Title and statement of responsibility area
Congregation of Notre Dame Collection
General material designation
- Multiple media
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Title statements of responsibility
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Edition statement of responsibility
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Statement of scale (cartographic)
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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
1885 - 2011 (Custody)
- Congregation of Notre Dame
Physical description area
4.4 meters of textual records and other material
Publisher's series area
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Archival description area
The sisters of the Congregation of Notre-Dame (C.N.D.) of Holy Angels Convent, Sydney, Nova Scotia, donated their papers, photographs, and other records of historic significance to the Beaton Institute at Cape Breton University between 2010 and 2012.
With the pending closure of the Holy Angels Convent Sr. Rita Clare, Sr. Simone Abbass and Sr. Haidee MacLellan made contact with the President of Cape Breton University to request the assistance of the University in the timely and organized administration of records of importance to the local community. As a result the staff of the Beaton Institute have worked closely with the Sisters to ensure the locally significant documents of the Convent are preserved and will continue to be accessible to future researchers. The majority of the donation has been received from the music program enabled through Sr. Rita Clare (including the Holy Angels Chorale 1962-1983, Holy Angels Alumni Choir 1985 - 2010 and Cape Breton Youth Choir 1988-1998), the history room of the Convent enabled through Sr. Simone Abbass, and the rare book collection enabled through Sr. Haidee MacLellan.
The majority of the Sr. Rita Clare's material was donated in 2010 but significant accruals from Holy Angels arrived in May - November 2011. An additional 1.0 m of material was received on April 27, 2012 from Sr. Agnes Cordeau, the former Principal of the School.
Scope and content
Holy Angels Convent was founded in 1885 at the request of Father James Quinan for the purpose of providing education to the young women of Cape Breton County. Holy Angels operated as the only all girls' educational institution east of Montreal since its founding. Holy Angels High School was known for its fine arts programming with instruction in music, drawing, sculpting, speech and drama.
The fonds consists of seven series: photographs, audiovisual recordings, textual records, Sister Rita Clare, the Marguerite Bourgeoys Centre, Centennial Celebrations, and Objects. The Collection is predominantly a photographic one, with over 3200 negatives, positives and prints spread over the seven series.
The audiovisual recordings include 136 items that relate to the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre-Dame, Holy Angels Convent, Holy Angels High School, the Cape Breton Chorale, the Holy Angels Chorale, the Cape Breton Youth Choir, and Sister Rita Clare. Sister Rita Clare's material includes images, concert programmes, scrapbooks, video tapes, audio reels, and audio cassettes documenting the activities of both the Holy Angels Chorale from 1962-1983, the Holy Angels Alumnae Choir (1985 - 2010), the Cape Breton Youth Choir (1988-1998).
In addition to the music program materials, there are other recordings relating to religious education and the activities of the Convent and School. The textual records consists of material connected to student and community activities in the Sydney area during the twentieth century; samples of student evaluations and compositions, graduation documents, the school newsletter, the Library's operational registers, and correspondence are included. The Collection also includes a number of objects that were donated to the Beaton Institute by Sisters of the CND and photographic and textual records related to the Marguerite Bourgeoys Centre and the Holy Angels Centennial Celebrations, which were held in 1985.
In 2009 the Congregation of Notre-Dame announced their intention to close the convent and sell the property in the historic Northend of Sydney. This closure brought an end to a 126 year history of pioneering in women's education in eastern Canada. The building has since been purchased and is now the New Dawn Centre for Social Innovation.
Immediate source of acquisition
The collection has been separated into media types. Many of the materials were organized by the donor according to their career and community activities. Order has been imposed where materials have clearly been extracted and re-organized. File level arrangement is primarily chronological unless otherwise stated.
Language of material
Script of material
Location of originals
The majority of the original administrative documents of the Convent have been returned to the Archives at the Congregation of Notre Dame Motherhouse in Montreal, Quebec.
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Records have been presented by Sr. St. Veronica (Mairi MacDonald), Sr. St. Mary Hector (Matilda MacIntyre), Sr. Agnes Cordeau, Sr. Rita Clare, Sr. Simone Abbass, Sr. Haidee MacLellan, and the C.N.D..
Descriptive record in progress.