The BnF

The different stakes in the Richelieu project

The renovation of Richelieu Library started in 2007. The architect Bruno Gaudin manages the project which represents one of the major works led by the Ministry of Culture and Communication, as was the case for François-Mitterrand Library.This renovation work is a historic opportunity to achieve a global transformation and modernization of the library that will benefit collections, readers, visitors and staff members. It is the first time ever that Richelieu Library has the opportunity to rethink and renovate its whole building for greater coherence, enhancing the historical strata of the different parts built up over the centuries and putting them at the service of innovation, modernity and opening.

Renovate premises and equipments


Renovation work in the court of honour

The conformity to safety standards and the renewal of technical equipments will allow to better ensure the safety of persons, goods and heritage collections (20 million documents are housed at Richelieu Library); which will considerably improve working conditions for readers and staff members.

Renovating and enlarging services offered to users

Reader consulting a BnF´s manuscript

Reader consulting a BnF's manuscript

The BnF will keep offering various specialized reading rooms to researchers where they will have the opportunity to consult original documents (manuscripts, prints, maps and plans, scores, coins, objects).

Always to provide greater access to its unique and precious collections, the BnF will continue its digitization policy; over 1 500 000 specialized documents have already been digitized and are available via Gallica digital library.
The main reading room of the renovated library, the Oval reading room, will be open to all and available for free. Among other services, readers and visitors will benefit innovative digital devices presenting the wealth and variety of collections housed at Richelieu Library.

Consolidating the library as a scientific and cultural pole of expertise


Labrouste reading room

With its partner institutions (Institut national d'histoire de l'Art and École nationale des chartes in particular), the Richelieu Library represents over 3,000 students, researchers and teachers-researchers. To answer these users' requests in the best possible way, new services will be progessively set up in renovated areas as soon as 2016: Wifi, remote registration of documents, rooms dedicated to groups... The readers of the Research Library will now be given a BnF/INHA card that will allow them to consult all the documents housed at Richelieu Library, namely the INHA collections as well as the BnF collections.

The Richelieu Library becomes a real ecosystem where researchers will be welcome through research units; the library will also house numerous scholarly societies. Actually, it plays an essential role in research: the three institutions present on the site (BnF, INHA, École nationale des chartes) will keep developing programmes and partnerships with French and foreign schools and research institutions in the fields of interest corresponding to the collections housed at the library.

Opening up Richelieu Library to new audiences

Starting at the top, Oval reading room, Mazarine gallery

Starting at the top, Oval reading room, Mazarine gallery

Located at the heart of the 2nd district, Richelieu will offer, at the complete reopening of the site, the opportunity of a 26th alley in Paris, the first built in 100 years. The site will be widely open onto the district thanks to two new entrances, 58 rue de Richelieu and 5 rue Vivienne. As soon as 2016, the new galerie de verre will be accessible to the public. At the complete reopening of the site, the visitors will have the possibility to admire the various architectural styles of the place, try state-of-the-art digital devices, have a coffee in the Vivienne garden, visit temporary exhibitions in the Mansart gallery...

In 2021, an exhibition space entirely rethought will open to the public. It will present the treasures housed in the BnF collections. The selection of regularly renewed  pieces will gather famous works (manuscripts of Les Misérables, Degas' sketchbooks) rare pieces (great cameo of France, Dagobert's throne) and emblematic documents housed in the collections (Behaim globe...). The new museum will be located in some of the most beautiful areas of the site: Mazarine gallery, salle des Colonnes, salle de Luynes. As soon as 2016, the visitors will discover areas that were never opened before to the public such as the Rotonde des Arts du spectacle, the new shrine for several outstanding pieces.

Monday, January 8, 2018