New France Archives


During the 16th century, following the discovery of the rich fishing banks off Newfoundland, France became the first European nation active in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. In 1604, France created a permanent settlement there, laying the foundations of a country that would develop its own culture—a blend of French roots, Aboriginal customs, and adaptations to the new land. After 1763, under English rule, Canadians continued to maintain their customs, ensuring a French presence in North America.

In 2004, to mark the 400th anniversary of the French presence in North America, France and Canada re-created their singular adventure and sparked new interest in their shared history by putting documents online reproduced in their entirety using the latest digitization technologies, and making them accessible to a broad public.

With enthusiasm and determination that reflect the scope of the project, the Direction des Archives de France, Library and Archives Canada (LAC), Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec and the Canadian Embassy in Paris set up work teams, whose members ensured a constant and effective liaison between the two continents. This site provides access to a virtual exhibition and a database containing more than one million images.

Table of contents


Important notice

The content of the database records reflect the original language used in the archival material of the documents.

This database contains descriptions and their associated digitized documents concerning New-France, conserved in the following archival centres:

  • Archives nationales d’Outre-Mer (Aix-en-Provence)
  • Archives nationales (Paris)
  • Archives départementales de la Charente-Maritime (La Rochelle)
  • Archives départementales de la Gironde (Bordeaux)
  • Archives départementales des Pyrénées-Atlantiques (Pau)
  • Library and Archives Canada (Ottawa)
  • Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (Québec)

New France, for the purposes of this site, is made-up of Canada, Acadia, Newfoundland, the Great Lakes region and Louisiana. The documents in this database date mainly from the early 16th century until the Treaty of Paris in 1763, including some documents after this period.

Search help

Simple Search

The Simple Search box is located within the main graphic above. Use keywords to access the New France Archives descriptions.
Wildcard character: * (e.g. fran* for France, français, Françoise, etc.)

Advanced Search

The Advanced Search allows a more refined search using the following fields. A single field or multiple fields can be used:
Wildcard character: * (e.g. fran* for France, français, Françoise, etc.)

Name of field​​ Instructions


Use any keyword.


Use words found only within the title.

Series / Sub-series

Use to limit results to only these groups of documents or to view a listing of existing documents within these groups.


Limit the search to a specific date. Use the following format,
yyyy-mm-dd (e.g. 1768-05-16) or use the wildcard * (e.g. 1768-05*, 1768*).


Use to limit results to only the archives in which the documents are stored or to view a listing of existing documents within these institutions.


Use to limit results to only these fonds or to view a listing of existing documents within these fonds.

Results Page

The Results page presents the available documents and provides a variety of sorting and filtering options. The field definitions are the same as for the search fields above except for the Database Item Number which is simply a control number, valid only for this database. This number should not be included in requests for information nor citations.

The TitleSeries / Sub-series and Fonds are linked; clicking on these links will result in the following actions:

Name of field Description


This link will take you to the item display page, providing all data and images related to this entry or item. The title has been abridged in some cases due to its length, but the full title is available when the curser is placed on its abridged version. The full title will also appear in the Item display.

Series / Sub-series

This link will take you to a result set for the full series / sub-series or records.


This link will take you to a description of the fonds along with links to the items within it.

Sorting and filtering of the results:

Action Description

Up / Down Arrows ()

Use these arrows to sort to ascending or descending alphabetical or date order. This sort is available for all fields.


The Filter text box is located above the Repository field. Use this handy tool to limit or filter your results. By entering any term or number, all results that do not contain this entry will be removed from the results. The newly entered term will appear highlighted in yellow within the results. If the term is not contained within an abridged title, it will not appear highlighted. To return to the complete results list, simply delete any term from the Filter box.

Item Display Page

The item display page provides all information related to an entry or item, including Title, Date, Scope and Content, Physical Description, Material Details, Access Restrictions, and access to digitized images.

For ordering, asking questions or citing a reference, please note the following data fields: Title, Reference, Access Restrictions and Repository.

Images and Image Viewer

Each entry in this database contains a digitized version of a document. The majority of the documents were digitized from microfilm copies but the database also contains very high-quality scans produced from original documents. Regardless of the source, most images are of a good quality and are easily viewable using the integrated image viewer.

The image viewer tools allow you to:

Action Description
Zoom in / out

Enlarge or reduce the image to focus on details. Also available by using the mouse wheel.

Original view

Go back to the default view.

 Full screen

View the image full screen. Using your mouse wheel will enlarge or reduce the image in this view.

Previous and Next Arrows

When a document has multiple pages, these arrows allow navigation between pages. You may click on individual thumbnail versions of the pages below the main viewing window as an alternative.

Printable version

Opens the image in a new browser window allowing you to print a copy.

Download a copy

Opens the save image browser window to allow you to save a copy.

Questions, comments or ordering

Please contact us for all questions and comments or to order material from Library and Archives Canada (LAC) or the Archives nationales de France (ANF) and its departmental services. Please include the title of the document(s) as well as all reference numbers provided in the description. LAC will ensure that your request is forwarded to the proper institution should your enquiry relate to materials that are not in its custody.

For information on material from the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) collections, please contact them via their reference form:

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