3 Literary and Historical Society of Quebec

Literary and Historical Society of Quebec

The Literary and Historical Society of Quebec (LHSQ) was the first scholarly or learned society in Canada. It was founded in 1824 by George Ramsay, Earl of Dalhousie, governor of British North America. Its headquarters are still located in Quebec City.

After several moves and two fires, the Society settled into the northern wing of Quebec City's Morrin College in 1868. The College closed at the turn of the 20th century but the Society stayed on, eventually taking over the entire building in 2004.

The Society's original aims were encyclopaedic, being founded in the infancy of Canada's cultural and intellectual development. The Society gathered historical documents about Canada and republished many rare manuscripts. Research in all fields of knowledge was actively encouraged. Talks were held in the Society's reading room, the best of which were published regularly in a quasi-annual series of Transactions from 1824 to 1924.

Over the years, the Society played a part in creating public institutions that would take over many of its traditional roles. For instance, it fostered the foundation of the Public Archives of Canada (today's Library and Archives Canada) in 1872. It was also active in the preservation of Canada’s built and natural heritage, helping to save the Plains of Abraham from developers and eventually fostering the creation of the Historic Sites and Monuments board of Canada.

With the growth of national public institutions, the Society’s activities gradually became centred on the services of its private lending library, providing access to English-language books in a largely French-speaking city.

Recently, the Society has reassessed its mission and serves as a cultural beacon for Quebec City's small English-speaking community. In 2000, it took on the Morrin Centre project, a plan to restore a 200-year old historic site to create a cultural centre that will showcase Anglophone life in Quebec City.

Presidents of the LHSQ

* Sir Francis Nathaniel Burton, Lt. Governor (1824)
* Hon. James Reid, Chief Justice (1828)
* Lieutenant Frederick Baddeley, R.N. (1829)
* Hon Jonathan Sewell, Chief Justice (1830-1831)
* Hon. Andrew Stuart, K.C. (1832) (1837-1838)
* Hon. William Sheppard (1833-1834, 1841, 1843, 1847)
* Joseph Skey, M.D. (1835)
* Rev. Daniel Wilkie, L.L.D. (1836)
* William Kelly, M.D., R.N. (1839-1840)
* Hon. A.W. Cochrane (1842) (1845) (1848)
* George-Barthélemy Faribault, Esq. (1844, 1849-1854, 1858-1859)
* John C. Fisher, Esq., L.L.D. (1846)
* Edmund Allen Meredith, Esq., M.A. (1855, 1860-1861)
* W. Andrew, Esq., M.A. (1856-1857)
* John Langton, Esq., M.A. (1862-1865)
* Com. Edward David Ashe, R.N., F.R.A.S. (1862-1865, 1873)
* Hon. Pierre-Joseph-Olivier Chauveau, L.L.D. (1868)
* James Douglas (1869, 1874-1875)
* Dr. W.J. Anderson (1870, 1872)
* James MacPherson LeMoine, Esq. (1871, 1879-1882, 1902-1903)
* James Stevenson, Esq. (1876-1878)
* Hon. David Alexander Ross, Q.C. (1883-1884)
* George Stewart, D.C.L., F.R.S.C., F.R.G.S. (1885-1891)
* Cyrille Tessier, Esq. (1892-1893)
* Archibald Campbell, Esq. (1894-1895)
* Rev. R.W. Norman, D.D., Dean of Quebec (1896-1897)
* Philippe Baby Casgrain, Esq. (1898-1899, 1906-1907)
* William Wood, Esq., D.C.L., F.R.S.C. (1900-1901, 1904-1905, 1938-1941)
* Dr. G.W. Parmelee, L.L.D. (1908-1909, 1917-1918)
* John Hamilton, M.A., D.C.L. (1910-1911)
* Col. H. Neilson (1912-1913)
* Judge John Charles McCorkill (1914)
* Dr. J.M. Harper, M.A., F.E.I.S (1915-1916)
* E.T.D. Chambers, Esq. (1919-1920)
* Lt-Col. the Rev. Peter Michael O’Leary (1921)
* Dominick Daly O’Meara, Esq. (1922-1923)
* J.C. Sutherland, Esq. (1924-1925)
* Hon. G.F. Gibsone (1926-1927, 1942-1943)
* Major W.H. Petry (1928-1929)
* Rev. A.T. Love (deceased April 1930)
* Hon. Frank Carrel, M.L.C. (1930-1934)
* Col. Count de Bury, C.B.E., R.C.O.C. (1934-1935)
* Thomas R. Peacock, R.R.I., B.A. (1936-1937)
* E.C. Woodley, Esq. (1944-1946)
* W.Godfrey Brown, Esq. (1947-1948)
* George A. Clare, Esq. (1949-1952, 1957-1960, 1970-1976)
* William MacMillan (1953-1956)
* John H.C. McGreevy, O.C. (1961-1965)
* J.H. Bieler (1966-1969)
* Rosemary Cannon (1977-1980, 1985-1989)
* Cameron MacMillan (1981-1984, 1990-1992)
* Dr. Tomas Feininger (1993-1998)
* David F. Blair, Esq. (1999-2006)

External links

* [http://www.morrin.org Morrin Centre] , managed by the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec.
* [http://www.morrin.org/eclectica Eclectica] , virtual exhibit on the history of Canadian learned societies.
* [http://www.ourroots.ca/e/toc.aspx?id=1638 The centenary volume of the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec, 1824-1924] , digitized copy of the Society's final publication of the 20th century.

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