Deux libraries under the tutelage of the Ministry of Culture and Communication have today the status of national library:
- the National Library of France (BnF),
- the Public Information Library (BPI), located in the Pompidou Centre.
The National Library of France
Created by the Decree 94-3 of January 1994 and heir to the National Library of France, the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) notably has the following missions:
- to collect, catalogue, preserve and enrich in all fields of knowledge the national heritage of which it has custody. As such, the BnF exercises the legal deposit requirements provided for in the French Heritage Code.
- ensure access to as many of its collections as possible. As such, BnF conducts research and cooperation programmes, particularly with other French libraries.
As of January 1, 2012, BnF’s collections are rich in more than 30 million documents including 12 million books, 15 million prints and photographs and several hundreds of thousands of manuscripts but also maps and plans, musical scores, objects, costumes, phonograms, videograms, digital documents, etc.
The two main locations of the BnF are:
- the Tolbiac-François Mitterrand site (quai François-Mauriac, Paris 13th),
- the Richelieu site (58 rue de Richelieu, Paris, 2nd).
The Public Information Library
Created by the Decree 76-82 of 27 January 1976, the mission of the Public Information Library is to:
- to offer to all and as far as possible in free-access a choice up to date of French and foreign collections,
- to establish a centre for documentary research in liaison with other centres, libraries and cultural institutions.
BPI offers more than 380,000 open-access documents in its spaces, including a large multimedia offering.
For further information, please visit:
* BPI site: www.bpi.fr