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Universal collection

The universal collection offers a vast range of materials for circulation and for on-site reference. Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) adds to it on a regular basis so as to make vast encyclopedic collections composed of materials of various types, in a variety of media and covering a wide range of topics available to the general public, thereby ensuring that all citizens of Québec have access to materials in all fields of knowledge. BAnQ is the public institution offering the largest French-language collection in North America. It also has collections in English and other languages used in Québec, in keeping with the needs of the institution’s patrons.

The universal collection includes:

  • collections for adults, categorized by type of materials (magazines and journals, music CDs, films on DVD or Blu-ray, audio books, software, language learning methods, video games) or by theme (current events, arts, languages and literature, history, humanities and social sciences, science and technology);
  • collections designed specifically for children ages 0 to 13, available in the Espace Jeunes (children's library) of the Grande Bibliothèque, which also houses the Centre québécois de ressources en littérature pour la jeunesse, for teachers and researchers;
  • collections for specific groups, in particular newcomers to Québec, jobseekers, businesspeople and people with disabilities;
  • on-line resources, available remotely to all Quebecers, including e-books that can be borrowed or viewed on-line, magazines and journals in digital format, music and films, in addition to access to several reference works (databases, directories, encyclopedias, etc.).

Since opening in 2005, the Grande Bibliothèque has made the former collections of the Bibliothèque centrale de Montréal and those of the Institut Nazareth et Louis-Braille and Vues & Voix (formerly La Magnétothèque) available; the latter two are offered by the Service québécois du livre adapté.

The diversity of provenance and variety of collections clearly illustrate the path taken by Québec libraries.