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Collections of the National Library

The National Library acquires, processes, makes available and preserves the entire production of published works in Québec. The wealth of its collections attests to the vitality of Québec's scientific and cultural production, from the days of New France to the present. The collections of the National Library are comprised of materials published in Québec as well as Québec-related materials published outside Québec. Books, brochures, newspapers, periodicals, government publications, maps and plans, sheet music, performing arts programmes, and websites are brought together and preserved to represent the entire printed materials production of Québec.

Availability of the National Library's collections

The National Library’s collections are made available to the general public. They are distributed among two BAnQ facilities.

How are the National Library's collections developed and enriched?

Since 1968, the principal means for acquiring published heritage materials has been through the Regulation respecting legal deposit. Under the Act respecting Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, Québec publishers must provide BAnQ with two copies of all documents published in Québec. The first copy is stored in ideal preservation conditions; the second copy is made available to the public for on-site reference at the National Collection, the National Music Collection, the CQRLJ or at BAnQ Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie, depending on the type of document. Publishers of digital publications and websites can also deposit their materials on a voluntary basis.

Materials which are not covered by legal deposit are either purchased or acquired through donations. These complementary means of acquisition have helped develop a complete collection of published works in Québec since 1968, most of what has been published in Québec since the start of local printing in 1764, as well as a major collection of Québec-related foreign publications