Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) was founded in 2006 as a result of the merging of the Bibliothèque nationale du Québec with the Archives nationales du Québec, respectively the national library and the national archives of Québec. The new institution is one of the largest French-language public libraries in the world. Because of its online accessibility, it can also be considered a virtual library, open day and night.
BAnQ is concerned with the acquisition, processing, preservation, and dissemination of heritage collections. These include the National Collection, which consists of everything published in Québec, documents published outside Québec whose author or subject are related to Québec, and documents from elsewhere with long-term value, as well as collections of cultural interest.
The Loi sur Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec is the law which governs both the institution and legal deposit, which was inaugurated in 1968 and is the chief means by which BAnQ acquires published documents. Archives are deposited by government ministries, public agencies subject to the law governing archives, and gifts from individuals and private organisations. With a total of 10 archives centres in Québec City, Montréal, Gatineau, Rimouski, Rouyn-Noranda, Saguenay, Sept-Îles, Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivières and Gaspé, the institution offers access throughout Québec.
The institution also supervises, supports, and advises public and private agencies as regards to document management. In this context, it maintains a section of its web portal specifically for native communities (French-language only). The section includes work in progress aimed at creating a guide for managing First Nations archives. This project is maintained jointly with representatives from First Nation communities.