Exposition - The Library at Night

Photo: Stéphane Bourgeois

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Logo du grand partenaire La Capitale
Logo du grand partenaire Québecor
Logo du grand partenaire Fondation de BAnQ
Logo du grand partenaire Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec

The Library at Night is a virtual exploration of 10 of the world’s most fascinating libraries. It was designed by the Ex Machina production company and its artistic director, multidisciplinary artist Robert Lepage, based on an original idea by BAnQ.

Inspired by the essay of the same name by writer Alberto Manguel, the project's co-creator, the exhibition explores the philosophical, architectural and social foundations on which all libraries rest.

Upon entering the exhibition, visitors step into a recreation of Manguel's own library. They then move to an immersive forest landscape that provides a sharp contrast to the rigorous order usually associated with temples of knowledge. If, as Manguel writes, “the library in the morning suggests an echo of the severe and reasonably wishful order of the world, the library at night seems to rejoice in the world's essential, joyful muddle.”

Visitors then don headsets using 360° video immersion technology* that take them from Sarajevo's National and University Library, magically risen from the ashes, to Mexico City’s Megabibliotheca, the stunning digital-age Biblioteca Vasconcelos, and from the legendary city of Alexandria to the bottom of the sea aboard Captain's Nemo Nautilus. There are a total of 10 famous places, both real and imaginary, to be visited on a one-of-a-kind journey for which BAnQ is your guide.

Picture of Robert Lepage

Robert Lepage

Photo: Jocelyn Michel / Consulat (leconsultat.ca)

Picture of Alberto Manguel

Alberto Manguel

Photo: Manit A. Balmiki

Credits for The Library at Night exhibition

* Important notice
Wearing the Gear VR headset may have harmful effects on pregnant women and people with a known medical condition (visual or neuropsychological disorders, cardiovascular disease, etc.). If such is the case, we recommend that you consult a physician before visiting this exhibition.

Book Cover: La Bibliothèque, la nuit, d'Alberto Manguel

Cover illustration:
Félix Valloton

Exhibition-related events


La bibliothèque, la nuit

Translator, essayist, novelist and editor Alberto Manguel, whose eponymous book inspired multidisciplinary artist Robert Lepage to create The Library at Night, will talk about his essay and the exhibition’s creative process in which he was an active participant.

Tuesday, October 27 at 7 pm


Educational tours of the exhibition The Library at Night

For school groups, Secondary 2 to 5.

October 27, 2015 through June 16, 2016

These events will take place in French.

Our partners

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