Collections and services

Architecture and city planning

Architecture and city planning – artistic and historical aspects

Books and journals

Boullée, Etienne-Louis (1728-1799). Perspective elevation of Newton’s Cenotaph, "A Newton. 1784".

Boullée, Etienne-Louis (1728-1799). Perspective elevation of Newton’s Cenotaph, "A Newton. 1784".

Books and journals on the artistic and historical aspects of architecture and city planning are mainly found in the Art and Literature Department at the François Mitterrand Library (Site François-Mitterrand).

While the open-access collections are mainly dedicated to architecture, they also cover the history of city planning, stylistic aspects of garden design, and interior design. As well as a large collection of books on French and foreign architects from all periods, they include a large amount of material representing the various current trends in architecture. Readers can also find documents by type of building – for example, material on railway stations, swimming pools or detached houses.

Closed-stack collections held by the Research library at the François Mitterrand Library enable readers to study the history of all areas of architecture and city planning. They include, for example, architectural treatises, building and site layouts, descriptions of famous monuments and cities, books on construction techniques, fortifications, bridge construction, etc. These collections are supplemented by a large collection of old architectural journals, such as the Revue générale de l’architecture et des travaux publics and the Bulletin monumental, as well as numerous current journals.

Graphic materials

A large number of documents dating from the 15th to the 21st century are held by the Prints and Photographs Department at the Richelieu Library (Site Richelieu). Works by French and foreign architects, major monuments, and architectural genres are particularly well represented in these collections:

  • building plans, e.g. of Jesuit buildings
  • architectural drawings, e.g. by architects Mansart, Robert de Cotte, and Labrouste, and visionary architecture by Boullé and Lequeu
  • ancient and modern photographs: the Bisson brothers, Eugène Atget, Delmaet and Durandelle, a collection belonging to the Delegation for Land Use Development and Regional Action (Délégation à l'aménagement du territoire et à l'action régionale/Datar), contemporary works by Keichi Tahara, Stéphane Couturier, etc.
See also


The Charles Garnier and Louis Bernier collections

Charles Garnier View of the Opera staircase. 1866

Charles Garnier View of the Opera staircase. 1866

The Opera Library holds a large portion of the archives of the architect Charles Garnier (1825-1898) and his agency. These archives, donated to the library by the architect in 1883 and by his widow in 1919 and 1920, consist not only of personal papers and items, but also of administrative and professional archives, technical documentation, including in particular plans, and photographs. They cover not only the Palais Garnier but also a large number of other buildings (the Nice Observatory, the Monte-Carlo Casino and Opera House, the Bordighera Villas, etc.). The Opera Library also holds part of the archives of the Agence Garnier covering periods after the architect’s death (maintenance and restoration of the Palais Garnier). Also available for consultation at the Opera Library are a collection of plans of the current hall of the Opéra-Comique built by Louis Bernier, a huge set of 17th to 20th century original plans and prints of European theaters, and a large collection of architectural books.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

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