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Special collections


The special collections, part of BAnQ's heritage collection, are made up of ten major collections:

Poster: Ligne Allan du Havre au Canada.

Posters The heritage poster collection, which bears witness to cultural, artistic, tourism, sports, government, political, union and community activities in Québec, is comprised of more than 35,000 documents published from the 19th century on. The posters, which were created for the most part in Québec between 1960 and the present, encompass a wide range of formats and visual approaches, reflecting the production of Québec's poster artists and graphic designers.

Geographic map: Atlas of the City of Montréal and Vicinity in 4 volumes.

Geographic maps
This is one of the most complete collections of maps and atlases relating to Québec's territory from the era of New France up to the present day. The over 60,000 documents include fire insurance plans, land use plans, topographic maps, cadastral maps, tourism maps, geological maps, hydrographic maps and digital maps.

Spanning the period from the late 19th century to the present, some 52,000 postcards depict over 1,000 Québec towns and villages and provide information on urbanization, architecture, tourism, transportation, fashion, leisure and more. This exceptional collection traces the evolution of postcard publishing in Québec over more than a century.

Print: Danse à claquettes.

More than 30,000 works produced by over 1,500 artists since the 19th century: a genuine anthology of artistic styles, techniques and trends that profiles the work of Québec's printmakers. The collection includes a few printing plates and blocks, as well as drawings and other works on paper.

Documentary iconography
This collection of more than 750 illustrations (prints, drawings, press clippings and reproductions) from the 18th to the 20th century portrays multiple aspects of life in Québec (city views, portraits, events, landscapes, etc.).

Early book: The Quebec Almanack for the year 1792.

Early books
This collection of approximately 10,000 books includes the earliest examples of printing in Québec, Ancien Régime books on New France, 72 European incunabula, the most precious works of the Philéas-Gagnon collection and an imposing selection of rare books from the Sulpicians' library. More than 400 broadsheets have also been collected.

Artists' books and bibliophile books
This collection comprises more than 3,800 artists' books, livre-objets, artists' editions, graphzines,  print albums and bibliophile books from Québec.

Artists’books are works of art, they represent one of the many forms of expression used by artists. As works of art, they do however remain connected to books through form, content or function. Bibliophile books are illustrated with original works and produced in limited editions.

Performing arts programmes
These programmes – over 30,000 published in Québec since the beginning of the 19th century – testify to performances and cultural events in the fields of theatre, dance, music, opera, variety, the circus and more. Currently in the process of being reorganized, this collection includes souvenir programmes and programmes relating to Québec works or artists presented outside Québec.

Fine bindings
This collection includes more than 330 fine bindings from the 20th and 21st centuries. They provide a particularly suitable appreciation of the aesthetic and technical aspects of this discipline and illustrate the diversity of the materials used and the styles adopted, both traditional and contemporary. As a result of the creativity of the binder and the originality of his work, book bindings have taken up their place as works of art. The collection brings together a variety of creative projects that combine artistic and literary achievements, while documenting a piece of the history of Québec books.

Art reproductions
More than 1400 reproductions of artworks by Québec and foreign artists produced between the 1960s and the present day.

Click here to consult the illustration captions


TopReference collection

To facilitate consultation of the special collections, the preservation centre's reading room offers access to over 3,000 reference books.

This regularly updated collection includes:

  • specialized works relating to the types of document in the special collections (rare book bibliographies, the history of posters in Québec, studies of artists' books, etc.)
  • specialized works relating to the various fields of knowledge touched on in the collections (visual arts, performing arts, history, geography, etc.)
  • general reference works (dictionaries, guides, current atlases, etc.)


TopCultural activities

The specialists at BAnQ Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie offer a number of free activities linked to BAnQ's special collections. The workshops are designed to cater to a variety of audiences: student groups, specialized associations, general public, etc.

For more information about the workshops on offer and how to register, please contact us :


TopService information

A team of library professionals and technicians provides specialized reference and research assistance services.

The special collections can be studied in the reading room of BAnQ Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie. This room is open to the public, on reservation, Tuesday through Friday, from 1 pm to 5 pm. Materials kept in the reserve cannot be delivered to the room between noon and 1 pm and after 4:30 pm. We recommend that you request them in advance

Telephone: 514 873-1101, ext. 3823 or 1 800 363-9028 (in Québec)
Fax: 514 873-7168

Jean-François Palomino is in charge of BAnQ Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie’s reading room