The specialised museum library is an important tool for scientific research about the collection and for the preparation of the exhibitions. Students, researchers and anyone with a keen interest in art can visit the library for information. The content of the library reflects the museum collection. It primarily focuses on Western European art, from the late Middle Ages to the first half of the twentieth century.
Books and journal
The collection comprises over 40,000 books, including monographs and catalogues raisonnés, exhibition and museum catalogues. The journal collection comprises about 1,000 journals, including about 30 current journals.
In the past decades, the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent developed a precious reserve on nineteenth and early twentieth-century art, based on a historic collection of exhibition and auction catalogues that was collected around 1900. The collection of the precious reserve comprises valuable (illustrated) books, artist’s books, historic journals and salon catalogues.
These publications are of indispensable importance for the study of this period. At the same time, many of these books are directly related to the work of the artists involved, who considered book publishing an extension of the visual art they produced.
Documentation and archival documents
In December 2002, the museum established a documentation centre specialising in art and culture of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century, with support from the Flemish Community. It aims to be a research centre where art historical documents and archival documents are made available to the public. The emphasis is on Flemish art, in a wider national and international context.
CaGeWeb or the Catalogue of the Ghent Scientific Libraries provides access to about 20 Ghent scientific libraries. Unicat or 'Union Catalogue of Belgian Libraries' is an umbrella catalogue, providing access to the collections of various Belgian scientific libraries.
The titles of the journals in the journal collection are listed on Antilope.