Search Art Collections
Search for works of art in the Gallery’s collection.
Search for books, periodicals, and other materials.
Books, periodicals, exhibition and auction catalogues, microforms, audiovisual materials and electronic formats are included in the catalogue.
Archives and documentation files have partial listings only in the catalogue; slides and study photographs are not included.
Holdings of the Library's documentation files on Canadian artists are listed in the Artists in Canada reference database.
Some materials may not be immediately available for onsite consultation. It is advisable to contact Reader Services if you need assistance in locating material in the catalogue, or if you wish to ascertain that a title is available for use.
The Library's holdings are also recorded in Voilà, the national union catalogue maintained by Library Archives Canada, and in Worldcat, provided by OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. The online catalogue is also searchable through the following consortium gateways, which search several catalogues at once: artdiscovery.net (Art Discovery Group Catalogue) and SmartLibrary, serving the National Capital Region of Canada.
Read about special collections of rare and illustrated books in the Library.
Special Collections contain exceptional materials such as rare Canadian and foreign imprints, early illustrated books, Canadian bookplates and contemporary artist books and multiples, as well as notable subject collections, among them the Art Metropole and Kodak collections; holdings related to Canadian artists, such as Franklin Carmichael, Charles Fraser Comfort, Carl Fellman Schaefer, Fritz Brandtner, and C.W. Jefferys; and those related to historians of Canadian art, such as J. Russell Harper, Jacqueline Fry, Doris Shadbolt, Sandra Buhai Barz, and Bruce Russell.
Search for artists’ books and multiples, mail art, posters and more.
The Art Metropole Collection database contains 12,611 records for individual items, such as artists' books, multiples and posters, exhibition catalogues, etc., as well as analytics for individual artists represented in group exhibitions, and index entries for anthologies and artists' periodicals. The Art Metropole Collection database contains 12,611 records for individual items, such as artists' books, multiples and posters, exhibition catalogues, etc., as well as analytics for individual artists represented in group exhibitions, and index entries for anthologies and artists' periodicals. The database, however, does not account for, at the item level, a significant body of material in archival fonds (e.g. the General Idea Collection, David Buchan fonds, Ray Johnson mail art, Jean Toche Correspondence and Art Metropole fonds, although finding aids have been prepared for this material), and in documentation files (on, for example, Canadian artist-run centres). Finding aids for the archival fonds can be found here.
Read about collections in the Gallery’s Archives.
Finding aids to the personal and corporate fonds in the National Gallery of Canada Archives are listed below. Finding aids vary in the level of detail they provide: some describe the records at a fonds or collection level only, while others describe records at a series, file, or item level. These finding aids are also available through ArchiveGrid from OCLC.
Subject access to the personal and corporate fonds can be had by searching the catalogue of the Library and Archives, where fonds or collection level descriptions to these records can be found.
Read about the Gallery’s visual resources collections.
Visual Resources collections encompass more than 182,000 slides of works of art in Canada, North America, and western Europe, with special emphasis on National Gallery of Canada collections and exhibitions. The Library retains historical installation slides of the Gallery's national collection and exhibitions, as well as slides which document the Gallery buildings, previous and present.
Find files on Canadian artists.
The Documentation collection consists of more than 80,000 documentation files that contain information on the National Gallery of Canada, on Canadian art schools, galleries, and societies, and on Canadian and non-Canadian artists, museums, collectors, curators, art historians, art administrators, and trustees. Files may contain any of the following types of documentation: newspaper clippings, press releases, obituaries, exhibition notices, and other printed ephemera, as well as biographical information supplied by the artists. The files are divided between Canadian and non-Canadian material, and their scope reflects the collecting areas of the National Gallery.
Holdings of the Library's documentation files on Canadian artists are listed in the Artists in Canada database. Artists in Canada is a bilingual union list of documentation files and biographical information on more than 52,000 Canadian artists, held by 23 libraries and art galleries across the country. It is compiled and maintained by the National Gallery Library and hosted by the Canadian Heritage Information Network.
Search for works of art listed in Canadian exhibition, auction and collection catalogues.
The Index to Art in Canada to 1930 provides an index to works of art listed in Canadian exhibition, auction and collection catalogues, from 1823 (the date of the earliest catalogue so far identified) up to and including 1930.
The following catalogues have been indexed: all catalogues dated before 1900; all catalogues published by the National Gallery of Canada, as well as unpublished checklists of exhibitions held at the Gallery, from its foundation in 1880 to 1930; a growing number of catalogues for exhibitions held outside the National Gallery of Canada between 1900 and 1930.
In total, the database contains entries for over 74,000 entries for works of art in over 380 catalogues.
Search for prints produced by Canadian Inuit artists from 1957 to the present.
The Inuit Artists' Print database assembles information on 8000 prints produced by Canadian Inuit artists from 1957 to the present. The information derives from the inspection of prints in many collections. It is not a catalogue of prints in the National Gallery of Canada collection. The database is an online version of The Inuit Artists Print Workbook, edited by Sandra B. Barz (3rd edition. New York: Arts & Culture of the North, 2004). It is designed to help researchers, museum staff, exhibition curators, collectors, dealers and anyone interested in Inuit prints to identify them and to learn more about them.
See a timeline of the Gallery’s history.
See a complete list of past Gallery exhibitions.
Chronological lists of National Gallery of Canada exhibitions, 1880– 2017, and Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography Exhibitions, 1985– 2002, have been compiled. Online records have also been created in the Library catalogue for all research materials housed in the Library and Archives which relate to the exhibition history of the institution, 1880 to the present.
Search for National Gallery of Canada archival records.
Descriptions of the National Gallery of Canada's own institutional records can be found in the archives database. Records can be located by using file title or file creator as search terms or by using keywords. Descriptions of records related to National Gallery of Canada exhibitions are also included in the catalogue of the Library and Archives; they can be found by using the title of the exhibition as a search term or by using subject headings, including personal names.
Read articles from this digitised Gallery publication.
The National Gallery of Canada’s Bulletin and Annual Bulletin were published between 1963 and 1985, containing articles on art with a focus on Canadian art and on the Gallery’s own collections. These articles, written by external scholars as well as Gallery staff, were intended to appeal not only to interested historians and researchers, but also to the general public with an enjoyment and appreciation of the arts. The 104 articles are presented here in a digital version of the 30 Bulletins and 8 Annual Bulletins.
View photograph albums of Canada, from the Library collection.
Canadian souvenir view albums, published from the 1880s through the 1930s, occupy a singular place in the history of Canadian bibliography. Having antecedents in the travel narratives, topographical views and guidebooks that recorded and illustrated the early periods of European exploration and settlement of the country, souvenir view albums, with their distinctive formats, a proliferation of photomechanically reproduced images, and little or no text, are peculiar to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This site features albums from the collection of the National Gallery of Canada Library.