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New ROAAr Podcast Explores Untold Stories in the McGill Library and Archives


Published: 9Sep2021

Did you know that McGill owns land in Mont St. Hilaire? It is called the Gault Nature Reserve. If this land could speak, what story would it tell?

ROAAr (Rare Books, Osler, Art and Archives, the special collections unit at the McGill University Library) and podcast producer and host Sheetal Lodhia explore the story of the beautiful land and waters of the Gault Nature Reserve in the first episode of “Voices from the Footnotes,” a podcast series launching this fall.

Voices from the Footnotes explores some of the hidden histories at the McGill University Library and Archives. Each episode features places, people, and artifacts from the collections. The library and archival collections are rich and fascinating, but this podcast series flows from the silences and absences that are also present. Follow along as the podcast explores the voices and stories from the footnotes and snippets from behind the scenes at ROAAr.

The first episode, entitled “The Gault Nature Reserve,” delves into what we know about the history of the land at Mont St. Hilaire. From records in the McGill University Archives, librarian/archivist Adria Seccareccia traced the ownership history of this forest haven. Beginning in 1694, when the land was granted to the first Sieur de Rouville. Of course, the story of this land is much longer than that. The Abenaki nation are the original stewards of this land; however the narrative preserved in the archives reflects the colonialist settler perspective. The French seigneurial system and its practice of issuing land grants leaves us with a one-sided and limited history of this land.

In this first episode, host Sheetal speaks with Adria and special guests Paige Isaac, Allan Vicaire, and Tanya Lalonde, to share the history and stories of this special place. Hear about the ways that the McGill Community has found a connection with the Gault Nature reserve, especially through efforts of McGill’s First People’s House.

Listen now: Episodes available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify. Find out more on the website:

Contact Information

Jacquelyn Sundberg
roaar.librar [at]
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