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Background. 1967 Creation of the Bibliothèque nationale du Québec (BNQ). Its mission: to assemble and conserve each and every document ever published in, or relating to, Québec. 1968

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  • Creation of the Bibliothèque nationale du Québec (BNQ). Its mission: to assemble and conserve each and every document ever published in, or relating to, Québec


  • The legal-deposit requirement came into effect, obliging Québec publishers to deposit two copies of every title they publish:

  • books

  • brochures

  • newspapers

  • periodicals

  • artist books

  • musical scores


  • The legal-deposit requirement was extended to include:

    • original prints

    • posters

    • artwork reproductions

    • postcards

    • sound recordings

    • software

    • electronic documents and microform publications


  • Launch of the Iris catalogue, providing free online access to the BNQ’ holdings


  • Creation of the Grande bibliothèque du Québec (GBQ) to provide full and free access to its vast Québec-related and universal collections


  • Merging of the BNQ and the GBQ. The new institution, called Bibliothèque nationale du Québec, assumes two distinct mandates:

    • Acquire, conserve and circulate Québec’s heritage collection

    • Acquire and circulate the Library’s lending collections


  • The legal-deposit requirement was extended to include performance programmes

    End of 2004

  • Launch of the BNQ’s new Internet portal


The new face of the BNQ:

  • Two buildings:

    • the conservation centre

    • the Grande Bibliothèque

  • 500 employees, including 119 librarians

  • Scheduled merging with the Archives nationales du Québec


Heritage Collection

  • 340,000 books

  • 8,000 old and rare books

  • 2,600 artist books

  • 2 million newspapers and periodicals

  • 100,000 titles of printed music

  • 50,000 plans, maps and atlases

  • 25,000 original prints

  • 15,000 posters

  • 469 private archive holdings in literature and fine arts

  • 70,000 microform publications

  • 34,000 photographs dating back to 1860

  • 58,000 postcards

  • 20,000 sound recordings

  • 2,300 electronic documents (CD-ROMs, DVDs)

Old and rare books

Le Catéchisme du diocèse de Sens, first book published in Québec, in 1764

La Summa Angelica de casibus conscientiae, 1486

Artist books
Artist books

L'éternité est un entretemps

Text: José AcquelinCubes: Lynda Baril, Aline Beaudoin,Christiane Brière, Denis Charland, Alain Fleurent, Élisabeth MathieuTrois-Rivières: Atelier Presse Papier, 1996

Les artistes contre la guerre

joutes internationales

Text: Léo Gillessen

Dry points: Michel Barzin and Francine Turcotte

Text: Chiquet Mawet

Février aux bombesLinocut: Kikie CrèvecœurDry point on China paper: Joan Lanneville

Plastic gourd

Trois-Rivières: Atelier Presse Papier, 1991

Periodicals, newspapers, printed music


Montréal: Artdata,1975-

No. 111 (2003)

Le soleil

Québec, 1896-

24 October 2003

À la claire fontaine

[Printed music]: comme on la chante en France / arrangement by M. Dessane

Montréal: Typographie d'Eusèbe Senécal, 18611 score ([3] p.)

Plans, maps and atlases

The Attack of Québec / [Lahontan] [S.l.], [1706?]

Lahontan, Louis Armand de Lom d'Arce, baron de, 1666-1715

Carte de la Nouvelle France augmentée depuis la dernière, servant à la navigation /faicte... par le Sr. de Champlain [Paris], 1632Champlain, Samuel de, ca 1567-1635

1 map: 53 x 86 cm

In: Les voyages de la Nouvelle France occidentale, dicte Canada / faits par le Sr de Champlain... - A Paris : chez Sevestre, 1632 (RES AD 202a)

Original prints and posters

La nuit de la poésie, a film by

Jean-Claude Labrecque andJean-Pierre Masse

[Montréal]: National Film Board of Canada, [1970]

1 poster: b & w; 61 x 44 cm


Mourand, Guy

Ste-Thérèse: Clicart inc., 2002

1 art reproduction; 99 x 54 cm

Intestine by Simon Bossé

Bossé, Simon

Montréal: L'Oie de Cravan, [2002]

1 poster: b & w; 66 x 38 cm

Private archives

Pages from a notebook and sketch – Ozias Leduc

1882. Holograph


Rue Principale, Hull, Québec, Canada

Publisher: Photogelatine Engraving Co., Ltd.; Toronto

Montreal, St. Catherine St. Looking East of the main St. [Montréal. La rue Ste-Catherine à l’est du boulevard St-Laurent]

Illustrated Post Card Co.; Montreal

In april 2005 the bnq will provide access to the following
In April 2005, the BNQ will provide access to the following:

45 %


340,000 books (including the Saint-Sulpice collection)

725,000 documents

20 %


350,000 books

125,000 documents

2 %

33 %


50,000 other documents


450,000 books

300,000 other documents

1,140,000 books

1,200,000 other documents

1,660,000 microfiches

A digital collection
A digital collection

containing several hundred thousand documents and growing

  • dictionaries and directories

  • documentary CD-ROMs

  • electronic magazines and newspapers

  • newspaper pages

  • old-book illustrations

  • maps and plans

  • postcards

  • artwork reproductions, etc.

Services: Heritage mission

  • To assemble and process documents

    • legal deposit

    • cataloguing

    • safekeeping of documents

      • document restoration

      • reproduction

Public library services
Public Library Services

  • full and free access to millions of documents

  • reference services

  • specialized services:

    • young readers (0-13 years)

    • newcomers to Québec

    • special-needs users

  • exhibitions and other activities

  • a conference centre

Inher new Grande Bibliothèque, the BNQ will offer:

To welcome as many as wish to use its resources, the BNQ will also make the following services available off-site:

  • service portal

  • reference

  • inter-library loans (ILL)

  • digital collection

  • Québec union catalogue

  • virtual reference library (BREF)

  • on-line training and other activities

Bref a directory of online reference resources
BREF: A directory of online reference resources will also make the following services available off-site:

  • Online resources available free of charge

  • Reference resources: dictionaries, encyclopedias, directories, etc.

  • Possibility of integrating Internet links into local library catalogues

BREF will also make the following services available off-site:

BREF will also make the following services available off-site:

A powerful computer architecture that helps the BNQ provide wide-ranging services to local libraries

  • Mega data warehouse

  • Extranet support system for libraries

  • ILL support

  • Virtual reference library

  • Free downloading of Québec libraries’ catalogues

  • Purchasing consortium for electronic resources

  • Users’ personal profiles

  • Internet portal with direct services for the general public

Perspectives wide-ranging services to local libraries

In the coming years, the BNQ endeavours to play the following roles:

  • as a prominent dispenser of culture

    • by safeguarding Québec’s heritage

    • by championing reading and continued education

    • by contributing to the strengthening of social cohesion

  • as an active supporter of other documentary institutions wide-ranging services to local libraries

    • by supporting the development of a genuine network of public libraries

    • by creating favourable conditions for effective cooperation

    • by sharing its documentary resources and expertise

Thank you

Thank You wide-ranging services to local libraries