Shared Heritage

Bringing together a set of digital libraries created by the BnF, the Shared Heritage collection aims to bear witness to the relations maintained between France and the world over the centuries and sheds light on this history in a global approach. This collection is regularly enriched through new partners and opportunities and is a testament to the diversity of the collections of the BnF.

To date, seven libraries have been made available: Libraries of the Middle East, France-South Asia (as a beta version), France-Brazil, France-China, France-Poland, France-Vietnam, and France in the Americas. The France-Japan virtual exhibition can be added to this list as a precursor project of this collection.

Shared Heritage in numbers

  • 7
    digital libraries
  • 44
  • 28 000
  • 14
  • 350
    scientific articles
  • 240
    associated researchers
  • 265 000
    visitors in 2021

Mapping the Shared Heritage collection

France-PolandBibliothèques d’OrientFrance-BrazilFrance-ChineFrance-VietnamLa France aux AmériquesFrance-South Asia

Clic on the map to access to the 7 digital libraries:

1. France-Poland
2. Libraries of the Middle East
3. France-Brazil
4. France-China
5. France-Vietnam
6. France in the Americas
7. France-South Asia

Shared Heritage is a collection whose goal is to digitally safeguard, disseminate and connect documentary sources from complementary collections located across the world. This initiative aims to foster national and international partnerships between libraries, cultural institutions, and research communities in order to promote digital mediation for universal heritage while ensuring long-term conservation.

The BnF works together with numerous partners to set up digital libraries and to share the history of France from a global perspective.

Each digital library studies the exchanges between France and a country or a geographic area, telling a story of diverse and rich exchanges and interactions which resulted from these encounters. Divided into categories and thematic sub-categories, the content presented is accompanied by articles written by renowned researchers and specialists which contextualise the exhibited digital objects.

The websites of the Shared heritage collection are supported by Gallica, the digital library of the BnF, and its partners.


International projects with a large scope require collaborative work first and foremost. The BnF works alongside dozens of French and foreign institutions that provide support, expertise and documentary collections to enrich Shared Heritage.

The BnF is mindful of associating with new partners, whether institutional or research specialists. Shared Heritage gives an opportunity to work for the promotion of a common heritage.

Shared Heritage has already benefited from the skills of partners abroad through the Résidence Culture programme for the selection of documents and the writing of editorial contributions. The collaboration between with researchers, curators, and academics is a crucial factor which guarantees the quality of the collection.

For more information on the collection and how to contribute, do not hesitate to contact us.




The restoration, preservation and dissemination of heritage to as many people as possible are at the heart of this ambitious and innovative project for the BnF and its partners. In this context, sponsorship is an essential element of support for the development of this collection.



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