During the 16th century, following the discovery of the rich fishing banks off Newfoundland, France became the first European nation active in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. In 1604, France created a permanent settlement there, laying the foundations of a country that would develop its own culture—a blend of French roots, Aboriginal customs, and adaptations to the new land. After 1763, under English rule, Canadians continued to maintain their customs, ensuring a French presence in North America.
In 2004, to mark the 400th anniversary of the French presence in North America, France and Canada re-created their singular adventure and sparked new interest in their shared history by putting documents online reproduced in their entirety using the latest digitization technologies, and making them accessible to a broad public.
With enthusiasm and determination that reflect the scope of the project, the Direction des Archives de France, Library and Archives Canada (LAC), Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec and the Canadian Embassy in Paris set up work teams, whose members ensured a constant and effective liaison between the two continents. This site provides access to a virtual exhibition and a database containing more than one million images.
The content of the database records reflect the original language used in the archival material of the documents.
This database contains descriptions and their associated digitized documents concerning New-France, conserved in the following archival centres:
- Archives nationales d’Outre-Mer (Aix-en-Provence)
- Archives nationales (Paris)
- Archives départementales de la Charente-Maritime (La Rochelle)
- Archives départementales de la Gironde (Bordeaux)
- Archives départementales des Pyrénées-Atlantiques (Pau)
- Library and Archives Canada (Ottawa)
- Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (Québec)
New France, for the purposes of this site, is made-up of Canada, Acadia, Newfoundland, the Great Lakes region and Louisiana. The documents in this database date mainly from the early 16th century until the Treaty of Paris in 1763, including some documents after this period.
- Archives départementales du Calvados
- Archives départementales de la Charente-Maritime
- Archives départementales de la Gironde
- Archives départementales des Pyrénées-Atlantiques
- Archives départementales de la Seine-Maritime
- Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec
- Centre des archives d'outre-mer, Aix-en-Provence (CAOM)
- Centre historique des Archives nationales, Paris (CHAN)
- Direction des Archives de France (DAF)
- Library and Archives Canada (LAC)
Questions, comments or ordering
Please contact Library and Archives Canada’s Reference Services for all questions and comments or to order material. Please include the title of the document(s) as well as all reference numbers provided in the description. Library and Archives Canada will ensure that your request is forwarded to the proper institution should your enquiry relate to materials that are not in its custody.