Founded in 1882 and originally known as the "Reading Room" of the Art Association of Montreal, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Library is the oldest art library in Canada. Over the years, its collection has grown through the generosity of its donors, judicious annual purchases and the establishment of an exchange programme with the world's major museums. Today, it is recognized as one of the most important art libraries in Canada.
The Museum Library has an imposing collection of works, primarily in the following fields: Mediterranean archaeology; world cultures (Asian, Pre-Columbian, Islamic, African, Oceanic art, etc.); Western art; Quebec and Canadian art; international contemporary art; decorative arts and design; and graphic arts. The collection includes over 90,000 monographs, 68,000 auction catalogues (Sotheby's, Christie's, Hôtel Drouot, Hôtel des encans de Montréal, etc.), almost 20,000 files on Canadian artists, 930 serial publications (periodicals, annual reports and newsletters from various museums around the world, etc.), as well as videos, CD-ROMs and DVDs.
In 1993, the Library launched the automation of its card catalogue. To date, more than 60% of its holdings are now accessible to staff through the online catalogue.
A part of the collection is listed on AMICUS, the national catalogue of Library and Archives Canada.
The Library also has files on Canadian artists. These files are listed in the database Artists in Canada. The information can be accessed free of charge through the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN).
The Museum Library is not open to the public, but offers reference services to all. Requests can be sent by mail, fax or e-mail. Requests will be answered within two (2) weeks.
Photocopies: $0.25 per copy
Photocopies from microform and microfiche: $0.25 per page
Printout of digitized documents: $0.25 per page
The Museum Library lends to other libraries exclusively, under certain conditions. Several documents cannot be lent under any circumstance. All loaned documents must be consulted on site at the borrowing library.
Loan of documents: $20 per document
Photocopies: $20 for up to 20 pages + $0.25 for each additional page
Doctoral students in art history may make an appointment.
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
P.O. Box 3000, Station "H"
Montreal, Quebec H3G 2T9
Phone: 514-285-1600, ext.160