About the Collection

The origins of the Music, Art and Architecture Library at UBC can be traced back to 1948 with the establishment of the “Fine Arts Room” in old Main Library. Building upon the vision of the Fine Arts Room, our primary goal is to create and cultivate a strong and vital collection that supports the research needs of faculty and students in the School of Music, the Department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory, the School of Architecture + Landscape Architecture, the School of Community and Regional Planning.  In addition to these subject areas our collection contains mathematics, statistics, computer science, library and information studies and older humanities & social sciences materials.

Developing the Collection


Our librarians select material for the collection. The collection is also shaped by your research, teaching, and learning needs. If you would like to suggest an item for addition to our collection, please contact your Subject Librarian or use this online form.

Special Collections


Canadian Art Exhibition Catalogues Collection


The Canadian Art Exhibition Catalogues Collection is housed in display cabinets on Level 3 and Level 4 of the Ridington Room in the Music, Art & Architecture Library.

The collection brings together catalogues produced for solo and group exhibitions by Canadian artists (exhibiting work within Canada or internationally) as well as exhibitions mounted at Canadian art institutions. There is strong representation of Vancouver and BC-based artists, and of exhibitions held in Western Canada. It preserves historically important Canadian art materials, serves as a record of art practice in Canada, and is the most in-depth collection of its kind on the West Coast. 

Several of the display cabinets on Level 3 are visually enriched with high-resolution reproductions of paintings by iconic Canadian artist Emily Carr. These images have been generously provided through a collaboration with the Vancouver Art Gallery.

To access the collection please visit the Information Desk on Level 3 during Reference Hours.

Vertical Files Collection

The Vertical Files Collection is housed on Level 3 of the Music, Art & Architecture Library.

The collection consists of documentation on contemporary and historical Canadian artists, architects, and related organizations and topics. This documentation is stored in vertical files which date back to the 1950s. The vertical files make up an extensive filing system that provides a wealth of information in the areas of art, architecture, and community and regional planning. These paper-based files can include pamphlets, exhibition announcements and reviews, newspaper clippings, planning reports, unpublished manuscripts, biographical information, correspondence, and other ephemeral material.

The Music, Art & Architecture Library welcomes donations of materials; however, due to space and processing constraints, not all contributions may be accepted. To donate, please complete the Vertical File Donation Form.

To access the collection please visit the Information Desk on Level 3 during Reference Hours.

Canadian Women Composers Collection

The Canadian Women Composers Collection was introduced by UBC Library through an endowment from Anne Kaplan for the purpose of documenting the compositional practices of Canadian women composers active at home or abroad. The collection serves to build and sustain a body of primary resources and unique related materials that will serve future musicologists, music theorists, and performers interested in music analyses, as well as expand participating composers’ audiences. Materials were created and assembled by the respective composers during the course of their activities.

The collection is housed in UBC Archives at Rare Books and Special Collections at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. Acquisition of materials from their creators began in 2018. New additions to the collection are expected annually.

Colin Slim Stravinsky Collection

The H. Colin Slim Stravinsky Collection, named for its donor, includes more than 130 items documenting the work and life of Igor Stravinsky. The Collection includes a signed edition of his ballet Petrushka, an inscribed book of his Poetics of Music, and numerous autographed items. Among the signed items are musical quotations, sketches of Divertimento, sketches for player piano of Les Noces, and an autograph manuscript of Scherzo à la Russearranged for 2 pianos. 

The complete H. Colin Slim Stravinsky Collection is housed at Rare Books and Special Collections at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.