The National Library and Archives of Quebec

Photo from:  https://www.banq.qc.ca/

 Up here during our stay in Montreal, the French professor (Denis Brault) took both French classes to the Bibliothèque et Archives National du Quebec. As soon as we go inside, we see a giant wooden wall, a café and stairs leading downward to an exhibit. As we stood there as a group, a security guard came over warning that we were not allowed to take photos while in the building (our professor told us they take the security of the building very seriously).  The professor first took our to the downstairs exhibit. It turned out to be a history and explanation of Japanese manga (comic books). Personally, I was in heaven because I am an avid manga reader, and this was just an amazing exhibit. They had examples of manga throughout history, manga-related toys and figurines, some clothing found in famous manga, and finally a raised reading area (where you had to talk your shoes off before stepping on the platform) with different genres of manga. Once we left the exhibit we went to the main part of the building and received our assignment. We were supposed to wander to each floor, write what each contained, and what we saw. Which was a lot, the main part of the building is amazing.


In the center is a giant open area with mostly glass stairs going back and forth leading up to each floor. There are also two mostly glass elevators that glided with little sound. The class split up, and we wandered the various levels. The bottom/basement floor was more about manga, but for younger children. All of the children/youth books, movies, and music were down there. I saw a lot of titles I recognized with fondness. The ground floor, where the class originally met, was the administrative floor.

The first floor contained all the books on art and literature, as well as an exhibit on Victorian era dresses made of paper and the special archives of rare books that you need permission prior to be able to get into to. The Victorian dresses were really well made and from a short distance away I could not tell they were made of paper, I just assumed a dark brown fabric.

Photo from La Presse


From there my partner, Evan Tetreault, and I explore each floor. Seeing more manga, this time for teenagers and older; we spent a lot of time there looking for series we recognized. The very top floor (the fourth) was for music and film. There was a large collection of CDs and DVDs in both French and English. There was also an archive of rare music, like the rare book section, one needed special permission to get into to. We spent a good amount of time there, longer than I had expected, but it was most enjoyable and I would go there again.

— Post by Gilly, Game Design major, Montreal fall 2012