Researching Exhibition Histories Researching the Visual Arts in Canada

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Searching for Canadian Exhibition Catalogues


Artexte's DOCUMENTATION CENTRE has brought together resources and developed the necessary tools for research in the field of visual arts from 1965 to the present, focusing on exhibition catalogues and Canadian art.

Canadian Art Foundation Library
6 Church St, 2nd Fl, Toronto (ON) M5E 1M1
Tel (416) 368 8854 Fax (416) 368 6135

The Foundation's Library holds Canadian artists' art exhibition catalogues. Founded in 1991 to further understanding and appreciation of contemporary visual art in Canada. Publishes Canadian Art, quarterly magazine featuring contemporary and historical Canadian art, essays, review.

Library Catalogue of the National Gallery of Canada

An effective way to locate catalogues. This library houses an extensive collection of visual arts literature in Canada, including 150,000 books, exhibition catalogues, and bound periodicals; 1,100 current periodical subscriptions; 50,000 auction catalogues; and 200 000 microforms.

Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery Library, Concordia University

The Gallery's primary resource is contemporary Canadian exhibition catalogues, which are divided into two groups: individual artists (1970s, 1980s, 1990s); and group exhibitions (primarily 1970s, 1980s, 1990s but some 18th-, 19th-, and early 20th-century). Researchers should make an appointment to consult the catalogues by calling (514) 848-4778 Fax: (514) 848-4751.

Indian and Inuit Art Centre

The Indian Art Centre of Indian and Northern Affairs (INAC) supports and promotes the visual arts of the First Nations in Canada and houses artist files, exhibition catalogues, reports and studies, archival photographs dating back to the early 20th century, art magazines and periodicals, a resource library of Indian art textbooks, and a resource library consisting of video and audio tapes. Its Research and Documentation Centre houses 1,100 artist files and an Image Bank of over 10,000 slides and photographs for research purposes.

Médiatheque (Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal)

This Website contains information on the MAC's Media Centre: information on the collection, staff and services. See also Répertoire des catalogues du Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, 1965-1990 (Montreal: Bibliothèque nationale du Québec, 1992), a print  listing of the catalogues published for the exhibitions held at the Museum. Many of the catalogues are available for purchase at the museum’s bookstore and are indexed on the above site. Access the Media Centre's catalogue from this page.


Directories to Exhibition Catalogues in General

Index to Art Exhibition Catalogues on Microfiche. Cambridge: Chadwyck-Healey; Teaneck, NJ: Somerset House, c1976. Concordia University Library Call # Reference N 7525 I53X [three volumes].

This microfiche brings together over 3,000 art exhibition catalogues from major museums and galleries throughout the world available individually, in major subject collections such as Renaissance and Baroque Art or subject collections such as Impressionism, Sculpture and Women Artists.  The catalogues are also grouped according to the museum or gallery that originally published them.

The Smithsonian Institution

See especially Pre-1877 Art Exhibition Catalogue Index

Victoria & Albert Museum Exhibitions

Search the National Art Library

Information about V&A exhibitions and publications also appears in:  The Victoria and Albert Museum: a bibliography and exhibition chronology, 1852-1996.  Edited by Elizabeth James. London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997. ISBN 1884964958.

Worldwide Books Online

Exhibition catalogues and books on art.

The Art Book Biannual: A Guide to Exhibition Catalogues and Other Books on Art. Ithaca, NY: Worldwide Books, 1992. Concordia University Library Call # Reference N1 A1 A78 1992-ONWARD.

Exhibition catalogues and other art books: women artists : 1962-1995 imprints. Ithaca, NY: Worldwide Books, 1995. Concordia University Library Call # Reference N 8354 E98 1995.

The Worldwide bibliography of art exhibition catalogues, 1963-1987. Millwood, NY: Kraus International Publications; Ithaca, NY: Worldwide Books, c1992. Concordia University Library Call # Reference N 4396 W675 1992 [three volumes].


  • Search library catalogues for bibliographies of exhibition catalogues, such as:

Bibliography of [British] Arts Council Exhibition Catalogues, 1942-1980. By Judith Collins. Concordia University Library Call # Reference N4035 A65 C676x 1982.


Search through Canadian Journals on Art to find Exhibitions

Search through the journals listed on this page, as they regularly advertise upcoming exhibitons throughout their pages. Search the latest volumes to find exhibitons not yet catalogued in the majour art indexes (many of which include exhibition catalogues in their indexes).

For periodicals published outside Canada, which may list Candian exhibitions and/or Canadian artists exhibiting in that country, see Médiatheque (Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal)


More ways to search for exhibition histories on-line . . .

Many on-line museums and galleries list their past and up-coming exhibitions on their Websites -- search the Net for those on-line by consulting the Museums and Galleries Page on this site (which lists directories to finding institutions on-line), or use one of the large search engines to search for newly added sites.

Last updated: 24 septembre 2007


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