Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec

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The 33,000 square metre Grande Bibliothèque in Montreal, the main facility of the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec
Jean-Pierre Morin's sculpture Espace Fractal outside Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec in Montreal Canada

Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ, "National Library and Archives of Quebec") is the Crown corporation acting as the provincial library and archives of Quebec. Its mission, defined by law B-2.2, An Act respecting the Bibliothèque nationale du Québec, is "to assemble, preserve permanently and disseminate Quebec's published documentary heritage together with any related document of cultural interest, and documents relating to Quebec that are published outside Quebec", as well as "to offer democratic access to Quebec's national documentary heritage, culture and knowledge and to act as catalyst in relation to Quebec documentary institutions, thus contributing to the personal development of citizens". BAnQ receives approximately C$80 million in annual financing and is obliged by law to offer free, universal access to all its collections.

BAnQ is the result of a merger between the Bibliothèque nationale du Québec (BnQ), the Archives nationales du Québec (AnQ), and the Grande bibliothèque du Québec (GBQ) which was completed in 2006. BAnQ now unites public services of conservation and accessibility to the archives and publications. The organisation oversees eleven centres in nine cities.


The library's collection includes legal deposit copies of all works printed in Quebec, concerning Quebec, or written or contributed to by an author from Quebec.[1]


It[clarification needed] was created on 12 August 1967 thanks to the collections and assets of the Saint-Sulpice Library, which was originally incorporated in 1910. The general collection of reference works continued to be located in the historic Beaux-Arts building of the old Saint-Sulpice Library, erected in 1915 on Saint Denis Street, in the centre of Montreal. However, most of the 240,000 books in the general collection were transferred in 1997 to a new head office and preservation centre in the premises of a disused factory, on Rue Holt, in the Rosemont neighbourhood of Montreal. An additional collection of over 55,000 government publications were mostly hosted on Rue de l'Esplanade, across from Mont-Royal Park.

Most of those documents, along with all of the central branch of Montreal public library's collections, following an agreement between those institutions, have been relocated in the new Grande Bibliothèque, which was officially opened April 20, 2005 and opened to the general public the following Saturday, April 30, 2005. This new 33,000 m² library, a 90.6 million dollar project, contains over 4 million volumes, including the former collection of the Bibliothèque centrale de Montréal. Its works are divided between the Collection nationale, which are available for reference, and the Collection universelle de prêt et de référence of general works, which include both circulation and reference works.

The rest of the BnQ's buildings were closed upon the opening of the GB, except for the preservation centre which houses the special collections and private archives (also available for consultation).

Among other BAnQ tasks since 1979 is to assign ISBN prefixes in first group identifier "2" to all French-language publishers in Canada and all non-English publishers in Quebec. As a successful incentive towards the use of ISBN, the government of Quebec has removed provincial sales tax from all monographs bearing an ISBN since 1991. BAnQ has also published a monthly bibliography since 1969, as well as an extensive 26-volume bibliography covering the period between 1821 and 1967, when legal deposit was established. The library catalogue, IRIS, has been available online since 1994.


The President and Executive Director of Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec is Dr. Guy Berthiaume, expert on classical Antiquity and former Vice-president - Research at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). He is assisted by five executive directors:

  • Benoit Ferland, preservation
  • Hélène Roussel, library services
  • François Montreuil, information technologies and telecommunications
  • Louise Boutin, administrative and internal services
  • Carol Couture, archives

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Donating and Acquisition", BAnQ Web site, retrieved December 23, 2009

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°30′55″N 73°33′44″W / 45.51538°N 73.56234°W / 45.51538; -73.56234