Collection

The Musée québécois de culture populaire boasts an impressive collection of ethnological objects.

Over 200 donors have contributed to the collection, with the result that it now includes more than 60,000 items. The collection's diversity, representing many aspects of daily life, is eloquent testimony to the richness of Québec culture. Donations fall under the main categories of traditional occupations, agricultural implements, household objects, clothing, textiles and folk art.

The Museum is associated with the Old Prison of Trois-Rivières, a part of Québec's historic building heritage. The prison was classified a historic monument in 1978 because of its exceptional architectural qualities. It is currently the site of the visit-experience GO TO JAIL!

Old prison of Trois-Rivières

Old prison of Trois-Rivières 

François Baillairgé, a Québec City architect, prepared the blueprints for the Old Prison of Trois-Rivières in 1815. A contract for the masonry was carried out the following year. The detention centre opened officially in 1822 and remained in operation until 1986. Designed to hold about forty inmates, it sometimes housed up to a hundred prisoners at once during the course of its history.

The building divisions are unchanged: the ground floor is in its original state, supported by cedar beams in the basement. Many old doors have been kept. The only staircase has been remodelled several times but remains in the same place it has always occupied.

The preservation of the Old Prison made it possible to safeguard many of its original architectural features. The building, once the longest-operating detention centre in Canada, is now a part of the national prison heritage. The Old Prison is an object of fascination and a major attraction in the Museum complex.