|CCA Collection : Library
Rich in rare books and special collections, the Library is dedicated to the literature of architecture in its broadest sense, including its professional history, its formal and theoretical elements and its relationship to the main currents of intellectual history. Its collections seek to document the history of architectural discourse and to promote scholarship and research in architectural history and theory; they aim to be as comprehensive as possible in scholarly, theoretical works while also focusing on a variety of special subject areas.
One of these special collections is that of early architectural treatises. Documenting the beginning of the modern tradition of enlightened debate about architecture, these Renaissance treatises comprise a collection of international importance. Supporting this material is a large body of Italian regional histories and city guides dating from the beginning of printing into the nineteenth century. Particular interest has been paid to the architectural literature of the countries whose culture has contributed to the formation of Canadian culture, England and France. There is an important collection of British country house guides of the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as of literature of the English Gothic Revival. The French contribution to the urban culture of Québec and its fortified cities is reflected in a collection of manuals, treatises and manuscripts on fortification. There are strong imprints from Germany and The Netherlands, and significant strengths in Eastern European holdings, especially books and periodicals on architecture published in the former Soviet Union. There are also a number of unique CCA collections, one of close to 800 architectural toys and games, one of over 5,000 architectural trade catalogues from the late 18th through the 20th century, and one of over 850 souvenir models representing architectural structures and monuments. A strong collection has been formed of literature on 20th century Modernism and avant-garde architecture which is supported by an outstanding collection of architectural periodicals, one of the Library's principal assets as an active research library.
Currently comprising over 12,000 titles, more than half from the past four decades, coverage is intended to be comprehensive. The focus is on Canadian architecture, with emphasis on historic buildings and landmarks, and on Canadian architects and architectural firms. Includes general histories of localities, businesses and institutions. Special strength in souvenir publications of towns and villages, chiefly in Québec and Ontario, as well as view books and guidebooks. Especially good coverage on the history of Montréal and its architecture, with emphasis on city planning and urban renewal. Formats are interesting and varied: monographs, exhibition catalogues, theses, trade catalogues, almanacs, directories, atlases, audio-visual materials, etc.
Supplemented by two noteworthy special collections: the Ernest Cormier Library and a collection of Canadian fire insurance maps, dating from the 1880s to the 1970s, representing close to 400 cities, towns and villages throughout the country.
Strong coverage of architecture throughout the United States from colonial times to the present. The early period is rich in builders' manuals and pattern books, beginning with John Norman's Town and Country Builder's Assistant (Boston, 1786). The collection includes about one third of the titles in Henry-Russell Hitchcock's American Architectural Books (New York, 1976). This core is supplemented by city guides, view books and other contemporary witnesses to the built environment. Other strengths include late 19th and 20th-century building types and materials, the latter complemented by special collections of trade catalogues and international expositions. Excellent coverage of American architects and architectural firms, including Frank Lloyd Wright (see C. Donald Cook Frank Lloyd Wright Collection). Particular emphasis on North American Modernism and its aftermath, with recognition of the interdisciplinary nature of many avant-garde theories. Good coverage of city planning and urban renewal, in particular housing. Also extensive holdings on the history of photography in America.
A major portion of the Library's monographs were published in Europe, many of these dating from before 1840 (including ten incunabula). Coverage of all aspects of architecture, urban planning and landscape design, as well as all styles and periods. The collection includes virtually all of the early printed architectural treatises, often both first and subsequent editions. Renaissance holdings range from pocket manuals to large illustrated books. Literature of the history and development of building types is complemented by treatises on the use of building materials; monographs by and about architects are supported by documents relating to the history of architectural education. Strong holdings of exhibition catalogues and theses. Topographical literature is well represented, with emphasis on early guidebooks and view books as sources for the study of urban planning, landscape gardening and techniques of architectural representation. European imprints on subjects such as draughtsmanship, engineering, ornament and perspective complement other monographic collections to provide for broad-based research.
All countries and languages are included, with France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy and the Netherlands particularly well represented for all periods. Russian-language holdings are a special strength, with titles ranging in date from the 18th century to the present, but with about 80% from the post World War II period. Particularly strong in Soviet architecture, architectural history, urban and regional planning, architectural education and housing. There are also solid holdings for Eastern Europe and Armenia.
Holdings for countries outside of North America and Europe consist mainly of recent monographs. Earlier imprints are more selective and largely confined to colonial architecture in India and Central and South America, or the work of Western practices in the Middle East and elsewhere. Strengths include contemporary architecture from Japan, China and Korea, temple architecture of ancient India and urban development in Latin America. Includes a unique reference collection of retrospective and current vastu shastra literature.
Over 6,000 titles including standard and specialised works of reference. Early works include multi-volume encyclopedias such as Diderot's Encyclopédie, the 5th and 11th editions of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, the Brockhaus Real-Encyclopädie of 1822 and Larousse's Grand dictionnaire universelle du XIXe siècle. Standard research tools such as general and specialised encyclopedias, indexes and national biographical dictionaries are available in the Reading Room; standard and specialised electronic reference resources are also available. Approximately half the reference titles relate specifically to architecture, including over 1,500 bibliographies, over 200 dictionaries of terminology, many of which are early works, and architectural guides for most major cities. Other strengths include reference works on art, on gardens, and on the history of the book.
Access to important collections of drawings (e.g. RIBA Architectural Library drawings collection; architectural drawings in the Victoria & Albert Museum; architectural and ornamental drawings in Sir John Soane's Museum, etc.) and photographic materials and documentation (e.g. The Conway Library; History of Photography collection of periodicals, etc.) is available through microform surrogates.
A vertical file collection, begun in 1985, includes ephemeral material such as exhibition announcements and invitations, as well as photocopies of newspaper clippings relating to architecture, principally from the Montréal newspapers and the New York Times. Comprises over 2,550 files on individual architects, extensive files relating to Montréal and files on many architecture-related subjects covered in the popular press.
Renaissance Treatises | Trissino Collection of Books on Italy | Festival Books | Fortification and Early Military Architecture | Portraits of Architects | Harris Collection of British Country House Guides | International Expositions | Trade Catalogues | Edward Craig Theatre Collection | Historic Theatres' Trust Collection | C. Donald Cook Frank Lloyd Wright Collection | Hoffman Collection | Norman D. Stevens Collection of Library Architecture | Ernest Cormier Library | Vastu Shastra Publications | Architectural Toys and Games | BRAU Research Reports | Ephemera | Postcards | Architectural Competitions
Search the Library Catalogue with the phrase Renaissance treatises to retrieve the items from this collection.
Trissino Collection of Books on Italy
Search the Library Catalogue with the phrase Trissino Collection to retrieve the items from this collection.
Search the Library Catalogue with the phrase festival books to retrieve the items from this collection.
Fortification and Early Military Architecture
Portraits of Architects
Harris Collection of British Country House Guides
Search the Library Catalogue with the phrase John Harris Collection to retrieve the items from this collection.
International Expositions and Fairs
Search the Library Catalogue with the phrase Franklin Institute Trade Catalogue Collection to retrieve the items from the Franklin collection.
Edward Craig Theatre Collection
In addition to the Craig Collection, there are over 1,000 other titles relating to the theatre (some 30 dated before 1800). Of these, about half concern the architecture of theatres (e.g. theatre construction, theatre as building type); about 300 items on the theatre as an art form; another 200 on stage sets and scenery. Complemented by items in the Library's non-book collections (toys, competition briefs, audio-visual materials, vertical files).
Search the Library Catalogue with the phrase Edward Craig Theatre Collection to retrieve the items from this collection.
Historic Theatres' Trust Collection
Search the Library Catalogue with the phrase Historic Theatres' Trust Collection/Fonds Société des salles historiques to retrieve the items from this collection.
C. Donald Cook Frank Lloyd Wright Collection
Search the Library Catalogue with the phrase Hoffman Collection to retrieve the items from this collection which have been catalogued to date.
Norman D. Stevens Collection of Library Architecture
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Ernest Cormier Library
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Vastu Shastra Publications
Search the Library Catalogue with the phrase Vastu Shastra publications to retrieve the items from this collection.
Research Reports from the Bureau de la Recherche Architecturale et Urbaine (BRAU) in Paris
Architectural Toys and Games
An important component of the Library's research resources: over 5,000 titles (ca. 760 current subscriptions) including major professional and scholarly journals from countries throughout the world. Includes Jahrbuchs, reports, bulletins and other documents issued by associations, universities, corporations and governments. Rich in journals of the avant-garde. Strong in national and regional journals and those published by schools of architecture, as well as those which focus on architectural theory and architectural research. Selected titles in the fields of art, archaeology, history and iconography enrich the interdisciplinary research potential of the collection. Titles related to photography, archives, prints and drawings, conservation/preservation, museology and library issues reflect support for CCA collections and activities.
Canadian titles make up about 1/5 of current subscriptions; include membership in historical associations, especially Québec and Ontario. Collection includes newsletters and annuals produced by students of architecture and landscape design in Canadian universities. Also directories from provincial architectural associations. Annual reports from the 19th century to the present include those of cities, governmental agencies and other associations.
American holdings comprise all scholarly titles devoted to architecture, landscape design and urban planning, including those which derive from membership in major scholarly associations. Also include titles produced by students of architecture and landscape design in American universities. Good coverage of retrospective and current annual reports, professional journals, national and regional journals, architectural research journals.
European serial holdings include all countries and languages and all periods. Extensive collection of 19th-century engineering and construction journals, with information on inventions, bridges, construction and industry. Important 19th century German, French and British titles. Many rare titles document the major movements of twentieth-century architecture from both Eastern and Western Europe including Soviet publications. Outstanding coverage of current European titles.
Excellent coverage of current titles from other regions, including South America (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay); Central America (Mexico, Cuba); Asia (India, China, Japan); Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malyasia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam); and Africa (South Africa).