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Bibliothèque nationale de France
Logo BnF.svg
Established 1368
Location Paris
Size 30 million items (14 million books and publications)[1]
Access and use
Population served 2,101,816 (Paris)
Other information
Budget 254 million [1]
Director Bruno Racine
Staff 2,700

The Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) is the National Library of France, located in Paris. It is intended to be the repository of all that is published in France. The current president of the library is Bruno Racine.



The National Library of France traces its origin to the royal library founded at the Louvre by Charles V in 1368. It expanded under Louis XIV and opened to the public in 1692. 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.

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. By 1896, the library had become the largest repository of books in the world, but it has since been surpassed by other libraries for that title.[2]

New buildings

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 buildings. The library does maintain a wireless network. In July 1989, the services of the architectural firm of Dominique Perrault were retained. The construction was carried out by Bouygues.[3] After the move of the major collections from the rue de Richelieu, the National Library of France opened to the public on 20 December 1995. It contains more than twenty million volumes.

Paris Métro
located near the metro stationBibliothèque François Mitterrand.

The library retains the use of the rue de Richelieu complex for some of its collections.

Buildings of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, seen from the right bank of the River Seine. On the left side, the Simone-de-Beauvoir footbridge and on the right side the Bercy bridge.


Reading Room, 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.


Greek manuscripts

The library holds about 5,000 Greek manuscripts, which are divided into three fonds: fonds grec, fonds Coislin, and supplément grec.


François Mitterrand site, as viewed from the Simone-de-Beauvoir footbridge.

Gallica, the digital library for online users, was established in 1997. As of August 2009, Gallica made available on the Web about: 120,000 scanned volumes, 65,000 full-text volumes, 1000 audio documents, and 110,000 images.

See also


External links

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


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