National Library of France
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The world of books and libraries
J.W. Woudanus, Bibliothèque de Leyde, 1630
© BnF - Estampes et photographie
The history of reading is also covered, more specifically from the perspective of forbidden reading material: the history of censorship and banned books in general. A collection of reference works is more specifically dedicated to the history of erotic books, related to the Enfer collection held in storage by the Rare Books Reserve.
The Arsenal Library and the Bibliographic Research Department also offer open-access reference works on the history of reading and libraries.
In closed-stack collections, the Rare Books Reserve pays close attention to the origins of books and the history of their owners. A portion of the closed-stack collections is organized by origin, so that a record of the latter is preserved as visibly as possible. These materials include volumes from the libraries of certain artists (e.g. Delaunay), philosophers (e.g. Kojève), and bibliophiles (e.g. Adler, Audéoud, Furstenberg, and Lesouef). An open-access file in room X also catalogs ex-libris found on books held in storage by the Reserve.
The Department of literature and art also houses a unique collections of over 87000 sale catalogues of private libraries (books and manuscripts).
Some of the Arsenal Library’s collections recount the development of reading practices. Many paperbacks, received under the legal deposit scheme, are held in their original condition (complete with covers), as are chapbooks, providing an insight into the history of popular literature.
The Arsenal Library also holds the archives of “literary deposits” from the time of the revolution, an essential source for studying library history.
ENSSIB (Ecole nationale supérieure des sciences de l’information et des bibliothèques) , BnF’s agreed partner for library theory
Friday, October 17, 2014
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