Maptour Page 5
Maptour: The Printed Word 1752 – 1900
Reading in Montréal

Click to enlarge

Graph: Montréal Collective Libraries.

Try This:

  • Click on the "Related Materials" drop-down menu and select Graph – “Montréal Collective Libraries.”

Notice ...

  • In Montréal, all libraries before 1900 were classified as being either English or French; none were considered bilingual.
  • Up until 1850, English-language libraries in Montréal outnumbered French-language ones.
  • Only ten of 171 Montréal libraries up to 1900 explicitly offered borrowing (“circulating”) privileges.


  • Probably few Canadians before 1900 were capable of reading both French and English.
  • The concept of “borrowing a book from the library” was virtually unknown in Montréal before 1900.