The site of this 18th-century building in Upper Town has seen a parade of history over the years. A military barracks stood here in the days of New France. The current structure, completed in 1812, was built to serve as the city's first public jail. In 1868, the building was renovated to become the new home of Morrin College, an affiliate of Montréal's McGill University. It offered instruction in English, but was forced to close in 1902 because of a lack of funds and students. Today the Morrin Centre serves as an English-language cultural center. Book lovers should be sure to visit the venerable library, begun here in 1868 by the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec, Canada’s first learned society. The oldest volumes date to the 16th century, and the library is still thriving today.