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Library and Archives

Susan Goods © Canadian Museum of Nature



The collection is particularly strong in the fields of the Canadian Arctic, ornithology, systematics and taxonomy. Our collection specializes in the subject areas of interest to the museum, including biology, biodiversity, botany, conservation and care of collections, ecology, mineral sciences, natural history, wildlife and zoology.

The library contains

  • more than 35 000 books
  • 2000 periodical titles, of which 100 are current subscriptions
  • museum publications
  • Rare Book Collection
  • microforms, cassettes, CD-Rom, CDs, DVDs.

The Rare Book Collection consists of 4000 pre-20th century monographs, manuscripts and periodicals that cover expeditions, natural history and biological and Earth sciences dating back to the 1500s.

Button: Search our catalogue.

Online Library Catalogue

Browse the online catalogue of the museum's library holdings. The online catalogue contains all library holdings catalogued since 1978. Pre-1978 materials must be accessed manually through the card catalogue.

Visitors Are Welcome

Members of the public and academia, as well as employees of federal and provincial governments are welcome to use our library's collections.

The library is located at our research and collections facility in Gatineau, Quebec. The address and information for making an appointment appear below.


All museum staff, volunteers and associates can use the library collection and borrow material. Members of the public are welcome to use library material on site.

Reference materials, rare books and the latest issues of serials are for use only in the library.

Interlibrary Loans

The interlibrary loan service allows museum staff to borrow material from other libraries and provides loans to external users through their own library. To request interlibrary loans please contact us.

Serials (Journals and Periodicals)

The library subscribes to approximately 100 journals in natural history. Current issues of serials are displayed at the front of the library for one month. Bound and unbound volumes of serials are shelved in call number order on the first floor. The serials are searchables in the online catalogue.

Reference Services

The library staff provides basic reference services.

Other Services

A photocopier and scanner are available for use in the library (fees may apply to external users).

The Archives

The Canadian Museum of Nature's archives hold three collections: the Archives, the Nature Art Collection and the Photograph Collection


The Archives hold approximately 1.5 kilometres of shelf space of unpublished documents, mostly institutional records. The institutional records offer insight into the past and present activities of our exhibitions, research, collections and administration. The archives hold files that document the museum's history and the museum's mandate—they tell us stories about field trips, discoveries, exhibitions, our natural world and more.

Nature Art Collection

Besides the beautiful and exactingly naturalistic backgrounds of the dioramas on exhibition in the museum, our nature art collection includes more than 1800 items such as oil paintings, watercolours, photographs, drawings, decoys, sculptures, carvings, tapestries representing artists such as Grondin, Landsdowne, Ely Kish, Malak Karsh and Belzaire.

Photograph Collection

Photographed mostly by the museum's staff, this collection consists of more than 275 000 slides, photos, negatives and glass plates. This collection represents images of the natural world, with an emphasis on Canadian material.

Some material is available for reproduction. More information.

General Information

Contact Us

Library: 613.566.4734
Archives: 613.364.4047
Email: cmnlib@nature.ca
Fax: 613.364.4026

Library and Archives Hours

Open by appointment
Monday – Thursday
9 am – 4 pm


Canadian Museum of Nature
1740 Pink Road
Gatineau, Quebec
Google map.

Mailing Address

Canadian Museum of Nature
Library and Archives
P.O. Box 3443, Station D
Ottawa, ON K1P 6P4