Libraries in Paris – Parsons Paris


Parsons Paris faculty and students have access to the full resources available via The New School’s library and its partners. For additional details, and a video introduction, visit the Parsons Paris Library Resources page. For additional resources, see the available Libraries in Paris, as listed below.

The Library of les Arts Décoratifs
Founded in 1864 by the Union Centrale des Beaux-arts Aplliqués à l’Industrie, known as Les Arts Décoratifs today, the Library has become a reference and research for students, historians and art critics, as well as for architects, designers, graphic artists, fashion and set designers, art experts and auctioneers.

The library has grown steadily over the years, and count 170,000 printed volumes. It has an outstanding collection of works in the decorative arts, graphic arts, architecture, design, fashion, the history of art and the art of gardening. The library maintains a collection of 2,700 periodicals, 200 of which are regularly updated.

Address: 111, rue de Rivoli 75001
Opening hours: Monday 1pm-7pm; Tuesday 10am-7pm; Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, 10am-6pm; Closed on Saturday, Sunday and Monday morning

The Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art
The INHA is the heir of various institutions which task was to contribute to the development of documentation and research in history of art as cultural institutions and universities evolve in France. The INHA combines its documentary and library activities with running several scientific programmes.

Pending its move into its final home, Labrouste Hall, the INHA Library is sharing its public space with the Richelieu Reference Hall, called the Oval Room, intended for readers attending the specialised departments of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

Address: 5, rue Vivienne 75002
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm; Saturday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Terra Foundation for American Art Europe Library
Since fall 2009, the Terra Foundation library is open to the public. It is the only research library in Europe devoted exclusively to American art and counts numerous rare books in its collection. While not comprehensive, the collection includes approximately 5,000 books and catalogues covering the history of American art from the eighteenth century to 1980 with a specialization on art of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Catalogued using the Library of Congress system, the entire collection is available online. In the near future, databases, as well as periodicals in electronic format, will also be available to library-users.

The library includes books on fine arts, decorative arts, and photography as well as monographs on artists born or active in the United States. The collection is particularly rich in resources on painting, including several important groups of monographs, and exhibition and collection catalogues produced in Europe and in the United States. Books on history, philosophy, literature, and visual culture of the United States allow scholars to study American art in a larger cultural and historic context.

The collection is available for in-house consultation with a reading room of a capacity of 12 seats. The library is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays by appointment only, to university students, professors, museum professionals, and independent scholars.

Address: 29, rue des Pyramides 75001
Opening hours: Tuesday 9:30am-5:30pm; by appointment (+33 1 43 20 82 65) on other weekdays

Bibliothèque Publique d’Information, Centre Pompidou
The Bpi, located inside the Pompidou Centre, makes available to its users a rich and varied array of materials and services, free of charge. The books and other materials are available only for consultation on the spot; nothing is loaned out.

The Library contains a range of encyclopaedic collections of materials that include up-to-date documents in every possible format: printed materials, sound and visual documents, digital materials.

Address: Centre Pompidou (Back entrance, on rue Beaubourg, or Main entrance of the Centre Pompidou and then follow the signs)
Opening Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 12pm-10pm, Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: 11am-10pm, Closed on Tuesday; Best times to visit the library indicated here.

Bibliothèque Kandinsky, Centre Pompidou
The Bibliothèque Kandinsky, or Documentation and Research Centre of the Musée National d’Art Moderne-Centre Pompidou specialises in fine and decorative arts, design, architecture, photography, experimental cinema, videos, and new medias.

Address: Centre Pompidou (Main entrance, 3rd Level)
Opening Hours: Printed material: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday from 11am to 5.30pm; Archival material: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday from 1pm to 5.30pm; The library is closed on Tuesday, Saturday, Sunday, and on bank holidays
Conditions: It is necessary to set up an appointment through to have access to the following ensembles:  archives, photography, film, sound and other media, rare books. Seniors and MA students (with a letter of recommendation from your instructor)

The library of the Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine
The library of the Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine makes available to all the publics interested in the discipline a unique collection on 20th and 21st-century architecture, construction, interior architecture, design, urban planning, social sciences applied to the city, landscaping and gardens. Drawing its collection from international publishing, the library’s rich collection has 39,000 books, 500 periodical titles and 2,000 documentary films and electronic documents.

The library is open to anyone interested in the discipline and consulting the collections. Free admission upon presentation of a student card (mandatory for students), a professional card or an ID card based on the number of seats available (100 places of work).

The catalogue can be consulted through the section ”Library resources” on the documentary portal.

Address: Palais de Chaillot 1 place du Trocadéro 75116
Opening hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 11am-7pm;Thursday, 11am-9pm; Saturday, Sunday, 1pm-7pm; Closed on Tuesday

Library of the Institut Français de la Mode
The IFM library is a reference library in the fashion-design-creative industries sectors and its resources are unmatched in Europe. It includes books, periodicals, fashion and related sectors-based databases, from design to retail of brands and products. The catalogue can be consulted here.

Address: 36, Quai d’Austerlitz 75013
Opening hours: Monday through Friday, 2pm-7pm
Conditions: Appointments must be made by telephone: +33 (0); Relevant ID is required (student ID); Daily fee: 5 €, Yearly subscription: 20 €

Library of the Musée Galliera
The library comprises some 15,000 printed items. Related to the Palais Galliera collection, they focus on the history of costume and fashion and include exhibition catalogues from France and abroad, monographs in different languages, pattern books, sales and advertising catalogues from department stores (Louvre, Galeries Lafayette, Printemps, Bon Marché, etc.), proceedings of colloquia and university theses.

The collections also includes patterns (from 1852), numerous press files and press kits (from the 1970s to the present), contemporary fashion archives (public relations material from the 1970s to the present), invitations and look books.

The library of the Musée Galliera accommodates 6 people and receives researchers on an appointment basis. The reading room is equipped with computer facilities.

Address: 10, avenue Pierre-1er-de-Serbie 75016
Opening hours and conditions: By appointment only. Appointments by email or telephone: +33 (0); On-site consultation only – no loans. Consultation is limited to 5 books per work session. Use of the library is restricted to curators, art historians, academics, students, lecturers and archivists.

The Bibliothèque Forney
Located in the medieval Hotel de Sens, the Bibliothèque Forney was first inaugurated in 1886 to provide craftmen of Paris  with books and models for their work. Today, its collections gather books, exhibition catalogues, periodicals, posters, wallpapers, fabrics, etc… The main areas of focus are the decorative arts, fine arts, graphic design, fashion and design. The library catalogue can be accessed here. The user guide to visitors of the Bibliothèque Forney can be found here.

Address: 1, rue du Figuier, 75004
Opening hours: Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, 1pm-7:30pm; Wednesday, Thursday, 10am-7:30pm, Closed on Sunday and Monday

The Bibliothèque nationale de France collects, preserves and makes known the national documentary heritage. The BnF’s collections are unique in the world: 14 million books and printed documents, manuscripts, prints, photographs, maps and plans, scores, coins, medals, sound documents, video and multimedia documents, scenery elements… All disciplines, whether intellectual, artistic or scientific, are represented in a comprehensive way. About 150 000 documents are added to the collections each year thanks to legal deposit, acquisitions and donations.

Today, the BnF’s digital library, Gallica, provides access to over one million and a half documents.

Numerous cultural events highlight and make known the library’s outstanding collections: exhibitions, lectures, symposiums, concerts and meetings are planned all the year long. They are run by librarians and personalities from the cultural world.

General reference Library
Conditions: 1-day pass, 3,50€; 1-year pass, 20€ (for students, with valid ID card)

Address: Bibliothèque Haut-de-jardin Quai François-Mauriac 75706 Paris Cedex 13
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 10am-8pm; Sunday, 1pm-7pm; Closed on Monday

Research libraries of the BnF
Conditions: For students at Master level at least (with valid ID card) with a specific admission process

François-Mitterrand site
Address: Bibliothèque de recherche, Rez-de Jardin Quai François-Mauriac 75706 Paris Cedex 13
Opening hours: Monday 2pm-8pm; Tuesday to Saturday 9am-8pm; Sunday 1pm-7pm

Richelieu Library – Oval reading room
Address: 5, rue Vivienne 75002
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 10am-6pm; Saturday 10am-5pm; Closed on Sunday

Opéra Library
Address: Place de l’Opéra 75009
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10am-5pm

The American Library in Paris
Library members have access to more than 120,000 books, 500 periodicals (some of which date back to the mid-19th century), movies on DVD, and other audio-visual materials, plus reference and research resources in paper and electronic form.

The Library hosts regular literary and public-affairs programs and book groups.

Address: 10, rue du Général Camou 75007
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10am – 7pm; Sunday 1pm-7pm
Membership: When joining the Library please bring a valid photo ID (passport or identity card), a bill with current address (EDF, telephone), payment in cash, check, or credit card; For short-term memberships—a 60€ refundable cash deposit (required only if you want borrowing privileges); For student memberships—bring your current student card

Gaité Lyrique [pictured above]
The Centre de Ressources at the Gaité Lyrique has over 2,000 works related to digital and multimedia culture, with many titles in English. Their collection also includes comics, mangas, street art, and research on video games and new technology.

Address: 3 bis rue Papin 75003
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday 2pm-8pm, and Sunday 2pm-6pm
Access: Free

Most museums have a library or media space. Try also:
Quai Branly Mediatheque (anthropological studies)
Maison Européen de la Photographie Bibliothèque (photography research)