National Library of France
Collections and services
In addition to these major topics, materials held by the Maps and Plans Department may be helpful for studying astronomy, exploration, the history of discoveries, the history of photography, the history of cartography, and maritime history.
Alongside a general collection consisting of printed materials and manuscripts (the former collections of the National Library and documents obtained under the legal deposit scheme), there are various other collections:
Books, off-prints, and reviews help readers use and understand cartographic documents.
To be notedSince 1942, the department has been custodian of the collections of the Société de géographie, built up in the 19th and 20th centuries and covering the life of the society and the history of exploration from the 19th century to the first half of the 20th century.
History of the department
The department was founded in 1828 by Edme-François Jomard, a former geographical engineer on the Egyptian expedition. He opened up to the public a single location for the development of geographical science and the preservation of atlases, maps, plans, and terrestrial and celestial globes. He brought together part of the collections of the Prints Department: the “portefeuilles du roi” and the portfolios of the Abbey of Saint-Victor, obtained via revolutionary confiscations. Jomard was interested in both modern publications and old collections, such as the “portolano maps”.
Various deposits were added to the collections in the 20th century: those of Jean-Baptiste d’Anville (1697-1782), the collection of the Navy Hydrographic Office (from its origins to 1940), and that of the Société de géographie in 1942.
Since 1954, the department has been based in the main body of the hôtel Tubeuf, which was completely refitted to preserve and present these special documents under the direction of architect Michel Roux-Spitz.
Thursday, March 27, 2014
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