Performance contract

The Objectives and Performance Contract 2022–2026 is a document that formalises the BnF’s strategic guidelines and describes the initiatives prioritised during its five-year duration. It constitutes a frame of reference for all members of the Bibliothèque’s staff since it offers an overview of the institution’s collective project. It highlights the long-term transformations being made by the Bibliothèque.


Download the BnF objectives and performance contract (in french)

The future at its source

Continuous information, immediate messaging, a limitless Internet and the endless sizzling of social networks: the era is riveted to the present and seems only able to consider the future in the short term. We are asked to react, concatenate, and look straight ahead; to make haste in reaching a future seemingly stripped of all attachments.

Yet what else is the future if not a potential past?
If we turned around, explored the paths taken by our predecessors – wouldn’t that give us a chance of flying into future more safely? Of building it rather than suffering it?

Since François I and the invention of legal deposit, even since Charles V, whose library ceased to be private property, the BnF has been the world’s seismograph. Today as yesterday, those who oversee it seek to make it a gateway from one generation to the next, sentinel of the common memory, attentive witness to a fleeting present, source of a constantly emerging future.

Because we believe in the wisdom of the ages, we spend our days preserving and adding to our collections, restoring them and digitising them. Books, digital and paper documents, newspapers, images and objects become fertile ground for ideas and works yet to come.

We do our utmost to ensure that our visitors have access to them, and that our facilities lend themselves to research, reading and sharing. 

At the BnF, everyone has the time to catch their breath, take things slowly, dialogue. Thought takes seed in silence, draws on a thousand sources, develops, weaves its way to the surface, takes pause, and finally puts forth its buds.

No culture without desire for culture, so we open ourselves up ever more widely to the world via our Museum, websites, lectures and exhibitions.

What delights us the most at the BnF is enabling this blossoming of thought and knowledge to take place; seeing our collections made fertile by our visitors; letting memory give passage to the future with each passing day. 

This new Objectives and Performance Contract bears witness to everything we do to make it happen.

What will the bnf look like in 2030?

Answering such a question may appear difficult, but although 2030 may seem distant in terms of our lives, in terms of the BnF’s timescale it is very close.

Thanks to the various projects it is carrying out, and to the guidelines that have now been set, its contours are already emerging.

In 2030, the BnF will consist firstly of the millions of readers, researchers and visitors welcomed by the institution – with all their various profiles, uses and expectations – within its renovated reading rooms, Museum, auditoriums, lecture halls and public spaces. 

The François-Mitterrand and Richelieu sites will have continued to evolve in order to provide the comfort and services expected by 2030’s readers whilst remaining committed, in an increasingly digital world, to being places apart, havens conducive to study and thought as well as to physical meetings between people and works.

The Bibliothèque will have acquired new capacities for conservation thanks to its Amiens Site and land reserves, a situation without precedence in terms of its history; this will allow it to look forward to the 22nd century with confidence. 

In 2030, at the BnF the press will be more widely preserved, disseminated and exploited, thanks to the digitisation of titles and the National Press Conservatory also in Amiens. 

The general digitalisation of the legal deposit system will already have existed for a number of years, automating the conservation of a dizzying quantity of electronic documents; at the BnF these will be accompanied by reading keys and research tools, opening more doors to millions of internet users and readers: metadata, content transcription, data and image mining, pattern recognition, etc. Their exploration using Artificial Intelligence will have provided – and will continue to provide – fabulous prospects for research and creation. More than ever, the future will begin in our institution. 

In 2030, the BnF will be a human community that will have seen numerous departures and arrivals, but will remain united by the values of public service: an open and caring collective capable of making choices and evolving whilst ensuring individual well-being, responding to environmental challenges, making sensible use of its resources and making progress on a daily basis as regards working conditions. 

Finally, it will be aware that cooperation is essential to the success of large-scale projects and that the latter exceed the scope of a single institution: forms of partnership will have multiplied and diversified in order to create new scientific, cultural, educational and territorial synergies within France and worldwide.

In short, the future BnF will certainly be the BnF we know and love, transformed over time to further affirm its immutable blueprint for the future.

Priorities, projects and key themes


More than ever, the 2022–2026 contract is intended to bring meaning to the general activities of the BnF.
It is organised around 4 priorities, 3 signature projects and 4 key themes.

In line with the last Objectives and Performance Contract, its objectives are grouped around four strategic priorities:

  1. Increasing ways of sharing an outstanding living heritage with all sectors of the public.
    This priority concerns the institution’s policy towards its audiences, focusing particularly on its cultural policy within the context of the deployment of new provision at the Richelieu Site. In addition, the BnF will continue to enhance and modernise its provision and services, both physical and digital, in order to meet public expectations and simplify user procedures.
  2. Adding to and ensuring preservation of collections in order to guarantee constitution of a common memory in the digital era.
    The institution will endeavour to implement the electronic legal deposit system, complete the important “bibliographic transition” project and redefine its conservation policy in view of the creation of its new centre at Amiens and the implementation of dynamic collections management. The press will constitute a priority within its digitalisation policy.
  3. Strengthening our cooperation with professional networks by sharing our expertise, tools and resources.
    The BnF and its partners will exploit and pool their expertise and know-how in order to develop tools and services with high collective added value. The institution will endeavour to unite its partnership initiatives around its major editorial priorities (the press and its foreign collections), strengthen its place within the research ecosystem and innovate within technical fields (data mining, artificial intelligence, etc.) through research and development partnership projects.
  4. Basing ourselves on a responsible management model in order to carry out our missions effectively.
    It will particularly focus on supporting its staff, new modes of working, developments in professions and skills, modernising its digital work environment, simplifying procedures and transformations undertaken within its property. More broadly, the BnF intends to pursue its initiatives promoting quality of life at work and risk prevention, but also to intensify its policy on social and environmental responsibility (combating discrimination, promoting gender equality, and reducing the BnF’s impact on the environment).

To stimulate a transversal dynamic, three major projects at the intersection of the BnF’s main missions and four key themes reflect the Objectives and Performance Contract’s strategic guidelines.



  • Reopening of the Richelieu site
    After the restoration and renovation of this exceptional piece of heritage, the BnF aims to better serve the public, researchers, readers and visitors at its historic site, and to offer everyone access to the wealth and diversity of the Bibliothèque’s heritage through knowledge and culture.
  • Digital legal deposit
    The gradual implementation of the collection of natively digital documents, a major technological and heritage challenge, will make it possible to continue carrying out legal deposit, the BnF’s primary mission and the historical basis for enriching national heritage collections.
  • Amiens conservation centre
    The construction, by 2028, of a new Conservation Centre, and the creation of a National Press Conservatory, in preparation from 2022, will guarantee the future of the BnF by enabling it to fulfil its missions in the long term.

Key themes

  • The press collections 
    The breadth of its press collections, the intensity of use to which they are put by its readers, their fragility and finally their symbolic importance, have led the BnF to focus on them through priority conservation and digitalisation initiatives, and educational, cultural and scientific programmes.
  • The territories 
    The national scope of its collections and the importance of its national and international cooperation initiative has led the BnF to strengthen and improve the structuring of its initiatives for the territories in the interests of enhancing exchange and improving the visibility of a common good.
  • Artificial intelligence 
    The implementation of the Artificial Intelligence roadmap involves experimentation in preparation for the responsible and ethical incorporation of such technology into the data processing activities operating at the BnF.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) 
    For all of the institution’s major projects, the recommendations pursuant to the CSR constitute a central lever for improving its social, societal and environmental management model.