Solidarity with the Ukrainian people

The BnF stands with Ukraine and is helping Ukrainian cultural institutions and their staff through cooperation and heritage preservation initiatives.
Discover here the dedicated cultural programme, as well as the selection of resources available, online and in the reading rooms, related to Ukraine and the current conflict, and more broadly on the theme of war with a selection of works for young people.



Cultural events


Ukraine: Affirmation and Recognition of a Nation

From 22 May to 5 December 2023

What do we know of the history of Ukraine, from its birth to the recognition of its independence? How can its culture, its literary, artistic and intellectual figures be presented? How can we understand the aspirations of the Ukrainian people today? This series of meetings invites specialists to shed light on the present in the context of Ukraine’s past, from the affirmation of its existence by the people to the international recognition of the Ukrainian nation and its sovereignty.

The conferences will take place at Inalco and at the BnF (Richelieu site and François-Mitterrand site).


Scientific coordination: Iryna Dmytrychyn, lecturer, head of Ukrainian studies at Inalco.

Cycle organised by the Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales (Inalco), the BnF and the Bibliothèque universitaire des langues et civilisations (Bulac).

The international shockwave of the war in Ukraine

Thursday 2 February 2023 – 4 p.m.-6 p.m. – François-Mitterrand

In some respects, the Russian war in Ukraine has significantly altered the international balance of power in Eurasia, in Europe and in the transatlantic area. On a global scale, it has also shown divergences in the assessment of the crisis and in the reaction and adaptation to its effects.

One year after the beginning of the conflict, what are the future prospects for Ukraine, for Russia and for the European Union in a considerably reshaped regional context? What will be the medium and long-term international political, economic and strategic consequences of the conflict?



Live on Facebook: « La BnF dans mon salon » (“The BnF in your living room”)

Friday 8 April 2022 – 6 p.m.

On the BnF’s Facebook page, Isabelle le Masne de Chermont, director of the Department of Manuscripts, talks about Princess Anne of Kiev, who became Queen of France through her marriage to King Henry I, grandson of Hugues Capet.

See the conference (in French)

Concert in support of Ukraine: Fedir Yakymenko

Friday 15 April 2022 – 6.30 p.m. – François-Mitterrand

The BnF has put on a solidarity concert in support of Ukraine, performed by the musicians of the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra. All proceeds from this event went towards sending material to our Ukrainian colleagues for the conservation and safeguarding of heritage.


The concert showcased the work of the Ukrainian composer Fedir Yakymenko (1876 1945) who spent part of his life in France, and whose manuscripts are kept at the BnF. This exceptional concert is an addition to the programme of the European music season held under the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union, with the support of the Ministry of Culture.

Watch the concert

Special Round Table – Analysis and consequences of the war in Ukraine

Wednesday 20 April 2022 – 6 p.m.-8 p.m. – François-Mitterrand

On 24 February 2022, Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine, expecting a quick victory. Two months after the beginning of a prolonged conflict that has invalidated many of the assumptions that underpinned the Kremlin’s dramatic decision, researchers at the Foundation for Strategic Research offer insights into this war and its regional and international strategic implications.


Support for the programme of the Ukrainian Cultural Forum in Rouen

Like many cultural institutions, the BnF is joining the initiative of the Réunion des Musées métropolitains Rouen Normandie (Meeting of the Metropolitan Museums of Rouen Normandy – RMM) and the Institut national d’histoire de l’art (National Institute of Art History – INHA), to open a cultural forum to bring to life the threatened Ukrainian culture and heritage.


Conference “Ukraine in the collections of the Bibliothèque nationale de France”

Wednesday 29 June 2022 – 2.30 p.m – Rouen, Musée des Beaux-arts

To conclude the season, the Ukrainian Cultural Forum is inviting Isabelle le Masne de Chermont, director of the Manuscript Department, and Mathias Auclair, director of the Music Department, to speak about “Ukraine in the collections of the Bibliothèque nationale de France” through two major figures from different periods: Anne of Kiev and Fedir Yakymenko. Anne, daughter of the prince of Kiev, Yaroslav the Wise, became queen of France through her marriage, in 1051, to Henry I. The BnF holds the only known official document bearing her signature, which attests to the part she played in the exercise of royal power. Fedir Yakymenko, born in Kharkov in 1876, is one of the most important Ukrainian composers. A teacher of Igor Stravinsky in St. Petersburg, Yakymenko fled the Soviet regime, settling first in Prague, where he was active in the central Ukrainian emigration organisation, then in Nice and finally in Paris. A large part of his autograph manuscripts joined the collections of the BnF following his death in 1945.

To see all the conferences of the season


Free to access in our reading rooms

French as a Foreign Language and Ukrainian-French learning methods

In order to provide assistance to Ukraine, Skilleos, an online course company and supplier of the BnF for French as a Foreign Language (FLE), is offering access to two learning methods, free of charge and open to all. You can learn the Ukrainian language if you are a French speaker or learn French if you are Ukrainian. To do so, you just need to create an account and follow the different lessons offered through 13 chapters that will allow you to communicate more easily in everyday life.

In electronic resources

The BnF subscribes to electronic resources that are available free of charge to its users in its reading rooms. Some of these resources can also be accessed remotely by holders of a Research or Reading/Culture Pass.


Example of on-site and remote electronic resources:
  • PressReader The latest issues of a large number of newspapers worldwide and in several languages (The Guardian, El Pais, Japan news, Libération, etc.).
  • Arrêt sur Image Critical analysis of the presentation of the same information by different media, offering different types of content (articles, columns, press kits, media decoding programmes, etc.).
  • Medici.TV Concert and dance performance site, providing access to a list of concerts held in Ukraine or in support of Ukraine.
  • Gale One File NewsOffers articles from the American and world press (magazines, academic journals, books, images and videos).


Example of electronic resources only accessible on site
  • Cairn Almost 8,000 resources (journals, books and pocket encyclopaedias) on Ukraine.
  • Encyclopaedia Universalis Almost 500 documents (articles, photos, videos and maps) on Ukraine.
  • Factiva Academic International press database providing access to the full text of over 4,000 titles.



See also the selection of resources from the Press and Media portal

In Gallica

Illustration “Mazeppa” (ch. XVII) from Lord Byron  / Géricault and Eugène Lami - 1823 - BnF

In the online exhibitions

« Photographier la guerre » (Photographing War) on the site Presse à la une

The Crimean War (1853-1856) gave rise to the first photographic war reportage and the first international coverage of an event.

Portrait of Mazepa in the Essentials of Literature

The story of Ivan Mazepa, a Ukrainian nobleman who became a page in the court of a Polish king in the 17th century, became a legend relayed by Voltaire and revisited by the Romantics, including Lord Byron (1819) and Victor Hugo.

How to talk to children about war?

With war once again knocking on Europe’s door, the French National Centre for Children’s and Young People’s Literature has compiled a list of books to help parents and children talk about present and past conflicts.

War and its aftermath in children’s books

This selection enables a first comprehensive approach to the issue. Evoking conflicts of the 20th and 21st centuries, albums, novels, documentaries, comics and poetry deal with the issue of refugees, the daily life of children, but also the hope, life, solidarity and transmission that ultimately lead to peace.

 Cover of C’est quoi la guerre ? (What is War?) © Eduard Altarriba – Bang éditions


Lire dans l’urgence, l’urgence de lire (Reading in situations of urgency, the urgency of reading)

Books to overcome fear, to protect oneself from the fury of the world, and to maintain hope for a better future.

Writing and depicting war

This issue of “La Revue des livres pour enfants” (The Children’s Book Review) (no. 276 – April 2014) looks at the forms that representations of war – imaginary or on real historic conflicts – can take in fiction, albums, comics and novels. Can we really relate and depict everything, whatever the age of the readers we are addressing, even if the editorial forms have been well adapted?



In other libraries

Collecting documentation

Following the example of the mobilisation of staff which made the May 1968 leaflets collection possible, the Collections team is collecting all ephemeral printed documents such as brochures, leaflets, posters, flyers, etc. relating to the war in Ukraine.

Recueils Ukraine - Cote 8-WZ-7139 - BnF


Communiques from voluntary organisations, documents to assist welcoming, flyers from support events, activist leaflets, ministerial recommendations, etc. – any type of document can be included in the collection, regardless of who produced it (public authorities, voluntary or activist organisations, individuals, etc.). This collection will allow the BnF to preserve important and fragile testimonies of the conflict, a material for today’s and tomorrow’s researchers.

To participate, please send us these documents at the following address:

Bibliothèque nationale de France
Service Histoire (équipe Recueils)
Quai François Mauriac
75706 PARIS CEDEX 13, France

Thanks to the contributors, nearly 450 documents have been collected in one year.

Support and cooperation initiatives

Providing assistance to Ukrainian libraries and their staff is by definition a collaborative undertaking, which is why the BnF is working alongside national and European partners. While this cooperation is primarily heritage-based, it also includes a solidarity component for our Ukrainian counterparts.

Proposals to Ukrainian conservation institutions

The BnF has proposed to support Ukrainian conservation institutions in the fields of preservation and physical conservation of their heritage, and also to offer a digital shelter for their dematerialised collections.

Welcoming library professionals is also considered.

For further information, please contact:

Shipments of conservation materials

Pallets of conservation supplies for Ukraine – BnF


The BnF is participating in the International Council of Museums (ICOM) initiative for the safeguarding of Ukrainian heritage by sending pallets of conservation supplies, conservation boxes and packaging material.

Targeted web archiving

Within the framework of the legal deposit of the web, the BnF is engaged in collecting possibly transient content (websites, blogs, press articles, relays on social networks) both in France and abroad.

In France, various crawling campaigns have been set up and are currently carried out. Among these, one may mention:

  • A harvest carried out prior to the beginning of the conflict to document the events that preceded it, including a selection that led to 450 web files (websites, hashtags and Twitter accounts, blogs, press articles, etc.);
  • A “harvest of short-lived news” on what was relayed on social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.), blogs, press articles or sites with a potentially limited life span.

At the international level, the BnF works alongside its peers and private actors as a founding member of the International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC). This consortium aims to promote web archiving through several working groups and through the organization of events. Within this consortium, the BnF is co-piloting with the National Library of the Netherlands a collaborative archive provisionally entitled “War in Ukraine”. Intended to bring together all selections of the various member institutions and organizations, it focuses primarily on national selections, including content that may have been collected as part of the French collection.