The former Museum Bollandianum in Antwerp was dispersed at the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, following the suppression of the Society of Jesus and the consequent cessation of the publication of the Acta Sanctorum. However, the majority of their medieval manuscripts, as well as a part of the Collectanea Bollandiana (the modern copies of hagiographic texts which were gathered in view of the publication of the Acta Sanctorum) were transferred to the Royal Library at Brussels.
The present library was established in Brussels in 1837. It now contains around 500,000 volumes and 1000 current periodicals. Its main focus is on ancient and medieval hagiography (Latin, Greek and Oriental). Special collections include manuscripts (around 1000, 97 of which are medieval), incunabula (around 100), liturgical books, Slavic, Armenian and Georgian sections. A very large collection of Roman Positiones, the official documents concerning the beatification and canonization of individual saints, provides great opportunities for the study of modern and contemporary saints. The library has also a considerable collection of microfilms of manuscripts.
Since 2002, thanks to the collaboration of the Université Catholique de Louvain, the catalogue of the library is being progressively computerized and integrated into the general catalogue of the University Library, accessible online. All new accessions published since 2003 are listed in that catalogue, in which all the periodicals and selected sections of the library are also to be found. The complete card catalogue may be consulted in the library.
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9:00 – 12:30 and 14:00 – 17:00. Closed during the months of July and August.
Access to the library is by prior appointment.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org . Tel.: + 32 2 740 24 21 or 23
Sale of duplicates
Duplicates from the library are sold online on Abebooks .
It is possible to browse the list of books on offer by the Bollandists or to search for an individual item.