Banque d’images (The Picture Collection)

As an exploring tool of the library’s digitized iconographic collections, the Picture Collection enables especially the professional public, to purchase images in high definition and pay their commercial use.


An amazingly rich source of images

It gathers all the iconographic collections of the Library, which are among the most noteworthy in the world: prints, photographs, illuminated manuscripts or autographs, drawings, engravings, press headlines, maps and globes, art objects, coins and more.

In this considerably diverse collection from all continents and historical periods, the Picture Collection also gives more visibility to copyrighted works by the most prominent 20th-century artists which were not accessible previously in the library’s reading room.

There are hundreds of thousands of images available, a number which grows daily with digitizations from different departments. The great majority of the documents kept at the BnF are not yet digitized; an on-demand digitization service helps broaden the scope to rare and not previously shown images.


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An interface and research tools adapted to the work of image professionals.

o explore these collections, the Picture Collection offers an interface and research tools adapted to the work of image professionals.

Portfolios and a newsletter also allow them to prepare editorial projects following the agenda of main exhibitions, anniversaries, historical events, to discover the BnF collections and to keep informed on new uploads…

The quality in image indexation and description is guaranteed by the BnF best practices and the scientific expertise of the Library curators and the Picture Collection iconographers.

The quality and the resolution offered are fit for the vast majority of editorial works; the norms adopted in the digitization studios guarantee faithful reproductions.
In addition, the BnF offers a personalized support to professionals, publisher, iconographer, audiovisual professional, communication and multimedia etc.: suggestion of images, terms and order follow-up, digitization estimate, price negotiation.


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