• My account

Heritage map collection

Button Maps and Plans

Description of the collection

Geographic map: Atlas of the City of Montréal and Vicinity in 4 volumes.

Chas. E. Goad, Co.,
Atlas of the City of Montreal and vicinity,
Montréal, 1912-1914

Map: Routes Champlain

Routes Champlain, Montréal,
Champlain Oil Products Ltd,
1934 (p. 7-8)

Originally established by the Sulpicians for their library on rue Saint-Denis in Montréal, the heritage collection of geographic maps located at the preservation centre (Centre de conservation) currently contains more than 55,000 maps, plans and atlases published from the 16th century to the present. Expanded by documents acquired by legal deposit, purchase or gift, the collection is one of the most complete in existence on the Québec of yesterday and today.

Eloquently documenting cartographic production on Québec, the collection includes works by such famous cartographers as Samuel de Champlain, Nicolas Sanson, Guillaume Delisle, Jacques-Nicolas Bellin, Joseph Des Barres, Joseph Bouchette and Charles Goad. Extremely diversified, the collection is brimming with cartographic documents of all kinds: tourism maps, fire insurance maps, geological maps, topographic maps, cadastral maps, hydrographic maps, settlement maps, military maps, land use plans and much, much more. Here, you can just as easily find a map of Île d'Orléans in the 18th century as a map of Chicoutimi in 1918, a map showing villages, roads and military positions during the Rebellion of 1837, a road map of Québec in 1925, a bird's eye view of the Laurentians and the Canadian Pacific Railway, or a satellite image of Québec. The collection also includes the most recent topographic maps of Québec, on a scale of 1:20,000, as well as the earliest ones, made by the Canadian Department of Militia and Defence beginning in 1905.

The city of Montréal is particularly well represented, thanks especially to the military surveys of the British Army (1869-1872), the atlases of Hopkins (1879) and Pinsonneault (1907), the fire insurance maps of Charles Goad, and the land use maps produced by Ville de Montréal (1949-1990).

Map: The City of Quebec

Samuel Herbert Maw,
The City of Quebec, Québec,
Librairie Garneau, 1932

The collection is international in scope, too, with atlases and maps of the whole world - from bygone eras as well as modern times.

The collection also includes a variety of reference works: introductions to map reading, place name directories, cartobibliographies, histories of cartography, geographical dictionaries, etc.

BAnQ users can consult the collection for a variety of reasons:

  • to find a place an ancestor or historical figure lived in or passed through
  • to locate Amerindian settlements
  • to study the history of a potentially contaminated site
  • to illustrate a book, a television documentary or a film
  • to plan a trip in Québec or abroad
  • to document historical or geographical research
  • to identify an old map
  • to prepare archeological research
  • to learn about the surroundings of a city, town or village in days gone by
  • to find maps to serve as evidence in court
  • to measure the historical transformations of an urban or rural landscape
  • to better understand the evolution of relationships between people and territories

HautSearch tools and publications

Map: Topographical map of the district of Montreal

Joseph Bouchette,
Topographical map of the district of Montreal
London, James Wyld, 1831


Thousands of geographic maps have been digitized and can be accessed in the digital collection of geographic maps. Most of the maps in the collection are described in the Iris catalogue, available online, which lists all publications in BAnQ's collections. To limit a search to maps, simply click on "Maps" in the "Collections" menu.

Researchers interested in the cartography of Montréal should consult the list of the main maps useful for research on the city of Montréal.


Haut Location and contact information for the collection

The map collection can be studied in the reading room of BAnQ Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie. This room is open to the public Tuesday through Friday, from 9 am to 5 pm.

Phone: 514 873-1101, ext. 3823 or 1 800 363-9028
Fax: 514 873-7168
E-mail: collectionspatrimoniales@banq.qc.ca

The person in charge of the collection is Alban Berson.