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NSCAD Library: About the Library

The NSCAD Library is Atlantic Canada’s largest library dedicated to fine arts, craft, and design. It houses an extensive collection of print and media resources, online databases, and special collections to support learning in all subjects taught at NSCAD

NSCAD Library - Overview and description


NSCAD Library Collections

NSCAD University is a vibrant academic centre for the arts and is a dynamic hub of cultural activity in the city of Halifax.  The NSCAD University Library manages the largest dedicated collection for the visual arts, craft and design in Atlantic Canada. The collection supports the research and curriculum needs of the University as well as providing basic resources in the visual arts for region. The Library offers over 50,000 books and periodicals, and a growing collection of digital resources and full text databases. The NSCAD Visual Resources Collection houses an array of unique collections within our overall holdings. These collections include rare books, artists' books, printed matter, exhibition catalogues, and archival records. The identified archival collections of NSCAD University include documentation of the institution's central role in contemporary art in Nova Scotia, as well as a unique collection of rare books and artists’ books that reflect the history of teaching at NSCAD. The Library and all of its collections are housed in NSCAD's Fountain Campus, at the corner of Duke and Hollis Streets in downtown Halifax.

The Learning Commons

The Learning Commons was designed to provide students with a multi-purpose workspace to use for almost any type of private and social learning and study.  It is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, is located on the 2nd floor of the Fountain Campus, and holds computer workstations, 2-D scanning equipment, a networked printer, a display and presentation screen and a small group study room. The group study room is open from 7 AM to 7 PM on a first-come, first-served basis.

NSCAD Library Catalogue

The main point of access to the Library’s catalogue is provided via the Library’s LibGuide site:

The catalogue is searchable from the main page of the Guide, and more detailed assistance is given through the Catalogue page of the Guide:

The catalogue provides description and access to all of the Library’s holdings, including circulating and reference monographs collections, special collections and rare books, DVDs, and is a discovery tool for NSCAD’s electronic databases and journals. The NSCAD Library is a member of a provincial consortium of academic libraries, called Novanet, which serves all university and community college libraries.  

The catalogue is one component of the Aleph integrated library system, provided by Ex Libris (ProQuest).  Novanet Inc. provides an integrated library system including the a shared catalogue, and is a network of resource and skill sharing amongst member institutions. Novanet also administers a Borrow Anywhere, Return Anywhere (BARA) partnership with the province’s public library system, and staff members of Novanet libraries provide an online reference service, LiveHelp.

Novanet is staffed by a full time manager and two full time support staff, and is governed by a Board of Directors, with representation from each member institution. For more about Novanet, please see


NSCAD Institutional Repository

NSCAD University's institutional repository enables and enhances access to the scholarly and creative outputs of NSCAD by presenting various digital archival and special collections material, including Master's theses, and multimedia archival collections.  The purpose of the repository is to create access to NSCAD's history, promote collections, and preservation efforts, past and present, to the NSCAD community and beyond. To search the repository or for more information, click here:

The NSCAD Library Community

The Library exists to provide collections and services to NSCAD students, faculty and staff, and to share collections with regional and national library networks.

The NSCAD Library is a member of

  • Novanet
  • Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design Libraries (AICAD-L)
  • Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA)
  • Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN)

NSCAD Library - Acquisitions Policy

NSCAD Library - Donations Policy