Going to BAnQ For Some Research? Bring Your Camera!

A few weeks ago, as I went to BAnQ Archives (on Viger Street, in Montréal) to do some research, I had a pleasant surprise. I learned that you can either use a camera, a phone or a tablet to take pictures of the documents you are unearthing at the Archives.

This is great news indeed!

I was looking at a map of Sorel which was too large for the copy machine to deal with. I took out my tablet and I ended up with a pretty sharp image of the map. Even better than the photocopier as it was in colour! And you save so much time—and money—and paper! Imagine going through a large book, like the Montréal Prison Registry, for instance: you can take as many pictures as needed while perusing leisurely instead of marking all the pages that you are interested in, bring same to the counter, and wait for the photocopies or the scanned pages to be ready.

Now, let’s be clear. We’re only talking about original documents that you are allowed to order at the counter on the fourth floor. For any other kind of documentation (such as books, newspapers or magazines), you still have to either use the self-serve copy machine or ask the personnel to make some photocopies for you (both fee-based services). Furthermore, you cannot take pictures of the screen when viewing a microfilm. The images must absolutely be saved on your flash drive. And for whatever reason, if it is not permitted to take a picture of a specific original document, the personnel will let you know when you are handed the original document.

So, what are you waiting for? Visit the BAnQ Archives, dive into original documents, and do not forget to bring your phone, tablet or camera!