Coordinates: 48°50′01″N2°22′33″E / 48.83361°N 2.37583°E
|National Library of France|
|Bibliothèque nationale de France|
|Items collected||books, journals, newspapers, magazines, sound and music recordings, patents, databases, maps, stamps, prints, drawings and manuscripts|
including 15.7M books, 400,000 journals, 900,000 maps, 2M music sheets. 40M web archives equivalent to 1,400 terabytes 
|Access and use|
|Access requirements||Open to anyone with a need to use the collections and services|
|Budget||€254 million |
|Website||bnf.fr (in French)|
The Bibliothèque nationale de France (French: [biblijɔtɛk nasjɔnal də fʁɑ̃s] , 'National Library of France'; BnF) is the national library of France, located in Paris on two main sites known respectively as Richelieu and François-Mitterrand. It is the national repository of all that is published in France. Some of its extensive collections, including books and manuscripts but also precious objects and artworks, are on display at the BnF Museum (formerly known as the Cabinet des Médailles) on the Richelieu site.
The National Library of France is a public establishment under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture. Its mission is to constitute collections, especially the copies of works published in France that must, by law, be deposited there, conserve them, and make them available to the public. It produces a reference catalogue, cooperates with other national and international establishments, and participates in research programs.
The National Library of France traces its origin to the royal library founded at the Louvre Palace by Charles V in 1368. Charles had received a collection of manuscripts from his predecessor, John II, and transferred them to the Louvre from the Palais de la Cité. The first librarian of record was Claude Mallet, the king's valet de chambre, who made a sort of catalogue, Inventoire des Livres du Roy nostre Seigneur estans au Chastel du Louvre. Jean Blanchet made another list in 1380 and Jean de Bégue one in 1411 and another in 1424. Charles V was a patron of learning and encouraged the making and collection of books. It is known that he employed Nicholas Oresme, Raoul de Presle and others to transcribe ancient texts. At the death of Charles VI, this first collection was unilaterally bought by the English regent of France, the Duke of Bedford, who transferred it to England in 1424. It was apparently dispersed at his death in 1435.  
Charles VII did little to repair the loss of these books, but the invention of printing resulted in the starting of another collection in the Louvre inherited by Louis XI in 1461. Charles VIII seized a part of the collection of the kings of Aragon.  Louis XII, who had inherited the library at Blois, incorporated the latter into the Bibliothèque du Roi and further enriched it with the Gruthuyse collection and with plunder from Milan. Francis I transferred the collection in 1534 to Fontainebleau and merged it with his private library. During his reign, fine bindings became the craze and many of the books added by him and Henry II are masterpieces of the binder's art. 
Under librarianship of Jacques Amyot, the collection was transferred to Paris and then relocated on several occasions, a process during which many treasures were lost.[ citation needed ] Henry IV had it moved to the Collège de Clermont in 1595, a year after the expulsion of the Jesuits from their establishment. In 1604, the Jesuits were allowed to return and the collection was moved to the Cordeliers Convent, then in 1622 to the nearby Confrérie de Saint-Côme et de Saint-Damien on the rue de la Harpe. The appointment of Jacques Auguste de Thou as librarian initiated a period of development that made it the largest and richest collection of books in the world. He was succeeded by his son who was replaced, when executed for treason, by Jérôme Bignon, the first of a line of librarians of the same name. Under de Thou, the library was enriched by the collections of Queen Catherine de Medici. The library grew rapidly during the reigns of Louis XIII and Louis XIV, due in great part to the interest of Minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert, himself a dedicated collector of books. 
The site in the Rue de la Harpe becoming inadequate, the library was again moved, in 1666, to two adjacent houses in Rue Vivienne. After Colbert, Louis XIV's minister Louvois also took interest in the library and employed Jean Mabillon, Melchisédech Thévenot and others to procure books from every source. In 1688, a catalogue in eight volumes was compiled.  Louvois considered the erection of an opulent building to host it on what would become the Place Vendôme, a project that was however left unexecuted following the minister's death in 1691.
The library opened to the public in 1692, under the administration of Abbott Camille le Tellier de Louvois, the minister's son. The Abbé Louvois was succeeded by Jean-Paul Bignon, who in 1721 seized the opportunity of the collapse of John Law's Mississippi Company. The company had been relocated by Law into the former palace of Cardinal Mazarin around Hôtel Tubeuf, and its failure freed significant space in which the Library would expand (even though the Hotel Tubeuf itself would remain occupied by French East India Company and later by France's financial bureaucracy until the 1820s. Bignon also instituted a complete reform of the library's system. Catalogues were made which appeared from 1739 to 1753 in 11 volumes. The collections increased steadily by purchase and gift to the outbreak of the French Revolution, at which time it was in grave danger of partial or total destruction, but owing to the activities of Antoine-Augustin Renouard and Joseph Van Praet it suffered no injury. 
The library's collections swelled to over 300,000 volumes during the radical phase of the French Revolution when the private libraries of aristocrats and clergy were seized. After the establishment of the French First Republic in September 1792, "the Assembly declared the Bibliothèque du Roi to be national property and the institution was renamed the Bibliothèque Nationale. After four centuries of control by the Crown, this great library now became the property of the French people." 
A new administrative organization was established. Napoleon took great interest in the library and among other things issued an order that all books in provincial libraries not possessed by the Bibliothèque Nationale should be forwarded to it, subject to replacement by exchanges of equal value from the duplicate collections, making it possible, as Napoleon said, to find a copy of any book in France in the National Library. Napoleon furthermore increased the collections by spoil from his conquests. A considerable number of these books were restored after his downfall. During the period from 1800 to 1836, the library was virtually under the control of Joseph Van Praet. At his death it contained more than 650,000 printed books and some 80,000 manuscripts. 
Following a series of regime changes in France, it became the Imperial National Library and in 1868 was moved to newly constructed buildings on the Rue de Richelieu designed by Henri Labrouste. Upon Labrouste's death in 1875 the library was further expanded, including the grand staircase and the Oval Room, by academic architect Jean-Louis Pascal. In 1896, the library was still the largest repository of books in the world, although it has since been surpassed by other libraries for that title.  By 1920, the library's collection had grown to 4,050,000 volumes and 11,000 manuscripts. 
M. Henri Lemaître, a vice-president of the French Library Association and formerly librarian of the Bibliothèque Nationale ... outlined the story of French libraries and librarians during the German occupation, a record of destruction and racial discrimination. During 1940–1945, more than two million books were lost through the ravages of war, many of them forming the irreplaceable local collections in which France abounded. Many thousands of books, including complete libraries, were seized by the Germans. Yet French librarians stood firm against all threats, and continued to serve their readers to the best of their abilities. In their private lives and in their professional occupations they were in the van of the struggle against the Nazis, and many suffered imprisonment and death for their devotion. Despite Nazi opposition they maintained a supply of books to French prisoners of war. They continued to supply books on various proscribed lists to trustworthy readers; and when liberation came, they were ready with their plans for rehabilitation with the creation of new book centres for the French people on lines of the English county library system. 
The Richelieu site occupies a full city block in Paris, surrounded by rue de Richelieu (west), rue des Petits-Champs (south), rue Vivienne Saller Labrouste since 2016) and the library of the École Nationale des Chartes. It was comprehensively renovated in the 2010s and early 2020s on a design by architects Bruno Gaudin and Virginie Brégal.(east), and rue Colbert (north). There are two entrances, respectively on 58, rue de Richelieu and 5, rue Vivienne. This site was the main location of the library for 275 years, from 1721 to 1996. It now hosts the BnF Museum as well as facilities of the BnF, the library of the Institut National d'Histoire de l'Art (in the
On 14 July 1988, President François Mitterrand announced "the construction and the expansion of one of the largest and most modern libraries in the world, intended to cover all fields of knowledge, and designed to be accessible to all, using the most modern data transfer technologies, which could be consulted from a distance, and which would collaborate with other European libraries". Due to initial trade union opposition, a wireless network was fully installed only in August 2016.
In July 1989, the services of the architectural firm of Dominique Perrault were retained. The design was recognized with the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture in 1996. The construction was carried out by Bouygues.  Construction of the library ran into huge cost overruns and technical difficulties related to its high-rise design, so much so that it was referred to as the "TGB" or "Très Grande Bibliothèque" (i.e. "Very Large Library", a sarcastic allusion to France's successful high-speed rail system, the TGV).  After the move of the major collections from the Rue de Richelieu, the National Library of France was inaugurated on 15 December 1996. 
As of 2016 [update] , the BnF contained roughly 14 million books at its four Parisian sites (Tolbiac, i.e. Bibliothèque François-Mitterrand, and Richelieu, Arsenal and Opéra) as well as printed documents, manuscripts, prints, photographs, maps and plans, scores, coins, medals, sound documents, video and multimedia documents, scenery elements..."  The library retains the use of the Rue de Richelieu complex for some of its collections.
|Located near the Métro station: Bibliothèque François Mitterrand .|
The Manuscripts department houses the largest collection of medieval and modern manuscripts worldwide. The collection includes medieval chansons de geste and chivalric romances, eastern literature, eastern and western religions, ancient history, scientific history, and literary manuscripts by Pascal, Diderot, Apollinaire, Proust, Colette, Sartre, etc. The collection is organised:
Gallica  is the digital library for online users of the Bibliothèque nationale de France and its partners. It was established in October 1997. Today it has more than 6 million digitized materials of various types: books, magazines, newspapers, photographs, cartoons, drawings, prints, posters, maps, manuscripts, antique coins, scores, theater costumes and sets, audio and video materials. All library materials are freely available.
On February 10, 2010, a digitized copy of Scenes of Bohemian Life by Henri Murger (1913) became Gallica's millionth document. And in February 2019, the five millionth document was a copy of the manuscript "Record of an Unsuccessful Trip to the West Indies" stored in the Bibliothèque Inguimbertine.
As of 1 January 2020 [update] , Gallica had made available on the Web about:
Most of Gallica's collections have been converted into text format using optical character recognition (OCR-processing), which allows full-text search in the library materials.
Each document has a digital identifier, the so-called ARK (Archival Resource Key) of the National Library of France and is accompanied by a bibliographic description.
Raoul Rigault, leader during the Paris Commune, was known for habitually occupying the library and reading endless copies of the newspaper Le Père Duchesne . 
Alain Resnais directed Toute la mémoire du monde (All the Memory in the World), a 1956 short film about the library and its collections.
Pierre-François-Henri Labrouste was a French architect from the famous École des Beaux-Arts school of architecture. After a six-year stay in Rome, Labrouste established an architectural training workshop, which soon became known for rationalism. He became noted for his use of iron-frame construction and was one of the first to realize the importance of its use.
A national library is a library established by a government as a country's preeminent repository of information. Unlike public libraries, these rarely allow citizens to borrow books. Often, they include numerous rare, valuable, or significant works. A national library is that library which has the duty of collecting and preserving the literature of the nation within and outside the country. Thus, national libraries are those libraries whose community is the nation at large. Examples include the British Library in London, and the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris.
Sainte-Geneviève Library is a public and university library located at 10, place du Panthéon, across the square from the Panthéon, in the 5th arrondissement of Paris. It is based on the collection of the Abbey of St Genevieve, which was founded in the 6th century by Clovis I, the King of the Franks. The collection of the library was saved from destruction during the French Revolution. A new reading room for the library, with an innovative iron frame supporting the roof, was built between 1838 and 1851 by architect Henri Labrouste. The library contains around 2 million documents, and currently is the principal inter-university library for the different branches of University of Paris, and is also open to the public.
The BnF Museum or Museum of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, formerly known as the Cabinet des Médailles, is a significant art and history museum in Paris. It displays collections of the Département des Monnaies, Médailles et Antiques de la Bibliothèque nationale de France as well as manuscripts and books from the Library's collections. The BnF Museum is located in the Richelieu site, the former main building of the library bordering rue de Richelieu.
The Bibliothèque Mazarine, or Mazarin Library, is located within the Palais de l'institut de France, or the Palace of the Institute of France, at 23 quai de Conti in the 6th arrondissement, on the Left Bank of the Seine facing the Pont des Arts and the Louvre. Originally created by Cardinal Mazarin as his personal library in the 17th century, it today has one of the richest collections of rare books and manuscripts in France, and is the oldest public library in the country.
Pierre Le Muet was a French architect, military engineer, and writer, famous for his book Manière de bâtir pour toutes sortes de personnes, and for the châteaux he constructed, most notably Tanlay in Burgundy, as well as some modest houses in Paris, the grandest of which, the Hôtel d'Avaux (1644–1650) survives and has recently been restored to a semblance of its seventeenth-century condition.
The École Nationale des Chartes is a French grande école and a constituent college of Université PSL, specialising in the historical sciences. It was founded in 1821, and was located initially at the National Archives, and later at the Palais de la Sorbonne. In October 2014, it moved to 65 rue de Richelieu, opposite the Richelieu-Louvois site of the National Library of France. The school is administered by the Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research. It holds the status of a grand établissement. Its students, who are recruited by competitive examination and hold the status of trainee civil servant, receive the qualification of archivist-paleographer after completing a thesis. They generally go on to pursue careers as heritage curators in the archive and visual fields, as library curators or as lecturers and researchers in the human and social sciences. In 2005, the school also introduced master's degrees, for which students were recruited based on an application file, and, in 2011, doctorates.
The Rue de Richelieu is a long street of Paris, starting in the south of the 1st arrondissement at the Comédie-Française and ending in the north of the 2nd arrondissement. For the first half of the 19th century, before Georges-Eugène Haussmann redefined Paris with grand boulevards, it was one of the most fashionable streets of Paris.
The Fontaine Louvois is a monumental public fountain in Square Louvois on the rue Richelieu in the Second Arrondissement of Paris, near the entrance of the Bibliothèque nationale de France. It was built between 1836 and 1839 during the reign of King Louis-Philippe.
Henri Auguste Omont was a French librarian, philologist, and historian.
IN Group is a French company specialized in the production of secure documents such as identity cards and passports, which it designs and sells to various governments and companies. It is the continuation of the Imprimerie Nationale of the French government, whose history dates back to the printers granted special royal privileges during the French Renaissance. It was partially privatized in 1993, operating with fewer government monopolies, more exposure to competition, and more freedom to chart its own business decisions but with all equity continuing to be held by the French government. Since August 2009, the IN Group's CEO has been Didier Trutt. The company slogan is "The Right to Be You".
The Bibliothèque interuniversitaire de la Sorbonne is an inter-university library in Paris, France. It is situated in the Sorbonne building. It is a medieval institution of the Sorbonne, which evolved over the centuries as part of the University of Paris. It is a common library of Panthéon-Sorbonne University and Sorbonne-Nouvelle University. It is administered by Panthéon-Sorbonne University as per a governing agreement signed among these universities in 2020.
Paris, the capital of France, has many of the country's most important libraries. The Bibliothèque nationale de France operates public libraries in Paris, among them the François-Mitterrand, Richelieu, Louvois, Opéra, and Arsenal.
The Institut National d'Histoire de l'Art, commonly abbreviated INHA, is a French research institute, created and governed by Decree No. 2001-621, and situated in Paris. The Institute develops scientific activity and contributes to international cooperation in most fields of art history and heritage by exercising research, training and knowledge-diffusion.
Under the French Ancien Régime, royal censorship was the task of censors appointed by the Chancellor to judge the editorial legitimacy of a manuscript and to authorize its publication by an approval they signed.
Rue des Petits-Champs is a street which runs through the 1st and 2nd arrondissement of Paris, France.
The Hôtel de Nevers was an aristocratic townhouse in Paris, which was located on the right bank on the east side of the rue de Richelieu. It was previously part of Jules Mazarin's Palais Mazarin, but upon his death in 1661, the palace was divided among his heirs, and the western section along the rue de Richelieu became the Hôtel de Nevers. In 1721 it was incorporated into the Bibliothèque du Roi. With the growth of the library collections, the Hôtel de Nevers became inadequate for its purpose. Most of the original Hôtel de Nevers was obliterated in 1859, after Napoleon III asked the architect Henri Labrouste to remodel and extensively rebuild the entire site. Only a remnant of the Hôtel de Nevers remains. It was declared a monument historique in 1975.
The expansion of the Louvre under Napoleon III in the 1850s, known at the time and until the 1980s as the Nouveau Louvre or Louvre de Napoléon III, was an iconic project of the Second French Empire and a centerpiece of its ambitious transformation of Paris. Its design was initially produced by Louis Visconti and, after Visconti's death in late 1853, modified and executed by Hector Lefuel. It represented the completion of a centuries-long project, sometimes referred to as the grand dessein, to connect the old Louvre Palace around the Cour Carrée with the Tuileries Palace to the west. Following the Tuileries' arson at the end of the Paris Commune in 1871 and demolition a decade later, Napoleon III's nouveau Louvre became the eastern end of Paris's axe historique centered on the Champs-Élysées.