Set up in 1991, the Museum’s Archives Department is responsible for maintaining and developing documentation related to the works in its collection, its institutional archives, and any private archives it has been given. It also sees to the registering of every work that comes to the Museum, whether as an acquisition, for an exhibition, as a loan, on deposit, or for study.
To facilitate the tracing of works of art spoliated during World War II, the Museum maintains an up-to-date register of works with incomplete provenances for the years 1933 to 1945. Bronze sculptures cast in large unnumbered editions have been withdrawn from the list.
A description of archival materials on Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ exhibitions from 1860 to 1987 is available on the Réseau de diffusion des archives du Québec website. Descriptions of a number of the private archives held by the Museum are also available on that site.
From its founding until the early 1970s, the Museum put together scrapbooks of press clippings and other documentation relating to its acquisitions, exhibitions, and activities. These scrapbooks provide a meaningful account of Montreal’s cultural life and art scene during those years. Scrapbooks from 1864 to 1962 have been digitized.