Museums and the Web 1999

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Published: March 1999.


The Virtual Museum of New France, a Museum That Exists Only on the Internet

Jean-Pierre Hardy , Canadian Museum of Civilization, Canada

Session: The Virtual and the Real

My paper will introduce the Virtual Museum of New France, a museum that exists only on the Internet ( After a short presentation of the concept (mission, goals, main themes, content, audiences, etc.), I will address two particular projects that have been designed to reach specific clienteles.

The first one is intended to reach the genealogy audience. The objective of this project is to provide the users with a variety of genealogical and historical data on the French Regime in Canada (17-18th century), in partnership with Archiv-Histo, a company specialising in digitalization of notarial archives such as sale agreements, wills, marriage contracts,etc. Genealogy amateurs and specialists alike will have access to different banks of illustrated and non-illustrated data related to the 10 000 patronyms of the families that created to the New France society. From these data, they will be able to create their own family history. This project is commercial : some data will be free while others will be available for fee through an electronic commerce system.

The second project aims to reach so-called cultural tourists, especially those Canadians and Americans interested in searching information on their ancestors.

In partnership with the Comités Régionaux de Tourisme de la France de l'Ouest (the equivalent of the Tourist Offices in North America), we have created a data bank that enables the public to search for their ancestors' name and the city or the village where they came from in France, as well as many other information related to genealogy. In conjunction with these data, we intend to link information related to the tourism infrastructure such as hotels, inns, restaurants and main attractions which are all available through special hyperlinks with various partners on the project.

Our hope is that the projects described above will encourage new clientele to visit and consult other activities of our museum.