The BnF

Admission to the reading rooms and reader’s cards rates

The Haut-de-jardin level (François-Mitterrand Library) is open to anyone 16 years of age and over. Entrance to the  Research Library (François-Mitterrand, Richelieu-Louvois, Arsenal and Opera libraries) housing the heritage collections, is limited to accredited users.
To be noted

'Attack level' Vigipirate plan
Until further notice:

  • Please bring a valid proof of identity to enter the library
  • The West entrance of François-Mitterrand library is closed
  • Only “cabin” baggages (55cm × 35cm × 25cm) are allowed within the BnF premises.

Priority access is allowed to:

• readers of the Research Library (Rez-de-jardin level)
• people with disabilities
• pregnant women
• users over 60

Please pay attention to the signage created for that purpose.

Haut-de-jardin Library: admission and reader’s cards rates

The Haut-de-jardin level is open to anyone 16 years of age and over. Readers can buy their passes for the Haut-de-Jardin Library in the East Hall.
The entrance is free after 5 p.m. or all day long with an exhibition ticket of the day.
Annual card includes free access to exhibitions organized by the BnF.

Before buying a reader’s card

  • Check with the Readers' Guidance Service (Service d’orientation des lecteurs) that the documentation required is actually available in the Haut-de-jardin library's reading rooms.
  • Using the display screens near the pay desks, please check that there are places available in the reading rooms .

Reader’s cards rates

In force from 1st october 2011

Reader’s cards rates
Type of reader’s cards Rate
Pass BnF lecture / culture 15 €
1 day card 3,90 €
Card lecture 5pm to 8pm Free

To be noted

We charge 2 € to replace lost or forgotten cards
A specific subscription is proposed to private or public companies or institutions: the 'carte Pro'.
For more info

Carte Pro


On presentation of supporting documents, exemptions for:
  • Job seekers
  • Recipients of minimum work program income or welfare benefits
  • Visitors with disabilities
  • Escorts for visitors with disabilities
  • Students at the Ecole nationale des Chartes, the ENSSIB and the Institut national du Patrimoine who are completing internships in libraries, museums and national heritage services
  • Individuals from any category (civil servants and contractual employees) employed by a French public institution who hold scientific or technical posts in libraries, museums, archives or national heritage services.
  • Staff employed by the BnF and retired former employees

Peak hours in the reading rooms

During certain periods of the year, the reading rooms of the Haut-de-jardin Library are largely frequented.

The Affluences application, available for free on iPhone and Android, allows to know in real time the occupancy rate of libraries in Paris.

So far as the Haut-de-jardin Library, Affluences indicates, for each reading room, the current occupancy rate and forecasts half an hour by half an hour. Data are updates every five minutes.

Children access to room I (National Centre for youth literature)

Room I (National Centre for youth literature) is open to families on Saturdays and Sundays. Access is free for chidren under 16 years of age. They must be accompanied by an adult in possession of a valid reader's card, up to a limit of three children by adult.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017