Collections and services

Prints, photographs, and posters

From renowned artists to anonymous masters, from works of art to graphic resources...


Méditerranée. Gustave Le Gray (1820-1882)

Méditerranée. Gustave Le Gray (1820-1882)

Photographs were only subject to legal deposit arrangements from 1925 onwards. However, photographers voluntarily deposited their works in the 19th century.

Furthermore, BnF’s collections, most of which are held by the Prints and Photographs department, were immediately expanded by way of a large number of donations and acquisitions.

These collections illustrate photography’s various different states and roles.

They include works by photographers including, for example, the following:

  • from the 19th century, Nadar, Le Gray, Disdéri, Atget, and Reutlinger
  • from the 20th century, Séeberger, Rogi André, Cartier-Bresson, Doisneau, Lewis Hine, Diane Arbus, Lee Friedlander, Louis Faurer, Mario Giacomelli, Jun Shiraoka, and Manuel Alvarez-Bravo
  • a collection of 800 daguerreotypes
  • albums from the Guernsey workshop (associates of Victor Hugo)
  • the Georges Sirot collection (19th century)
  • pieces from Gabriel Cromer’s collection (19th century)
  • Eugène Druet’s photographs of works of art

They also include press photography such as collections from the Rol, Meurisse, Mondial and SAFARA agencies (200,000 news images from 1904 to 1945), the archives of the L’Aurore newspaper (two million images covering the period 1904-1980), etc.

The collections also cover all types of media used in the distribution of artistic and documentary photography: illustrated books, postcards, etc.

Also available for consultation in the Performing Arts department is a very extensive collection of photographs of artists and shows covering the period from 1945 to the present day. Key collections include those of Roger Pic, Daniel Cande, Joël Verhoustraeten, Marée-Breyer, etc.

Friday, December 16, 2016

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