Discovering BAnQ’s special collections

BAnQ Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie

BAnQ’s preservation centre. Le temps du verbe (1997), which is set in front of the centre, is the work of artist Jacek Jarnuszkiewicz. Photo: Pierre Perrault.

BAnQ Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie.
Le temps du verbe (1997),
which is set in front of the
centre, is the work of artist
Jacek Jarnuszkiewicz.
Photo: Pierre Perrault.





Top Discovering BAnQ’s special collections

Located in the Rosemont borough of Montréal, BAnQ Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie is the head office of BAnQ. It houses the teams responsible for acquiring and processing the heritage collections, as well as the staff responsible for the preservation, restoration and digitization of fonds and collections. It also houses the team in charge of managing and disseminating BAnQ’s special collections, which are accessible to patrons, without appointment, in the reading room of BAnQ Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie.

An integral part of BAnQ’s heritage collections, the special collections consists of 10 sets: posters, postcards, maps, engravings, documentary iconography, early books, artists’ books and bibliophile books, performing arts programmes, fine bindings and reproductions of works of art.

Target audience
Groups of students, researchers, professional artists or members of special interest associations or historical societies

Duration of the activity
2 hours

Making reservations
The workshops given by the special collections team are usually held at BAnQ Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie, although some may be presented offsite. Workshops are free of charge but reservations are required. A representative of a group wishing to attend a workshop must send a request by email, at least one month in advance, to the following address:

In this email, the representative should state the desired date, the number of participants and any specific information about the interests of the group. The workshop instructor will communicate with the representative to confirm the date, time and place, and to discuss how the content could be best adapted to the needs of the group.

A workshop will take place if there are at least 10 participants. The maximum number is 30. However, if the workshop is given offsite, the number of participants may vary.


Top Maps as historical sources


Carte & guide pour les touristes et les sports
aussi bien que pour les colons à la recherche
d’une ferme dans le Domaine de la Couronne,
Montréal, The Gazette, circa 1900.

Workshop instructor: Jean-François Palomino, map librarian, Research and publishing
Offered in either French or English.

Early maps are valuable sources whether you are just beginning or finishing up your historical research. They are useful to many types of researchers: historians, geographers, archaeologists, urban planners, ethnographers, genealogists and people who have to assess site contamination. This workshop presents the most useful maps for research and the best tools for accessing them, especially BAnQ’s digital collection of maps and plans.







Top A personalized presentation of early printed works

A New Discovery of a Vast Country in America….

Louis Hennepin, A New Discovery of a
Vast Country in
America…, London,
Henry Bonwicke, 1699.

Workshop instructor:  a librarian from the special collections, Research and publishing
Offered in either French or English.

This workshop represents an opportunity to get acquainted with early printed works—early books, iconographic documents, and broadsides—through the examination of original copies and an introduction to the descriptive vocabulary of these items. The presentation can focus on aspects of early printed works such as incunabula (layout, colophon, printers), paper, illustrations, binding (evolution of decoration, identification of periods and styles, materials), Québec books (first presses, types of publications, etc.).


Top Books as works of art: An introduction to artists’ books

Artist’s book, Apparitions.

Bonnie Baxter, Denise Desautels and
Jacques Fournier, Apparitions, 2005.

Workshop instructor: Élise Lassonde, librarian in charge of artists’ books, Research and publishing
Offered in either French or English.

From the illustrated book to the book as object: There is a rich and varied tradition of artists’ books in Québec. Their study is of interest from the standpoint of book history, visual arts, graphic arts and literature. Through twenty works drawn from BAnQ’s heritage collection of artists’ books, the content of this workshop presents a panorama of Québec creation and can be personalized in accordance with the group’s needs and interests.





Top A panorama of Québec posters

Elles servent la France, tout le monde peut servir, souscrivons à l’emprunt de la victoire, poster, [Canada, between 1914 and 1918].

Elles servent la France, tout le
monde peut servir, souscrivons
à l’emprunt de la victoire
, poster,
90 x 61 cm, Canada, Government
of Canada, between 1914
and 1918.

Workshop instructor: Danielle Léger, librarian in charge of poster and performing arts programmes, Research and publishing
Offered in either French or English.

From letterpress posters to contemporary illustrated posters, graphic production in Québec is many-faceted and relates to all areas of life, both public and private. A number of Québec’s poster makers are outstanding. This workshop provides an historical overview of the poster in Québec or, if requested, gives participants an opportunity to explore specific themes and periods: letterpress posters of the 19th century, war posters, posters related to health issues, the works of a famous poster maker, visual artists and the poster, and so on.







 Top An examination of religious history based on early bibles

La Bible... Pierre Robert Olivétan.

Pierre Robert Olivétan, La Bible, qui est
toute la Saincte Escriture du Vieil et
du Nouveau Testament […],
Geneva, n.p., n.d., p. AAa1.

Workshop instructor: Isabelle Crevier, research agent, Research and publishing
Offered in either French or English.

Ancient bibles are replete with all kinds of information that can be used to take a new look at the effervescent time of the early days of printing in Europe. This workshop provides an overview of bibles and bible parts preserved in the early book collection. Depending on the participants’ needs, the presentation could cover translators, printers, languages, formats, marks of ownership, the religious tradition (Roman Catholic or Protestant) in which the works are situated or even the readerships for which they were intended.


 Top Travelling in Québec, then and now: Tourism in BAnQ’s collections

Anonyme, Bonjour Neighbour, objet publicitaire, Québec, Service provincial du tourisme, entre 1946 et 1961.

Anonymous, Bonjour Neighbour,
item, Québec, Service provincial
du tourisme, between 1946 and

Workshop instructor: Michèle Lefebvre, librarian, national collection, and Danielle Léger, librarian in charge of poster and performing arts programmes, Research and publishing
Offered in French only.

From the romantic traveller of the 19th century to the camper of the 1970s, from elitist vacations to the mass tourism of today, from the steamboat to the automobile, and from private initiatives to government involvement, tourism in Québec has undergone profound changes in the last two centuries. BAnQ’s collections bear witness to this evolution with travel guides, postcards, posters, maps, photographs, amateur movies, and so on. Echoing the publishing of the book Destination Québec and the similarly-titled exhibition, the two instructors of this workshop invite you on a journey through time and space in Québec. Create your à la carte workshop with the following eight topics:

  • Origins of tourism
  • Development of transportation in the 19th century
  • Enthusiasm for water bodies and nature
  • Hospitality sector
  • Winter tourism
  • Advent of the automobile and of mass tourism
  • Urban tourism
  • Québec attractions pictured for tourists

Top Information

2275, rue Holt
Montréal (Québec) H2G 3H1

Reading room of BAnQ Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie 
514 873-1101, ext. 3823, or 1 800 363-9028, ext. 3823   

Our partners

Ville de Montréal. Fondation de BAnQ. Les Amis de BAnQ. Catalogue des bibliothèques du Québec. RDAQ. RFN.