Art Libraries Researching the Visual Arts in Canada

| Art Libraries in Canada |
| Important Art Library Catalogues Outside Canada |
| Directories to Art Libraries | Directories to Libraries in General |
| Directories to Holdings of Major Art Libraries | More ways to find titles on-line |


There are well over 250 art libraries in Canada, but not all are listed on the Internet or give access to their catalogues on-line. Consult the printed pathfinders at the end of this document for other libraries, and especially the International Directory of Art Libraries online guide, which lists those both on- and off-line. Books in other libraries can be borrowed via the InterLibrary Loans Service at your university. The following short list names the top art libraries in Canada by province. Many of these libraries offer online public access to their catalogues:


National Library of Canada (NLC)

The NLC catalogue (AMICUS) is a free catalogue listing the holdings of libraries across Canada. As a national catalogue, AMICUS not only shows the published materials held at Library and Archives Canada (LAC) but also those located in over 1300 libraries across Canada. AMICUS contains over 30 million records for books, magazines, newspapers, government documents, theses, sound recordings, maps, electronic texts as well as items in braille and large print.

A Sampling of Art Libraries in Canada:

Atlantic Provinces   Nova Scotia College of Art and Design
Quebec   Artexte

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 Centre for Architecture Library

Concordia University Libraries
Catalogue accessible from

McGill University Blackader-Lauterman Library of Art and Architecture

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Library

Musée d'art contemporain de Montreal Media Centre

Université Laval

Université de Montreal

Université du Quebec (Bibliothèque des Arts)

Ontario   Art Gallery of Ontario Library

Enter 'Library' in seach tool.

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

Library holds Canadian artists' art exhibition catalogues.

Indian Art Centre Library

The Indian Art Centre of  Indian Affairs and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) holds art magazines and periodicals, a resource library of Indian art textbooks, and a resource library consisting of video and audio tapes. Not searchable online. See also INAC Library catalogue online.

Canadian Museum of Civilization (CMC) and the Canadian War Museum

CHIN Canadian Heritage Information Network

Ontario College of Art and Design

University of Toronto (esp. for architecture)

York University


Manitoba   University of Manitoba (School of Architecture Library)

Winnipeg Art Gallery


Alberta   Glenbow Museum Library

The Banff Centre Paul D. Fleck Library


British Columbia   Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design Library

University of British Columbia

Vancouver Art Gallery


Some Important Art Library Catalogues Outside Canada



Library of Congress

The Metropolitan Museum Libraries and Study Centers

Museum of Modern Art

DADABASE is the online catalog of the New York MoMA's research resources. It includes cataloging records for over 200,000 books, exhibition catalogs, periodicals, archival collections, and artist files in the Library, Museum Archives, and all departmental libraries.

SIRIS Art Inventories Catalog

Smithsonian Institution Research Information System.

UCLA Arts Library


British Library (UK)

National Art Library (UK)


Directories to Art Libraries

International Directory of Art Libraries

Search this Website by country for listings and links to art libraries around the world. The IFLA also publishes Newsletter: International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, Special Libraries Division, Section of Art Libraries.  S.l : The Section, 1981. Concordia Library Call # Periodicals Z 675 A85I57 1990-ONWARD. Lists libraries both on- and off-line.

International directory of art libraries. By Thomas E Hill. Munchen: K.G. Saur, 1997. McGill Library (Blackader-Lauterman) Call # Reference Z675 A85H55 1997.

Directory of art libraries in Europe: or libraries with important art holdings, including United Kingdom. Paris: International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) Art Libraries Section, 1981. Concordia Library Call # Reference Z 675 A85D57 1981.

Fine arts library resources in Canada. Ottawa: National Library of Canada [Resources Survey Division, Collections Development Branch], 1978. Concordia University Library Call # NX 620 N36X.


Directories to Libraries in General

[Canadian Library Association] CLA directory of members. Ottawa: Canadian Library Association, c1987. Concordia Library Call # Reference Z 673 C3C3X  [CURRENT EDITION, Annual].

Concordia University Libraries On-line Guide to Montreal Area Art Libraries

Directory of special libraries in the Montreal area / Repertoire des bibliothèques specialisées de la region de Montreal. Montreal, QC: Special Libraries Association, Montreal Section. Concordia University Library Call # Ref Desk Z 735 M6 1995.

Library and Archives Canada


Directories to Holdings of Major Art Libraries

Guide to in-house indexes of Canadian art, architecture & design literature in Canadian  libraries / Guide des index-maison concernant les ouvrages traitant de l'art, de l'architecture et du design canadiens localises dans les  bibliothèques canadiennes
. Compiled by Peter Trepanier with the assistance of  Sylvie Alix. Montreal: ARLIS/MOQ, 1996. Concordia Library Call # Reference N 6540 G85 1996.

Directory of art libraries and visual resource collections in North America. Compiled for the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) by Judith A. Hoffberg and Stanley W. Hess. New-York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc., 1978. Concordia Library Call # Reference  Z 675 A858H698X 1978.

Directory of vertical file collections on art and architecture represented by ARLIS/MOQ / Repertoire des dossiers documentaires traitant de l'art et de l'architecture dans les regions representees a la Section ARLIS/MOQ. Montreal: ARLIS/MOQ, 1989. Concordia Library Call # Reference N 6540 R47X 1989.

ARLIS union list of microforms on art, design & related subjects. By Chris Nichols. England: ARLIS/UK and Eire, 1988. Concordia Library Call # Reference N 7425 N53 1988 "Amendment" (Feb. 1990) slip inserted.


More ways to find titles on-line

See also the section on Finding New Titles to search the catalogues of Publishing Houses.


Borrowing books from another library . . .

You can borrow any book from another library through the InterLibrary Loans department of your University (see Concordia University's InterLibrary Loans Services). ILL will find titles for books you wish to borrow, not available at your own library (as well as microfilm, journal articles, etc.) -- you do not have to know the location, however the more complete the reference you submit, the easier and faster it is for them to locate the title.



Last updated: 25 septembre 2007


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