What’s all the excitement about?

Getting primary sources has become much easier.

ACGS has purchased the electronic version of the Drouin Collection. We are the first in the United States to have it!

What is it?

Jean-Pierre Pepin of Longueuil, QC bought the defunct ‘Drouin Institute’ from the founders’ grandson, Claude Drouin. Included in the purchase was the entire microfilm collection of parish registers for the Province of Quebec, some from the Province of Ontario, the Maritimes, Acadia, some notarial acts and hundreds of other documents. The collection has about 2,400 reels of microfilm – a collection we contemplated buying a few years ago.

Now Mr. Pepin has converted these 2,400 reels of microfilm into 3.5 million scanned images, occupying over a terabyte of hard disk storage. When possible, the images were enhanced during the scanning process so that the scanned image is actually easier to read than the original microfilm. These are images of approximately 20 million baptism, marriage and burial acts from the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries!

What is the advantage of the electronic format?

No more reading film on microfilm readers! No more microfilm files!  We can print to paper or drag and drop the image file, in jpeg format, onto a disk. The files are organized into an efficient directory structure so that any one of the 3.5 million images can be accessed with a small number of mouse clicks. This opens up these priceless primary sources to everyone, either by visiting our library or requesting specific images through our research department. The jpeg image allows the user to view it in a large number of viewing programs. Images can be cropped to show just the specific baptism, marriage, or burial act of interest. The file can be imported into most genealogy programs. Imagine having an image of the act right in your database!

Some typical images from the new Drouin Collection:


Baptism of Josephine Rosa Tetreault – 18 February 1884 in Dunham, PQ


Marriage of Jacques Miville and Catherine Baillon – 12 November 1669, Quebec, PQ


Death record of Pierre Miville 15 October 1669 – Quebec, PQ

This is probably the largest ethnic collection of primary sources available to the general public today. We now offer these images to anyone wishing to access them at our library.

For those individuals who cannot visit our library, requests for copies of  records can be submitted obtained through our Research Department.