The Contribution of Ægidius Fauteux and Edmond Desrochers to Quebec Librarianship in the Twentieth Century


At the start of the twentieth century, Quebec libraries had a different look from those in the rest of North America. The Catholic clergy, whose power extended over all aspects of Quebec society, had imposed a parish library on a population learning to read, which inhibited the development of public libraries for French speakers in Quebec. The head of the Bibliothèque Saint-Sulpice in Montreal (both a research and a public library), Ægidius Fauteux, gave this institution a large cultural influence from 1915 to 1931. In the third quarter of the twentieth century, a Jesuit librarian, Edmond Desrochers, became a leader in the development of libraries in Quebec. The impact of his work was felt in professional associations, in the university training of librarians, and in the promotion of public, college, and university libraries for French speakers. Fauteux and Desrochers represent two generations of librarians who had an outstanding influence on the development of libraries in Quebec throughout the twentieth century.