The library and its collections



The Library at La Cambre has approximately 60,000 reference books, catalogues, magazines and other books specializing in all the disciplines taught here.

The Library’s stock increases each year by around 200 works, many of which are donations from cultural institutions, artists and professionals, such as the libraries of the Swiss ceramicist Isabelle Tanner in 2015, and the restorer of works on paper Christine Enshaïan in 2018.

There have also been a number of exceptional acquisitions: in 2004 the personal library of the art critic Michael Tarantino (1500 titles), in 2007 all the books conceived, created and edited by the plastician Bernard Villers, then in 2015 a selection of 260 books by the graphic designer Guy Schockaert (1949- 2013) and 100 works from the library of Michel Assenmaker, an essayist, art critic and curator.

The Library subscribes to more than 40 magazines. It also has several historical collections which are unique on the international front:

  • the Henry van de Velde archive, the largest in Belgium: more than 4000 iconographic documents, illustrating all facets of the artist’s productions, his personal library and other objects. In 2010, this collection was labeled part of the cultural heritage of the French Community in Belgium, qualified as a Treasure.

  • a gift from Isabelle Errera (1927): more than 8000 books, magazines and catalogues specializing in the beaux-arts and the decorative arts from the art deco and art nouveau periods.

  • other gifts: the Louis van der Swaelmen collection (garden architecture), the Camille Poupeye collection (theatre), the Robert-Louis Delevoy collection (the humanities), Lucien De Roeck and Gilles Fiszman (typography).

The Library also offers a collection of posters, of priceless books illustrated by Pierre Alechinsky and other contemporary artists, and a collection of art pieces linked to the history of La Cambre (teachers and students), managed with assistance from the Art Restoration and Conservation department.

For several years, La Cambre has been associated with the Libraries of the Université Libre of Brussels, and the catalogue is accessible on line via this link: CIBLE + 

To access resources at the Library of La Cambre, choose Bibliothèque de La Cambre Arts Visuels in the Bibliothèque category, on the left-hand side. For example here

Unfortunately past collections are not yet catalogued in Cible +.

The Library is accessible, after registration, to all members of the La Cambre community, to students and scientific staff of institutions of higher education of the Ares, for free, after having purchased an annual membership for 10 euros (5 euros for students). A request in writing is required to consult the archives.

Open Monday to Friday from 10:00 AM- 5:00 PM, when the School is open. Closed on Thursday afternoons.

Tel. + 32 (0) 2 626 17 86

The van de Velde collection

The Library has several unique collections, including the Henry van de Velde Archive and Collection (more than 4000 documents) which in 2010 was labeled part of the cultural heritage of the French Community in Belgium, qualified as a Treasure.

The conservation of these archives, which since 2009 have been housed in a specially dedicated and equipped space, is managed with assistance from the Art Restoration and Conservation department.

Since 2004, the management and promotion of this collection has been undertaken by an association including a number of Belgian and international celebrities who specialize in van de Velde. Herman Daled is the President of the association, and a scientific committee led by the architect - urban planner Anne Van Loo accompanies and advises the Library and the School Director as to the daily management of the collection.

There have been several campaigns focusing on the restoration of this legacy, supported by private and public grants. They include 650 glass photographic plates (Fonds InBev-Baillet Latour/ King Baudouin Foundation, 2009- 2010), 238 large-scale shop drawings (Fonds René and Karin Jonckheere/ King Baudouin Foundation, 2011- 2012) and the 18th century typographical hand press, a gift from Max Elskamp to Henry van de Velde (Federation Wallonia-Brussels, 2017).

Contact: Tel. 02/626 17 86