In fact, today this library contains a collection of over a million different documents that relate to the history of the city of Paris and the Ile de France region and includes old photo, old maps and manuscripts.
There are a vast amount of old books and documents, many of which were from the original personal collection of Jules Cousin, who founded this library after the previous library at the Hotel de Ville was destroyed during the Paris Commune. Plus, having the library first installed at the Hotel Carnavalet, which now holds the Musee Carnavalet, he collected many more books, drawings, postcards, printed manuscripts, plans and photographs to continually enrich the original collection.
The collections of monographs and journals are varied and address virtually any issue that you could think of arising in the capital city of France such as artistic, social, economic and numerous events that have taken place over the years.
You will be able to discover archives from Parisian families, correspondence from famous individuals, archaeological surveys, and much more for a fascinating look back in time.
And with some of the valuable pieces that include literary leaves from the 18th century and part of the correspondence from Voltaire, who was a writer and philosopher that is buried in honour within the Pantheon, along with a large collection from the French Revolution, the library of George Sand and 5,000 volumes from the library of Guillaume Apollinaire.
The Bibliotheqye Historique de la Ville de Paris also houses the Library Association of the Theatre Authority, where it retains operatic and drama parts of data and collections that date back to the 19th century including posters, lyrics, etc.
You will also be able to discover Paris stories, old dictionaries, guides, biographies, factums of royal acts, around 15,000 mazarinades, or libels, that have been published and much more, yet many of these books and documents are so fragile, that these are not openly accessible to the public.
This is why we say that the library is also like a museum in Paris, as they hold temporary exhibitions and there have been over sixty different exhibitions so far, plus the collection is continually growing both with purchases and donations, alongside more modern works as well.
Access to the Bibliotheque Historique de la Ville de Paris Library
This Library on the history of Paris is located in the Marais area in the 4th Arrondissement and is open from 10am through to 6pm on a Monday to Saturday, however, it is closed on a Sunday and on all national French holidays.
It is completely free to enter the library for on the spot consultation of many documents, but we would like to point out that you do have to provide an identity document with a photograph in order to obtain access, and for certain types of files you also have to give the reason behind your search.
Situated within the Hotel Lamoignon that has been classified as one of the historical monuments in Paris, the nearest Metro station is the Saint Paul stop on line 1 and this is an unusual, yet fascinating place to discover, especially for those of you who are interested in the history of Paris, yet do not forget about the Musee Carnavalet, which is the museum in Paris that also depicts the history of the city through many different artefacts.
Yet there are also many other tourist attractions in Paris that are within walking distance such as the Pompidou Centre, the Maison Victor Hugo, who is famous for the Hunchback of Notre Dame, and the Tour Saint Jacques Tower to name a few places you could visit while on holiday in Paris.
More information on Hotel de Lamoignon
- Hotel de Lamoignon
- Bibliotheque Historique de la Ville de Paris Library
- History of the Bibliotheque Historique de la Ville de Paris
Address and Contact Details
Bibliotheque Historique de la Ville de Paris
24 Rue Pavee
Ile de France
Tel: +33 (0) 1 44 59 29 40
Fax: +33 (0) 1 42 74 03 16
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Bibliotheque Historique de la Ville de Paris or Library of the history of the city of Paris
Even though this is classed as a public library, it is more of a museum in Paris dedicated to the history of Paris, that was first started in 1872 by Jules Cousin after the Paris Commune and a fire destroyed the original library.
About the Bibliotheque Historique de la Ville de Paris Library
The Bibliotheque Historique de la Ville de Paris translates to the Library of the history of the city of Paris, yet is often just referred to as the BHVP, and is a public library that specialises in the history of Paris.
However, even the history of the Bibliotheque Historique de la Ville de Paris and also the Hotel Lamoignon where it is housed, are almost just as fascinating as the actual books and documents that you can discover.