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Province of Quebec Society for the Protection of Birds (P423)

1917-2010 - 3.49 m of textual records - 40 artifacts - Approx. 1,700 photographs: lantern slides, mostly coloured

Administrative History - Biographical Sketch:

One of the first organizations of its kind in North America, the Province of Quebec Society for the Protection of Birds Inc. (PQSPB) was founded in 1917. A non-profit natural history organization, its primary mandate is to facilitate and encourage the study and protection of birds and their environment. This is accomplished through outreach programs for contributing members, such as annual bird fairs, monthly lectures and field trips, and through the publication of newsletters and annual reports. In addition, the PQSPB has, from its inception, sought to influence legislation concerning natural resources and wildlife in Canada through correspondence with politicians and government officials.

Early conservation efforts focused on bird protection. In 1917, Lewis Terrill stressed the need to do something about the dwindling numbers of birds in Montreal. In the 1939-40 PQSPB President's Report, V. C. Wynne-Edwards noted that "of the two principal activities of the members of this Society, the study of birds is to us a recreation. The conservation of wildlife, on the other hand, is a serious duty. We work for this purpose first by education, trying to rouse a wider and wider interest among the public, old and young, in natural history." This statement is as true for the PQSPB today as it was then.

In its on-going conservation of birds and their habitats, the PQSPB has relied on a number of outreach programs, such as public lectures and annual fairs, as well as actively enlisting members. In addition, the development of education programs, lobbying efforts and the funding of field research have been at the forefront of Society activities. The PQSPB's mission is therefore to raise awareness of environmental issues by educating the public about ornithology and environmental issues, while at the same time supporting existing bird sanctuaries and promoting the establishment of new ones.

Scope and Content:

The fonds provides a glimpse of the activities surrounding the protection, observation and study of birds and the conservation of bird habitats. The material facilitates an understanding of the PQSPB, as well as its history, management, constitution, committees, finances, membership and communications.

The fonds includes annual reports, correspondence, legal documents, various communication and information media, artifacts and photographs of PQSPB activities. They document the organization's administrative history, as well as its active involvement in shaping legislation on bird conservation, both locally and in other parts of North America. The documents and artifacts recorded in the accession file cover 93 years, from 1917 to 2010.

The fonds is divided into the following series:

  • P476/A: Administration and management
  • P476/B: Financial resources
  • P476/C: Membership
  • P476/D: Operations
  • P476/E: Communications and information
  • P476/F: Artifacts
  • P476/G: Photographs