Thursday, February 9, 2023, a framework agreement giving life to the project of establishment of the Conservatoire national de la presse and the Centre de conservation des collections of the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) was signed by all the partners, gathered for the occasion in Amiens.

The Framework Convention for Cultural Cooperation related to the establishment of the Centre for the Conservation of Collections of the National Library of France in Amiens was signed on Thursday, February 9, 2023, in accordance with the schedule previously planned, in the presence of Laurence Engel, President of the BnF, Xavier Bertrand, President of the Hauts-de-France Region, Stéphane Haussoulier, President of the Departmental Council of the Somme, Alain Gest, President of Amiens Métropole, Brigitte Fouré, Mayor of Amiens, Étienne Stoskopf, Prefect of the Somme and Arielle Fanjas, Deputy Regional Director of Cultural Affairs Hauts-de-France.

The birth certificate of a structuring local partnership, for a shared project of very long term

BnF is already developing local partnerships. 5 areas of cooperation have been identified:

  • documentation and digital with the cultural operators of the territory;
  • the technical professions of conservation;   
  • training in libraries, in particular;
  • arts and cultural education;
  • the exploitation, circulation and dissemination of collections.

Major BnF loans exposed in spring 2023

On the occasion of the signing of the Convention on 9 February, Laurence Engel, President of the BnF, praised the cultural dynamism and the investment of local partners in Amiénois and announced «a beautiful program».
Thus, as of May 27, 2023, the Picardie Museum in Amiens will present an exhibition about Jules Verne manuscript of Twenty thousand leagues under the sea, loaned exceptionally by the BnF.

In the region, the Saint-Vaast Cultural Centre in Arras will organize a day of study on June 1, 2023, before receiving the loan of the manuscript of Chansonnier V, a collection of 301 songs dating from the thirteenth century.
The BnF will also participate in the next Rendez-vous de la BD in Amiens, organized by the association We stepped on the Bubble, and the reopening of the Institute for Photography in Lille.
Finally, other partnerships are planned with the Société des antiquaires de Picardie.

A regional cultural dynamism

A partnership with the University of Picardie Jules Verne will allow the development of the initial training offer in arts and crafts.
The future National Press Conservatory and the Collections Conservation Centre resulted in a recruitment plan of 142 people, including 108 positions at the BnF.

DRAC HDF - BFN x Amiens - Convention signature 9 février 2023 - 2.jpg

Launch of the architecture competition

The same date was chosen to launch the architecture competition of the Conservatoire national de la presse and the Centre de conservation des collections of the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF), which will host 300,000 plays, from the oldest press articles to those of today in particular.

The winner will be announced within 12 months.

'The future conservation pole will respond to the problems of saturation of spaces within existing BnF buildings, including the creation of high-tech collections stores, which are essential for the preservation of the most fragile documents," stressed the BnF. "The institution wants very high architectural quality, which is part of [its] history and [its] identity.” The architectural project must also be respectful of its immediate environment and take into account the ZAC development projects and the presence of the Citadelle district where the Faculty of Arts and Humanities is located.

The State is supporting the development of this project with an exceptional allocation of 30 million euros.

The choice of Amiens Métropole to host the BnF conservation centre:

  • A proposed surface of 6.3 hectares of which 30,000 m2 constructible
  • A situation 2 hours from Paris by road and less than1h30 by train, with about thirty daily connections
  • A situation outside risk areas
  • A gquality of the urban situation and the immediate environment, near the city centre of Amiens and the Pôle de l'Université de Picardie Jules-Verne. Amiens Métropole also offers a support unit to BnF agents and their families to help them in their installation in Amiens when the site opens.
  • The Amiens Métropole project integrates a ambitious cultural proposal, in connection with the Amiens Métropole Libraries network, and the promotion of the «Visual Arts» sector, in a transversal and original approach to the promotion of print media. It will enable the BnF to integrate itself into a local and regional cultural network based on a rich cultural heritage and infrastructure.