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.
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.