroad. This tour will introduce participants to the extensive and diverse research collections at McGill Library.

Led by: Richard Virr, head
Location : Main foyer, 1st floor, McLennan Library, McGill University (bilingual presentation, 25 participants per tour)
Date and time

  • 6 July, 15h30 – 16h30
  • 10 July, 9h00 – 10h00
  • 10 July, 14h00 – 15h00

Osler Library of the History of Medicine

The Osler Library of the History of Medicine opened in 1929 to house the collection of rare medical and other books donated by Sir William Osler, the renowned physician and McGill graduate and professor. Initially comprising 8000 titles listed in the Bibliotheca Osleriana, the collection – the finest of its kind in Canada – has grown to around 100,000 works including older, rare materials as well as current books and periodicals about the history of the health sciences and related areas.

Led by: Anna Dysert, liaison librarian
Location : 3rd floor, McIntyre Medical Building, McGill University (bilingual presentation, 35 participants per tour)
Date and time

  • 6 July, 10h00 – 11h30
  • 7 July, 10h00 – 11h30