Find of the Month – Glass Tube

June 10, 2019

Every month, an object from the heritage bequest by the Augustinian community is selected by the museum storage facility and archives center teams. Featured this month: a glass tube with an handwritten note.

Tube de verre et note manuscrite
Glass tube and handwritten note, 1859
Fonds du Monastère des Augustines de l’Hôpital général de Québec
© Archives du Monastère des Augustines

Recently, Le Monastère des Augustines Collection team made a curious discovery in the drawer of a piece of furniture at the Hôpital général de Québec monastery. For over a century, a rolled note held in a glass tube sealed with a cork accompanied a plaster sculpture of the Guardian Angel installed on August 25, 1859 in an architectural niche of the deposit wing.

The note contains information about the date of the statue’s installation as well as the signatures of the members of the council of the Hôpital général de Québec monastery. It also includes this intercessional prayer: “Guardian Angel, guard this establishment, and pray for its inhabitants, be their faithful guide.[1]

Statue de l’Ange gardien, fin 19e siècle
Statue of the Guardian Angel removed from the niche in1977 at Hôpital général de Québec.
© Collections du Monastère des Augustines

This statue and the glass tube were removed from the niche in 1977, during the the hospital building repairs. It is therefore likely that the glass tube was stored in a piece of furniture and forgotten by the person who stored it.

Vue d'ensemble de l'Hôpital général
Overview of the Hôpital général de Québec during the 20th century. The red box designates the location of the niche which contained the Guardian Angel’s statue.
Fonds du Monastère des Augustines de l’Hôpital général de Québec
© Archives du Monastère des Augustines.

This recent discovery is very useful for the collections and archives team: the note helps us learn more about why the statue was installed. The note will ultimately be removed from its container and stored in a manner to helps conservation.

To learn more about the Augustinian heritage, visit the  Musée du Monastère. You will also find other documents on the  Centre d’archives’s website.

[1] « St Ange gardien protégez cet établissement, et priez pour ses habitants, soyez leur guide fidèle. »