Collections and services


Press on paper and microfilm

On the François-Mitterrand site, the Law, economics, politics department offers a panorama of French and foreign press. Material covering the history of the press up to the 20th century may also be consulted in the Arsenal Library.

Recent newspapers at the Haut-de-jardin level - F.-Mitterrand site

“Madame Anastasie” (censorship: allegory), André Gill, L’Eclipse, no. 299, 19 July 1874

“Madame Anastasie” (censorship: allegory), André Gill, L’Eclipse, no. 299, 19 July 1874

The Haut-de-jardin level provides free access to around 270 political and general news press titles. While all continents are represented, the emphasis is on Europe and French-speaking countries.

The French press collection includes all national daily newspapers, the majority of regional daily newspapers and a selection of weekly and monthly magazines. A few professional press titles (La Correspondance de la Presse, Le Bulletin Quotidien, Medias, etc.) and materials on the press and journalism round out the offering.

Only the most recent three months’ issues are available for consultation in the press room.

Readers also have access to around a thousand works intended to supplement their reading of the press:

  • general reference documents (language dictionaries, encyclopedias, atlases, encyclopedia of world countries, events catalogs, etc.) and specialist press documents (indexes, guides, directories, etc.)
  • miscellaneous materials covering the recent press and news, writings by journalists and collections of press drawings and photographs

La liste des périodiques accessibles en salle de la presse et des médias [fichier .pdf – 151 Ko – 03/10/17 – 12 p.]

Since some national and regional press titles held by the Research Library have been reproduced on microfilm, old and recent issues of around sixty titles are available for consultation by users of the Haut-de-jardin level in room D, subject to a maximum of ten rolls of microfilm per day. Available titles include, for example, all issues of L’Équipe since 1946, L’Humanité since 1904, Ouest-France since 1984, etc.
These titles may be consulted during the Haut-de-jardin level’s usual opening hours from Tuesday to Saturday (with final requests taken at 17:00).

Microfilms being held in the Research Library’s stacks, there will be a delay before they are delivered in room D.

Press at the Research library -  F.-Mitterrand site

The French press collections available at the Research Library are characterized by their great diversity, and include the following:
  • national press (political and general news press, popular press, gossip press, etc.)
  • regional and local press 
  • overseas press (colonies and former territories under French dominion and overseas communities) 
  • specialist press (feminine press, recreational press, economic press, legal press, sports press, etc.) 
  • readers’ press (children’s and young people’s press, fantasy press, religious press, association-based press, etc.) 
  • free press 
  • official publications
These collections are all available for consultation on both paper and microfilm. In order to improve the conservation of its press collections, the Library regularly adds to its film library (which includes more than 100,000 rolls covering the press). The film library includes leading French press titles as well as themed sets (illustrated young people’s press, press from former colonies, etc.).

Leading foreign daily newspapers are available on microfilm from 1990 onwards: The New York Times, The Times, El País, The Washington Post, Pravda, Le Soir, Die Frankfürter Allgemeine Zeitung, etc. This collection covers almost 88 countries.

The Library also holds a large number of foreign press titles in paper form covering periods prior to 1990.

Using older local press

Older local press is a fount of knowledge about everyday life, specially since the 19th century. One can discover how to find about older French local newspapers through this post in the Blog lecteurs published by the BnF :

Chercher & trouver : presse et revues françaises

The French-language search memo Presse et revues françaises helps you identify a newspaper and find an article. It also has a list of the shelfmarks of newspapers and magazines often searched for in the catalogue général de la BnF.

Arsenal library

Material covering the history of the press up to the 20th century may also be consulted in the Arsenal Library (Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal). The founder of the Arsenal Library, the Marquis of Paulmy, whose aim was to create an encyclopedic collection, naturally sought to collect newspapers. The Arsenal Library’s old collection thus includes more than 200 mainly French gazettes and newspapers from the early modern period (“official” newspapers of the Ancien Régime, specialist periodicals, gazettes from Holland, etc.), as well as almanacs and several thousand mazarinades. The Arsenal Library also holds 17th and 18th century handwritten newsletters in the Bastille Archives (Archives de la Bastille) collection.

For more info
In 1880, Jules Ferry, Minister for Public Instruction, decided to create at the Arsenal Library, by way of legal deposit, a complete collection of all political journals in Paris. The remit of this collection soon exceeded the Minister’s initial ambitions, extending to provincial, colonial and specialist papers. The result is a major collection of 19th and 20th century periodicals, within which the period from 1880 to 1914, which saw the golden age of the French press, is particularly well represented.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Where to consult the documents ?

Ask a librarian

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