The BnF

Department of Readers' orientation and Bibliographic Search

Reading room X © Béatrice Lucchese
The Department for Readers' Orientation and Bibilographic Search aims to provide assistance to all readers and visitors wishing to get familiar and use the whole of the library's resources. It can provide readers with the first elements of information about the collections. One of its missions is to answer any bibliographic information request, both on-site and remotely. The Department is also responsible for the registration, reception and basic training of the Research Library's readers.

Department of Readers' orientation and Bibliographic Search:Practical information

Partial removal of the collections available in free-access in the Reference Room (Oval reading room)

Richelieu Library
From 1st march 2016

The Oval reading room will be closed for renovation work at the end of 2016. For this reason, a major part of the collections available in free access will be moved to other premises from 1st March 2016. However, the works labelled with the following classification marks remain available:

  • 017: libraries' catalogues
  • 019: archives
  • 027.544 BNF: documents published by the BnF including the exhibition catalogues
  • 098: anonymous bibliographies, fakes and literary hoaxes
  • 200: religions
  • 920 to 929.92: biographical dictionary, genealogy, heraldry and other sciences offering a secondary field in history.

The works belonging to the "Bibliothèque de la Pléiade" collection remain available. Please ask the reading room's members of staff.

A selection of language dictionaries is also proposed to readers.

Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Addresses and reading rooms

The Bibliographic Research Department has a presence both at the François Mitterrand Library and at the Richelieu Library.

François-Mitterrand Library

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

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.

The collections are available in free access, in the room E (History of book and reading, Library science) in the Reference Library  and in room X (Bibliographic Search) in the Research Library .

Richelieu Library

Richelieu Library
58, rue de Richelieu
75002 Paris
Opening hours of the department of Readers' orientation and Bibliographic Search
Monday From Tuesday to Saturday Sunday
Room E (Reference library) closed 10:00 to 20:00 13:00 to 19:00
Admission for the Research library 14:00 to 19:00 9:00 to 19:00 except saturday 9:00 to 18:00 closed
Room X (Research library) 14:00 to 20:00 9:00 to 20:00 closed

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.

Richelieu Library

Opening hours of the department of Readers' orientation and Bibliographic Search
From Tuesday to Saturda Saturday Sunday
Registration for the Research library and INHA 9.00am to 5.00pm 10.00am to 12.30pm and 13.30pm to 17.00pm closed

For the two libraries

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.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


Virginie Rose
Secretary : 01 53 79 54 24
Fax : 01 53 79 56 90
Email : recherche-bibliographique