2013 Community Seminar
Catholic Legacies in Victoria /
Patrimoines Catholiques à Victoria
Join us for two days of seminars, lectures and exhibits that bring to vivid life the stories of Roman Catholic missionaries during the period of Victoria’s colonial settlement. The focus is on two extraordinary legacies: the “bishop’s books,” a collection of 3500 rare editions from the Renaissance to the 20th-century brought to Victoria during the 1870s and currently housed in the University of Victoria’s Special Collections; and the Sisters of St. Ann archives, now available for viewing at the Royal British Columbia Museum.
The Bishop Seghers Library at UVic Special Collections
Gathered from booksellers and book fairs in Europe and North America, the library now known as the Seghers Collection was started sometime around 1873 in Victoria by the Belgian priest Charles Seghers. An ambitious and intrepid missionary, Seghers always carried books with him on his extensive travels throughout the Pacific Northwest until his untimely murder in Alaska in 1886. Ninety years later in 1976, having grown considerably in size through additions made by later generations of missionaries and priests, the collection arrived at UVic on permanent loan from the Diocese of Victoria. Following decades spent in relative obscurity in the UVic vaults, the books are gaining renewed attention as one of Canada’s most valuable and significant religious libraries.
Pre-registration is required. Contact the CSRS to pre-register.
The Archives of the Sisters of St. Ann
In 1858, the Sisters of St. Ann arrived in Victoria from St.-Jacques, Quebec, and immediately set up the first of the many schools and hospitals that would have such a defining influence on the development of Vancouver Island and the Pacific Northwest. From the time of their first settlement to the present day, the Sisters have recorded and archived the history of northwest Canada. One hundred and fifty-four years later in 2012, they moved their entire collection of photographs, letters, documents, works of art, vintage textiles and other artifacts to a new space within the BC Archives, accompanied by their own archivist. This is the largest private collection and the first archives of a religious congregation ever donated to a public institution in British Columbia. The Sisters are also recognized for their formative contributions to the UVic School of Nursing over many years. Contact the CSRS to pre-register.
May 28, 2013 The Seghers Collection at UVic Special Collections2:00–5:00 pm
- Mini-presentations and papers
- Lecture by David Kingma "Martyr or Misfit? Re-examining Archbishop Seghers' Great Adventure"
- A Look at the Books
- Keynote address by Dr. Hélène Cazes, UVic Department of French
• The Bishop’s Books 6:00-7:00 pm
• Une Bibliothèque de mémoires : le fonds Seghers 7:00-8:00 pm
Wednesday, May 29 The Sisters of St. Ann: Making and Recording History
- 10:00 am–12:30 pm
Morning presentations at St. Ann’s Academy National Historic Site
- 1:00–2:30 pm
Tour of the Pioneer School House and SSA Archives at Royal BC Museum and Archives
- 2:30 - 5:00 pm afternoon presentations
A collaboration of The University of Victoria Centre for Studies in Religion and Society, UVic Means Centre for Learning, UVic Faculty of Humanities, St. Ann’s Academy National Historic Site, Sisters of St. Ann and Royal BC Museum and Archives, with support from the UVic 50th Anniversary Committe, UVic Libraries, and the Sisters of St. Ann.
Read more about the Bishop Seghers Collection.
Since 1993, the CSRS community seminars have created opportunities for community members to engage with UVic researchers on issues of local concern. Topics covered range from an exploration of the meaning of honesty to religious fundamentalism to the role of chaplains in the military to religious education of children. Proceedings from the seminars are published in the CSRS Community Seminar series, available from the centre.
- 2010: Writing and Religion: A Literary Forum
- 2007: Clashing Fundamentalisms: When Rival Truth-claims Meet Head-on
- 2006: Religious and Spiritual Education of Children: Personal Contexts and Public Concerns
- 2005: Ethical Dilemmas of Military Chaplains in War and Peace
- 2003: Music, Movies, Videos and Games: Youth Responses to Cultures of Violence
- 2002: Our Communities at Times of Crisis
- 2001: Who's Minding Your Business?: Balancing Private and Public Responsibilities
- 2000: Art as an Early-Warning System
- 1999: Is Multiculturalism Possible? Victoria Perspectives
- 1998: Toward a Just Society: The Interplay of Power and Influence
- 1997: The Price of Service: Civic Values in Conflict
- 1996: Who's Planning our Future? Development and the Soul of the Community
- 1995: Honesty: At What Price?
- 1994: Anger in Our City: Youth Seeking Meaning
- 1993: Aging and Dying: Legal, Scientific and Religious Challenges