November 2017

The Archéolab.Québec virtual collection

Pointe-à-Callière and the ministère de la Culture et des Communications announce the creation of an archaeological reference collection

Montréal, November 13, 2017 — Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Archaeology and History Complex and the ministère de la Culture et des Communications (MCC) are pleased to announce the creation of the first online digital reference collection of archaeological items in Québec: Archéolab.Québec. This virtual collection contains thousands of the most representative artifacts of Québec’s history and prehistory from among all the finds in the province since the 1960s.

Archéolab.Québec assembles representative collections of all Québec cultural practices and their regional variants. The collection possesses significant informative, scientific, heritage, identity-related, and educational value and makes Québec knowhow in North American archaeology widely accessible. It also enhances the quality of online cultural content. During its development, expert researchers updated the current knowledge of the selected collections. This documentation is on the cutting edge of current knowledge and may change over time as new archaeological developments arise. Archéolab.Québec is therefore intended to be a dynamic, long-term project.

“Since its foundation in 1992, Pointe-à-Callière has developed a unique expertise in disseminating archaeology and in applied research. We were thus delighted to use our knowledge and collections to help create this virtual collection. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the ministère de la Culture et des Communications and the other partners who made possible this project to advance our archaeology and to promote it nationally and internationally,” explains Francine Lelièvre, Pointe-à-Callière’s executive director.

A significant resource for learning about Québec’s archaeological heritage, the Archéolab.Québec collection website contains a database intended to serve as a reference centre for archaeologists and researchers in material culture. The objects selected and documented by experts come primarily from government collections conserved at Québec’s archaeological reserve and laboratory, the Laboratoire et à la Réserve d'archéologie du Québec (LRAQ). The virtual collection also includes artifacts conserved in museums and universities, by regional or municipal administrations, and in private collections. The archaeological collection contains objects made from a variety of materials – bone, ivory, stone, wood, leather, ceramic, glass, and metal – and are always associated with their discovery setting. Each artifact thus becomes an object of research and knowledge.

The site is intended for professional users: researchers, technicians, professors, students, museologists, managers, and other national and international stakeholders interested in archaeological heritage. Also open to the general public and adapted for all types of devices – computers, tablets, and smartphones – the site features stories and videos about varied topics. It is expected to become a go-to resource for the archaeology of Northeastern North America and the French and British colonies.

Archéolab.Québec in brief

  • An online database for a digital reference collection that will contain up to 2,000 objects by the spring of 2018
  • Objects from some 15 different families, such as faience, glass beads, stone pipes, wine bottles, projectile points, the wreck of the Elizabeth and Mary, Fort Ville-Marie in Montréal, and the Intendant’s Palace in Quebec City
  • 15 videos on various topics featuring experts on subjects such as preventative conservation, archaeological partnerships with First Nations, the secrets of wrecks, pipe makers, the study of insects, collectors’ ethics, and enhancing collections
  • Ten practical articles and tips on archaeological techniques such as cleaning, numbering, handling, and transportation of artifacts
  • A bibliographical directory
  • An archaeology-based cultural chronology of Québec
  • A collaborative database that can be augmented with new collections over time
  • Featured favourite objects selected by the specialists managing the site
  • An easy-to-remember URL:

Funded as part of Québec’s Plan culturel numérique and the Entente sur le développement culturel between Montréal and the ministère de la Culture et des Communications (MCC), the Archéolab.Québec collection was designed by Pointe-à-Callière in partnership with the MCC, produced under the direction of project managers Sophie Limoges and Marie-Michelle Dionne, coordinated by Hendrik Van Gijseghem, with the participation of 10 eminent Québec archaeologists and backed by a science committee and a production team. A number of institutional partners were also involved in the project, in particular the Centre de Conservation du Québec, Université Laval, the Ville de Québec, the Ville de Montréal, Parks Canada, and numerous museums.

About Pointe-à-Callière
Rising above the birthplace of Montréal, Pointe-à-Callière is the city’s largest history museum. It is a complex comprised of a series of historic and archaeological sites of national significance that showcase major periods in the history of Montréal, from 1350 to the present day. The only large-scale archaeology museum in Québec and in all of Canada, Pointe-à-Callière opened in 1992 on the occasion of Montréal’s 350th birthday. The Museum’s mission is to raise awareness and foster an appreciation of the history of Quebec’s largest city, and to forge bonds with regional, national, and international networks concerned with archaeology, history, and urban issues. Its mandate consists of preserving and increasing access to Montréal’s heritage, which led to its creation of the Montréal Archaeology and History Complex, a world-class cultural and tourism complex that will showcase some ten historic and heritage sites in Old Montréal.

Pointe-à-Callière is subsidized by the City of Montréal.


Media: Marylène Kirouac, Communications Coordinator
[email protected] / T. 514 872-2687