Societe Historique et Litteraire Polonaise - Bibliotheque Polonaise de Paris

The Polish Library was founded back in the 1830s and still running today, it is also home to three different museums and houses archives from the 19th century emigration through to letters, works of art, literature and much more, which provides a unique collection for historians and researchers.

About the Societe Historique et Litteraire Polonaise

Paris became home to many Polish emigrants at the start of the 1830s, and in 1832 a society was set up in order to preserve documentation and literature relating to Polish history and civilisation.
Bibliotheque Polonaise de Paris facade
By 1838, the Society for history and literature then turned its focus to setting up a library with the help of famous Poles including Adam Mickiewicz and Prince Adam Czartoryski, who was a statesman in Paris.

Called the Societe Historique et Litteraire Polonaise - Bibliotheque Polonaise de Paris, it was set up on the Ile Saint Louis island and was the first public library in Paris that was not French.  It has remained on this island in the River Seine until this day, although it moved buildings to its current location in 1858.

Because of its rich collection of documents, letters, maps, literary works, manuscripts, etc, it has become a very important centre for Polish history and culture, with numerous sculptures and paintings also held by the library.

Yet there are also three different small museums in Paris, which are located within the Bibliotheque Polonaise, including that of the great pianist Frederick Chopin, not forgetting an impressive collection detailing the life of Adam Mickiewicz created by his son, and the third relates to the Polish artist Boleslaw Biegas.

So this means that although the venue has become a popular tourist attraction, the Bibliotheque Polonaise is also very highly respected by historians and researchers who visit the Polish Library from all over the world.

Visiting the Polish Library, the Bibliotheque Polonaise de Paris

The Polish Library itself is open to the public on a Wednesday through to a Saturday from 2:15pm to 6pm, yet there are exceptional closures throughout the year such as from the end of July through to the end of August and on national holidays like 14th July, so do bear these points in mind.

The Reading Room of the Polish Library is open on a Wednesday to Saturday from 2:15pm through to 6pm, and the Hall of Researchers Room is open from 9:15am through to 1pm, then from 2:15pm until 6pm on a Tuesday to Friday.

Now as we have previously mentioned, there are also three small museums in Paris located here called the Musee Adam Mickiewicz, the Salon Chopin and the Musee Boleslaw Biegas, which are open on a Tuesday to Saturday from 2:15pm through to 6pm for an entrance fee.
Bibliotheque Polonaise de Paris library
Bibliotheque Polonaise de Paris music room

Access to Societe Historique et Litteraire Polonaise

Located in the 4th Arrondissement on the island in the River Seine called the Ile Saint Louis, unfortunately there are not any true public transport options available on the island, and therefore the nearest Metro station is the Pont Marie stop serving line 7, which is situated on the right bank.

However, other Metro stations in the area are called the Sully-Morland stop also serving line 7, the Saint-Paul stop serving line 1, the Cite stop located on the Ile de la Cite island serving line 4, plus the Maubert - Mutualite stop on the left bank serving line 10.

If you are travelling in or out of Paris via train, then you will find that the nearest RER train station is called the Saint-Michel - Notre Dame stop serving the RER lines B and C, plus there is a Batobus dock for the water bus that travels up and down the River Seine, located on the left bank opposite Notre Dame Cathedral.

Alternatively, if you are travelling by bus, then the bus lines 67, 86 and 87 will get you closest to the Societe Historique et Litteraire Polonaise with its library and museums, although the bus lines 24, 47, 63 and 89 along with the Noctilien Night Bus Service via lines N15 and N22 will also get you within walking distance of these and numerous other tourist attractions in Paris.