The origins of Université Laval can be traced back as far as 1663, with the foundation of the Séminaire de Québec, an institution devoted to the teaching of theology. Parts of the library's collections had their beginning at that time and were steadily developed since then, giving a strong historical value to the library's holdings. Major strengths include philosophy and theology with very strong and/or comprehensive collections. For instance, the rare book section holds many unique documents and, notably, a collection of ancient Coptic liturgical manuscripts, the Alphonse Dain collection, believed to be lost for years by the international community. The same applies to the Aristotle collection, known among the scholarly community for its exhaustiveness, which encompasses dozens of rare documents. As part of the first French university established in America, the library has a special interest in the many aspects and manifestations of North American French heritage, and many collections present substantial holdings that give a unique perspective on it. The law section, for instance, encompasses an all-inclusive collection of all the law texts relevant to both French tradition and common law, from the very beginning of New France to the present. The library also holds extensive visual documentation focusing on French-American architecture, arts, and crafts. Its collection dedicated to school manuals is the second largest in Quebec, after the National Library, and includes thousands of books published between 1765 and the present. Other strengths of Université Laval Library's Special Collections can be found in various disciplines such as music, French-Canadian literature, and Spanish literature. Université Laval Library also has the responsibility of a huge collection of over 800,000 objects and specimens gathered through decades by professors and university staff. This collection includes a wide variety of items, from archaeological artifacts to art pieces, scientific apparatus, and biological specimens, including many extinct species.
Université Laval Library
Bibliothèque de l'Université Laval
Pavillon Jean-Charles Bonenfant
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