Bishop’s Library maintains several collections. Through the online discovery tool Sofia, the catalogue records for library materials will show their specific location. Most materials can be signed out, in some cases, library materials must be used in the Library Learning Commons only. Please inquire at the Research Assistance Desk as to whether other arrangements are possible. The library subscribes to many academic databases. They are listed alphabetically with descriptions that identify their content and varying on-campus or off-campus access. There is also a list, without descriptions, that is sorted by subject.

A.  General Collection

Bishop’s Library maintains a General collection of books, ebooks, and other information resources that support the academic departments and courses taught on campus. The General collection covers a vast array of topics, disciplines, and areas of interest, including a children’s literature section.

Subject librarians develop and curate the General collection to meet the evolving needs of the Bishop’s University learning community. Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to make recommendations of materials to purchase. The General collection is located throughout the Library Learning Commons building. Please see the Library Learning Commons’ floor plans for more detailed location information.

B.  Periodicals

The library subscribes to print and on-line journals which are discoverable through the online tool Sofia. Additionally, individual e-journals are listed on the e-journal search page of Sofia. Current issues of newspapers can be found on the main floor across from the Library Services Desk. Most issues of current periodicals can be found on the second floor. Bound issues of many titles, can also be found on the second floor. For assistance with locating titles and issues of periodicals, please inquire at Research Assistance Desk, or Service Desk to contact the Periodicals Clerk.

C.  Reference Collection

The print Reference Collection is housed in the Webster Reference Room, located to the right of the main lobby. The Reference Collection is a non-circulating collection of encyclopedias, dictionaries, almanacs, handbooks, yearbooks, bibliographies, as well as statistical and biographical information. This collection includes introductory reference sources, and serves as ready access to information and general overviews of most subject areas taught at Bishop’s University.

D.  DVDs

The Library has a large collection of feature films and documentaries on DVD video, including many silent or foreign films located on the basement floor. They are identified and shelved by their language (English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, and other languages). The collection also includes a separate section for musical videos, primarily operas.

A multi region, multi format DVD/Blu-Ray player is located on the basement floor.

E. Streaming Videos

The university community also has access to streaming videos from National Film Board of Canada‘s NFB Education collection, through the NFB’s award-winning online screening room.

F.  CDs, Audio Files and Equipment

CDs are located on the second floor. Music recordings of classical music, jazz and popular/rock music make up most of the collection, but there are also many literary works such as Shakespeare’s complete plays.

Two audio workstations on the basement floor near the video production studio have CD players with USB turntables and equipment for converting LPs and cassettes into audio files.

The university community also has access to Naxos Music Library, a database of streaming audio files of classical music (available on or off campus).

G. University Archives and Special Collections

The Old Library in McGreer is home to the University Archives and Special Collections.

The Old Library houses a number of special collections in such fields as religion, history, and literature.

These include the Hon. C. Gordon MacKinnon Collection of Canadiana, the Bélanger-Gardner Collection of books on civilization and the arts, Bishop’s University student theses, books from the Lloyd Library of Divinity House, early records and archives of the University, and the Library’s collection of rare or pre-1900 books.

The Old Library holds a substantial collection of materials relating to the history, development, culture and society of the Eastern Townships. Materials housed in the Old Library may be consulted there, but do not circulate.

The University Archives are housed in locked storage in the Bishop’s University Library Learning Commons, and material is made available upon request.

Please contact the University Archivist at ext. 2609 for further information.

H. Art Collection

The University Librarian and Art Collection Committee are responsible for the University Art Collection, which includes more than 575 paintings, prints, installations and sculptures displayed in the Library and across campus. Descriptions of the University Art Collection holdings can be found on the Eastern Townships Archives Portal. For information on the art collection or to request an art piece be installed or moved, please contact Merrylou Smith at