The BnF

Literature and Art Department

© Béatrice Lucchese / BnF
The Literature and Art Department enriches, preserves and makes available 3 million documents - mainly printed books and magazines - housed in closed stacks.
Collections about book history, library science, arts, youth literature and world languages and literature are also available in free access in nine reading rooms.
The Reference Library's collections particularly focus on the culture of French-speaking countries and on language learning. The Centre de ressources Francophonie (Resource center on French-speaking countries) in room H and the Laboratoire Français langue étrangère (Laboratory for French as a foreign language) and the Fonds pratique de langues vivantes (Collection about living languages) in room G are intented to readers interested in these themes.

Literature and Art Department:Practical information


François-Mitterrand Library
Quai François-Mauriac
75706 Paris Cedex 13

Reading rooms

Room G

Room G

Two possibilities are proposed to readers wishing to use the reading rooms.

  • The Reference Library (Haut-de-Jardin level) is open to anyone 16 years of age and over; this library makes encyclopaedic collections available in free access.
  • Entrance to the Research Library (Rez-de-Jardin level) is limited to accredited users; at this level, the readers have the possibility to consult the heritage collections.

In the Reference Library, the collections in free access are distributed as follows in the reading rooms:

  • E:History of book and reading, library science
  • F:Art, architecture, performing arts, photography, sport
  • G:General and comparative literature, world languages and literatures
  • H:Linguistics, French, French-speaking, Greek and Latin languages and literatures
  • I:Youth literature, strip cartoon

And in the Research Library, in rooms:

  • T:History of book and reading, library science, youth literature, strip cartoon
  • U:General and comparative literature, English, German, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese languages and literatures
  • V:Linguistics, French and French-speaking languages and literatures
  • W:Art, architecture, Greek, Latin, Slavic, Asian, Oriental, African languages and literatures

The Centre national de la littérature pour la jeunesse (National Centre for youth literature), located in Room I (Haut-de-Jardin Library), provides acess to over 300 000 documents. This collection is available to anyone interested in youth literature, whether curious readers or professionals of youth reading. A specific area is dedicated to young people to discover the best in recent contemporary publishing (picture books, strip cartoons, novels, documentaries, tales, theatre, poetry...). Audiovisual documents are specifically intended to young people: selection of animated and fiction films, documentaries, video games.

Room I (CNLJ) 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.

Opening hours

Reading rooms
  Monday From Tuesday to Saturday Sunday
Reference library (Haut-de-jardin level) closed 10.00am-8.00pm 1.00pm-7.00pm
Research library (Rez-de-jardin level) 2.00pm-8.00pm 9.00am-8.00pm closed

Closed on public holidays:

  • 31 december and 1st of January
  • Easter Sunday and Monday
  • 1 and 8 May
  • Ascension Thursday
  • Pentecost Sunday and Monday
  • 14 July
  • 15 August
  • 1 and 11 November
  • 24 and 25 December

Annual closing of the BnF sites located in Paris (François-Mitterrand, Richelieu and Louvois, Arsenal and Opéra Libraries): During the annual closing of the BnF, various operations are achieved on the BnF premises and public spaces: repair, maintenance or cleaning work. It will take place from Friday, August 31st to Sunday, September 9th, 2018 inclusive.

Documents from closed stack collections (Research library), must be requested before the reading rooms close:

  • from Monday to Friday at 17:00,
  • Saturday at 16:00 for Printed material and at 17:00 for Microforms, Audiovisual documents and Reserve.

Monday, January 12, 2015