The Vancouver Art Gallery Library is a non-circulating collection specializing in contemporary, modern and Canadian art. The Library holdings include more than 45,000 books and exhibition catalogues, 100 journal subscriptions, 5,000 artist files, sound recordings, slides and auction catalogues documenting painting, sculpture, drawing, prints, photography, video and emerging art forms.

Hours & Location

Mon-Thurs by appointment*
Closed Statutory Holidays

2nd floor of the Gallery Annex

Phone: 604.662.4709

* The Library & Archives welcomes visitors Monday–Thursday from 11am–5pm by appointment.

To request an appointment, please email or call 604.662.4709

Library and Archives Microsite

Visit the Vancouver Art Gallery Library microsite.
Read current and archived Vancouver Art Gallery Art News, follow the library blog via email, view additional library resources offered, and keep updated on special library events.

Vancouver Art Book Fair

Saturday-Sunday, October 17-18, 12-6pm
Vancouver Art/Book Fair
in the Gallery Annex
The Vancouver Art/Book Fair is the only international art book fair in Canada and one of only two on the West Coast. Presented by Project Space, VA/BF is a multi-day festival of art publishing featuring over one hundred artists and publishers, as well as a diverse line-up of programs, performances and artists' projects. Find out more.

Free and open to the public. Presented by Project Space.

Saturday-Sunday, October 17-18, 12-6pm
2015 Library Book Sale
in the Gallery Lobby
Join us for the annual Vancouver Art Gallery Library Book sale. Find out more.

Proceeds from the Library's popular book sale support the Library.

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VAGLIB Catalogue

VAGLIB Catalogue
The Online Catalogue lists exhibition catalogues, books, artist files and sound recordings in the Library. Pre-1990 publications are still being added to the catalogue. Contact the Library directly to find records for older material at

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Photos: Bill Braden
The Vancouver Art Gallery Archives contain the official papers and records of the Gallery since its founding in 1931. In addition, the Archives include some of the personal papers of local artists and writers, including the recently acquired personal papers of painter and educator B.C. Binning.

An appointment is neccessary to consult material in the archives

History of Exhibitions at the Vancouver Art Gallery
This database documents the Gallery's exhibitions from 1931 to the present. Currently it is only available for use in the Library.

For Museum Library Exchange Partners
For a list of Vancouver Art Gallery Publications available for exchange from the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, Click here.
bill bissett
bill bisset
Nobody Owns the Earth

bill bissett Special Collection
Born in Halifax in 1939 and now living in Toronto and Vancouver, bill bissett is a unique figure in the history of Canadian literature and art. Bissett is the author of over 60 books of poetry and the founder of blewointment press, which published the early work of many experimental poets, including Maxine Gadd, Lionel Kearns, D. A. Levy, and bpNichol. He is also a visual artist and was the subject of a 1984 solo exhibition, Fires in th tempul, at the Vancouver Art Gallery curated by Scott Watson. A renegade poet and free-spirited artist who contributed to changing the landscape of Canadian poetry in the 60s and 70s, bissett’s musical and visual approach to language continues to influence poets to this day.

The bill bissett special collection at the Vancouver Art Gallery Library comprises over 100 items, including the following:

  • monographs of bill bissett’s work, including many outstanding examples of concrete poetry
  • issues of blewointment magazine ranging from 1963-73, featuring contributions from bissett and other Canadian poets including Margaret Atwood and Michael Ondaatje
  • miscellaneous serials containing bissett’s work, including a 1984 issue of The Capilano Review with a 33 1/3 rpm vinyl sound recording featuring a piece by bissett
  • blewointment monographs by other poets, including D. A. Levy, Carolyn Zonailo, Cathy Ford, bpNichol and Robert Zend
  • Many of the items in this collection were produced in limited editions and resemble chapbooks and zines in their use of creative printing techniques, mixed media illustration, and unique art and ephemera inserts. For researchers of bissett’s poetry and artwork, concrete poetry, the history of British Columbia publishing, and small press publishing in Canada, the bill bissett collection at the VAG Library is an indispensible resource.

    To find records for the items in this collection search the Online Catalogue