Iris catalogue

About the Iris catalogue

Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) fulfils the mandates of a major public library, a national library and national archives. The development of its principal collections reflects the various institutional mandates.

An essential tool, the Iris catalogue provides access to the descriptions of the more than four million printed, audiovisual and digital documents that make up the Universal collection or the Heritage collections.

Universal collection

The Universal collection, which fulfills the mandate of a public library, contains a vast array of documents, covering all fields of knowledge, intended for the general public. Located in the Grande Bibliothèque, most of these documents can be borrowed by BAnQ subscribers.

Heritage collections

The heritage collections fulfill the mandate of a national library: they contain the documents published in Québec, as well as documents about Québec and those published by Québec authors elsewhere. Although the documents in the heritage collections cannot be borrowed, you can consult them for research purposes in the National collection room at the Grande Bibliothèque or at the Preservation centre, in Montréal.

The Iris catalogue can be used to identify all of the documents in the Universal collection as well as the heritage collections and indicates their location and availability. It includes books, newspapers and magazines, sound recordings, CDs, DVDs, maps and plans, games, microforms, government publications, databases, e-books and other online resources, as well as specialized collections of posters, geographic maps, post cards, engravings, performance programmes, old books, artists' books and bibliophile books.

Moreover, numerous online resources have been integrated into these two collections. Most of these resources can be consulted remotely and are available through the Iris catalogue.


To perform searches in the archives, use the Pistard database, since the Iris catalogue does not list archive documents. This gigantic treasure chest fulfills BAnQ's mandate as a national archives.

This online help will enable you to become acquainted with the various functions of the Iris catalogue so that you can make the most of this tool. You can also contact BAnQ's librarians and archivists, who will be pleased to help you with your research.

Our partners

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