To install click the Add extension button. That's it.

The source code for the WIKI 2 extension is being checked by specialists of the Mozilla Foundation, Google, and Apple. You could also do it yourself at any point in time.

Kelly Slayton
Congratulations on this excellent venture… what a great idea!
Alexander Grigorievskiy
I use WIKI 2 every day and almost forgot how the original Wikipedia looks like.
What we do. Every page goes through several hundred of perfecting techniques; in live mode. Quite the same Wikipedia. Just better.

Bibliothèque nationale de France

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

National Library of France
Bibliothèque nationale de France
LocationParis, France
Established1461; 563 years ago (1461)[1]
Items collectedBooks, journals, newspapers, magazines, sound and music recordings, patents, databases, maps, stamps, prints, drawings and manuscripts
Size42M items
including 16M books, 410,000 journals, 950,000 maps, 2M music sheets. 48B web archives equivalent to 1,800 terabytes[2]
Access and use
Access requirementsOpen to anyone with a need to use the collections and services
Other information
Budget€254 million[2]
DirectorLaurence Engel
Employees2,300 (in French)

The Bibliothèque nationale de France (French: [biblijɔtɛknɑsjɔnalfʁɑ̃s]; '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, as well as participates in research programs.

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/5
    182 477
    24 040
    8 611
    4 987
    2 848
  • C'est pas sorcier -Bibliothèque Nationale : La mémoire à livre ouvert
  • [Visite privée] Musée de la Bibliothèque nationale de France
  • La salle de lecture du département des Manuscrits de la Bibliothèque nationale de France
  • The Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Richelieu Building, Paris
  • Le site Richelieu vu du ciel – Bibliothèque nationale de France



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 Presles (conseiller de Charles V) [fr], 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.[3][4][5]

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.[6] 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.[4]

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 [fr] 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.[4]

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.[4] 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.

Galerie Mazarin, Richelieu site

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.[4]

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."[3]

Salle ovale before restoration, Richelieu site

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.[4]

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.[7] By 1920, the library's collection had grown to 4,050,000 volumes and 11,000 manuscripts.[4]

In 2024, the library removed four 19th century books from its public access, namely two volumes of The Ballads of Ireland published in 1855, a bilingual anthology of Romanian poetry dating from 1856, and book of the Royal Horticultural Society published between 1862 and 1863, after tests indicated that their covers and bindings were colored using green pigments containing arsenic.[8]

Richelieu site

The Richelieu site occupies a full city block in Paris, surrounded by rue de Richelieu (west), rue des Petits-Champs (south), rue Vivienne [fr] (east), and rue Colbert [fr] (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 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 [fr] and Virginie Brégal.

François-Mitterrand site

View of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, François-Mitterrand site

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.[9] 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).[10] After the move of the major collections from the Rue de Richelieu, the National Library of France was inaugurated on 15 December 1996.[11]

As of 2016, 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..."[12] The library retains the use of the Rue de Richelieu complex for some of its collections.

Plan of the Bibliothèque François-Mitterrand
Located near the Métro stationBibliothèque François Mitterrand.

Manuscript collection

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:

Digital library

Gallica[14] 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 six 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 10 February 2010, a digitized copy of Scenes of Bohemian Life by Henri Murger (1913) became Gallica's millionth document. 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 and on 30 March 2023 the ten millionth document was added.[15]

As of 2024, Gallica had made available online approximately 10 million documents :

  • 864,428 books
  • 186,495 manuscripts
  • 5,804,801 newspapers and magazines issues
  • 1,792,736 images
  • 196,486 maps
  • 64,967 music scores
  • 52,004 audio recordings
  • 519,877 objects
  • 5,585 video recordings

Most of Gallica's collections of texts 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.

List of directors



Notable patrons

Raoul Rigault, leader during the Paris Commune, was known for habitually occupying the library and reading endless copies of the newspaper Le Père Duchesne.[16]

In popular culture

Alain Resnais directed Toute la mémoire du monde (transl. All the Memory in the World), a 1956 short film about the library and its collections.

See also


  1. ^ Jack A. Clarke. "French Libraries in Transition, 1789–95." The Library Quarterly, Vol. 37, No. 4 (Oct., 1967)
  2. ^ a b "La BnF en chiffres". Archived from the original on 2023-09-11.
  3. ^ a b Priebe, Paul M. (1982). "From Bibliothèque du Roi to Bibliothèque Nationale: The Creation of a State Library, 1789–1793". The Journal of Library History. 17 (4): 389–408. JSTOR 25541320.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainRines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). "National Library of France" . Encyclopedia Americana.
  5. ^ Lombard-Jourdan, Anne (July–December 1981). "A PROPOS DE RAOUL DE PRESLES DOCUMENTS SUR L'HOMME". Bibliothèque de l'École des chartes. 139 (2): 191–207.
  6. ^ Konstantinos Staikos (2012), History of the Library in Western Civilization: From Petrarch to Michelangelo, New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, ISBN 978-1-58456-182-8
  7. ^ Dunton, Larkin (1896). The World and Its People. Silver, Burdett. p. 38.
  8. ^ "French national library quarantines 'poisonous' books". France 24. 25 April 2024.
  9. ^ "Bouygues website: Bibliothèque nationale de France". Archived from the original on November 27, 2006.
  10. ^ Fitchett, Joseph (30 March 1995). "New Paris Library: Visionary or Outdated?". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
  11. ^ Ramsay, Raylene L. (2003). French women in politics: writing power, paternal legitimization, and maternal legacies. Berghahn Books. p. 17. ISBN 978-1-57181-082-3. Retrieved 21 May 2011.
  12. ^ "Welcome to the BnF". BnF (Bibliothèque nationale de France). Archived from the original on 25 January 2016. Retrieved 17 January 2016.
  13. ^ See the Tome III-1 link:ément-grec-n°-1-à-150. The Tome III-2 is not listed on the site. The Tome III-3 link:ément-grec-n°-901-1371
  14. ^ Website link is
  15. ^ "10 millions de documents et 25 ans d'existence, Le Blog Gallica, 30 March 2023". Retrieved 2024-07-07.
  16. ^ Horne, Alistair (1965). The Fall of Paris: The Siege and the Commune 1870-1. St. Martin's Press, New York. pp. 29–30.

Further reading

  • Bibliothèque nationale (France), Département de la Phonothèque nationale et de l'Audiovisuel. The National [Sound] Record[ings] and Audiovisual Department of the National Library [of France]. [Paris]: Bibliothèque nationale, [1986]. 9 p.
  • David H. Stam, ed. (2001). International Dictionary of Library Histories. Fitzroy Dearborn. ISBN 1-57958-244-3.
  • Riding, Alan. "France Detects a Cultural Threat in Google," The New York Times. April 11, 2005.

External links

48°50′01″N 2°22′33″E / 48.83361°N 2.37583°E / 48.83361; 2.37583

This page was last edited on 8 July 2024, at 13:51
Basis of this page is in Wikipedia. Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported License. Non-text media are available under their specified licenses. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. WIKI 2 is an independent company and has no affiliation with Wikimedia Foundation.