Collections and services


Recorded music

Records and phonographic publishing

Music constitutes the bulk of phonographic publishing, of which the Audiovisual department holds more than a million specimens in storage at the Research library.

Multimedia documents and films

BnF’s collections of multimedia documents, held in storage at the Research library, cover every musical style: classical, jazz, rock, and French and international light music. They mainly consist of “reviews”. They include a wide variety of content: a large number of music teaching manuals (e.g. Fuzeau’s “Jazzimuth” collection and Paul Beuscher’s “Guitare facile” collection), musical tales (e.g. the “Mes premières découvertes de la musique” collection, published by Gallimard Jeunesse), ethnomusicology (e.g. “Musiques de Turquie” published by Actes Sud), computer music (e.g. the “Computer Music” periodical published by Edicorp Publications), etc.

The Research library also holds a large number of musical films in a particularly wide variety of forms. They represent almost 15% of the collection of video materials – i.e. around 20,000 video recordings. As well as recorded concerts and musical performances, there are documentaries showing composers and performers from all genres at work (e.g. “What does music mean?”, Leonard Bernstein, 1958). More unexpected is the collection of music videos, enabling viewers to better appreciate how music is produced and distributed through images (“The work of Michel Gondry”, 2003)

To be noted

Available for consultation in the Reference library is a collection of 11,000 musical compact discs, supplemented by a collection of musical DVDs.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Where to consult the documents ?

Audiovisual Department

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