the library

The mim library dates back to the beginning of the "Instrument Museum" in 1877. Today the collection is extraordinarily rich. It follows the evolution of scientific knowledge and is still steadily growing. This specialist, scientific library is open to the public and is a place of work for researchers, musicologists, students, instrument builders, guides and mim employees. But anyone with an interest in musical instruments will find a gold mine here. Looking for details about the construction of a cornet, a Chinese zither or musical life in Mantua? In the mim library you'll find just what you are looking for.

Because, as well as a rich collection of works on organology (which is the study of musical instruments), the library also houses a great deal of information about Western music, traditional music, ethnomusicology, and a fascinating collection of museum and exhibition catalogues. There is also a variety of publications on performance practice in music and other art forms.

With the Robert Pernet Fund, which the King Baudouin Foundation entrusted to the mim in 2004, an important part of the library is now dedicated to Belgian jazz.

These topics are covered in books, journals and audiovisual materials in different languages.
The riches of the library must be consulted on site, nothing is loaned. To view or listen to audiovisual material, please contact us beforehand.

But there is more: the mim archives, documents and archives of researchers and instrument makers are housed in the library. A wealth of information about our museum and the heritage we preserve. There is a wealth of material on organ building, bells and carillons, (a national specialty).

Finally the mim's iconographic collection is kept in the library.

We are continually working on cataloguing the existing collection and new acquisitions. The catalogue can be consulted in the reading room and via, the joint catalogue of the federal scientific institutions. But because not everything is listed there, it is worth contacting us if you are looking for something which you cannot find in the catalogue. The mim library is part of Impala, a network for inter-library, digital document exchange.


To visit the library you need to register at the ticket office. You can also call in advance: +32 (0)2 545 01 70 / +32 2 545 01 34 / +32 2 545 01 68. If you wish to send us an email click here

Opening hours are from 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. - 4:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday.

You will need a reader's card which you can purchase on your first visit. The card costs €7, students pay €4. The card is valid for one school year. Only adults and university students are eligible.

You are not permitted to take materials out of the library, but it is possible to take copies. A copy costs €0.12 for A4, €0.25 for A3.