Room T – Books and Libraries

Room T is dedicated to the history of books and to libraries and constitutes a professional documentation resource. It offers collections on publishing, bookstores, printing, typography and writing over several periods and countries, the history of the press until 1945 and studies on youth literature.
In the section on library science and information science, an important part of the collection concerns the BnF publications (reports, exhibition catalogs, private collections inventories etc.) on top studies on libraries in several countries and their history and management. Room T offers 14,400 documents and 30 seats. 



  • History of books (8,700 volumes)
This collection is particularly demanded by researchers and offers specialized international documentation, mostly in English, on the history of books, publishing and bookstores, the sociology and history of reading, the history of the techniques of printing, binding, paper, illustration and illustrated books (including graphic novels) and the history of the press until 1945. It includes a section on youth literature. 
Periodicals are divided into professional reviews like Livres Hebdo and titles on the history of books such as Le Bulletin du bibliophile.
  • Library science and Information science (5,200 volumes)
Specialized documentation is mostly in English and covers all professional domains: the economy of books and copyrights; library science and the history of libraries, classified by categories and by countries; archives; computer science and network; users (reception, services, userswith impairments); management; architecture; collections (constitutions, classifications, conservation); training; catalogs. 

Services offered 

  • Microfilm reader
  • Microfiche reader
  • Freely accessible Internet stations 
  • Reproduction room (1 scanner operated by staff; 1 microform reader and reproducer with direct access) with a card distributor. 
  • Room presentation and greeting in sign language with an online interpreter (Acceo): ask the Head of the room.

Noteworthy Collections 

The Literature and Art Department stores two unique collections which constitute a precious source for book historians and are constantly updated:

  • The ‘Q10 shelf number’ which gathers over 200,000 publisher’s and librarian’s catalogs from 1638 to today. 
  • The ‘Delta shelf number’ which gathers over 87,000 sales catalogs from private libraries (books and manuscripts).

Room T specifically delivers the following collections: librarians’ and publishers’ catalogs (Q10) as well as communications (by numbers) for the departments (requiring the Director’s authorization) and the archives of the BnF. 



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