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BAnQ Makes Over 100,000 Digitized Public-Domain Heritage Items Freely Available on its Web Portal

Montréal, May 13, 2019 – Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) now allows the free and unrestricted use of more than 100,000 public-domain heritage items that have been digitized and made available on its BAnQ numérique Web portal, the institution's digital platform.

This decision will greatly ease many people's work and will be reflected in anything from presentations illustrated by lecturers, articles fleshed out by reporters or WWI books containing poster reproductions to original creations featuring artist-tweaked images, rare maps shared by social media users or BAnQ numérique content inserted into Wikicommons and Wikipedia by contributors.

''The time has come to adopt open access for as many available resources as possible. BAnQ has chosen to take action in this regard so that users across Québec and the world be unburdened by unnecessary restrictions,'' announced Jean-Louis Roy, BAnQ's Chief Executive Officer.

It represents significant progress for Québec's library and information science community and for its citizens in a global context where an increasing number of forward-looking heritage institutions decompartmentalize their collections in order to extend their widespread availability

Early photo, St. Catherine street by night, 1937.

St. Catherine Street Looking East, October 5, 1937. Collections of Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec. Photo: Conrad Poirier.

Furthering the outreach of digital content

BAnQ wants to encourage the use of its digital content and increase the reach of its collections and holdings amongst citizens, who are at the very heart of the institution's mission.

The selected method to locate and identify relevant items will be finalized shortly. The implementation of the Creative Commons licences and the RightsStatements.org standardized statements in BAnQ numérique will provide users with proper awareness of the permitted use of all digitized materials. Starting in the fall of 2019, a significant corpus will be declared free of rights on the institution's digital platform and the identification part of the project will be carried out in the upcoming year.

BAnQ numérique, the institution's digital platform

Over the last two decades, BAnQ has digitized several million items and made them available on its digital platforms. Brought together under the BAnQ numérique banner, this publicly available corpus is now an essential go-to resource for Quebecers. BAnQ numérique users are supported by experienced teams of librarians, archivists and library technicians trained to assist them in their research.

About BAnQ

As the largest cultural institution in Québec in terms of its attendance and diversified missions, and an essential pillar of the knowledge society, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) has the mandate to offer democratic access to culture and knowledge. To this end, it collects, preserves and promotes Québec's and Québec-related heritage materials, and also provides the services of a major public library. BAnQ carries out its activities in 12 facilities which are open to the public: the Grande Bibliothèque, BAnQ Vieux-Montréal and BAnQ Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie in Montréal; BAnQ Gaspé, BAnQ Gatineau, BAnQ Québec, BAnQ Rimouski, BAnQ Rouyn-Noranda, BAnQ Saguenay, BAnQ Sept-Îles, BAnQ Sherbrooke and BAnQ Trois-Rivières. BAnQ was tasked by the Québec Ministry of Culture and Communications and the City of Montréal with reinventing the Saint-Sulpice Library, located in Montréal.

Early photo, family in front a house in Lac des Écorces.

Lac des Écorces, Québec, between 1905 and 1915. Québec. Collections of Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec. Postcard.