La Bibliothèque nationale de France (BNF)

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    La Bibliothèque nationale de France (BNF)

    Ainsi dénommée depuis 1994, est la bibliothèque nationale de la République française, héritière des collections royales constituées depuis la fin du Moyen Âge. Première institution chargée de la collecte du dépôt légal, à partir de 1537, elle est la plus importante bibliothèque de France et l’une des plus importantes au monde. Elle a le statut d’établissement public. Ses activités sont réparties sur sept sites, dont le principal est la bibliothèque du site François-Mitterrand ou Tolbiac, située dans le 13e arrondissement de Paris, sur la rive gauche de la Seine. Le site historique, datant du xviie siècle, se trouve dans le 2e arrondissement de Paris. On a coutume de le nommer « quadrilatère Richelieu ».

    La bibliothèque nationale de France comporte quatorze départements et plusieurs collections principalement conservées sur ses quatre sites parisiens, dont le Cabinet des Médailles. Hors de Paris, elle comprend la maison Jean-Vilar à Avignon et deux centres techniques de conservation à Bussy-Saint-Georges et Sablé-sur-Sarthe. Elle est également de plus en plus connue pour sa bibliothèque numérique, Gallica, qui propose la reproduction de plus d'un million de documents sous format texte, image ou sonore. Ses collections s'élèvent à un nombre total de 14 millions de livres et d’imprimés (10 millions à Tolbiac), dont près de 12 000 incunables, et s'accroissent d'environ 150 000 volumes par an par acquisition et par le dépôt légal. Outre des livres imprimés, ses collections comprennent plusieurs millions de périodiques, manuscrits, dont environ 250 000 manuscrits dont 20 000 manuscrits enluminés médiévaux (ce qui en fait la plus grande bibliothèque au monde dans ce domaine), cartes, estampes, photographies, partitions, monnaies, médailles, documents sonores, vidéo, multimédia, numériques ou informatiques, objets et objets d’art, décors, costumes… La majorité des références est consultable en ligne sur le catalogue général de la BnF et ses catalogues spécialisés. Le site François-Mitterrand accueille également l'Inathèque de France chargée du dépôt légal de la radio-télévision qui comporte un fonds de cinéma.

    La BNF a une mission de collecte d’archivage et d’entretien (conservation, restauration), mais aussi des activités de recherche et de diffusion de la connaissance, grâce notamment à l’organisation régulière d’expositions à destination du grand public, dans ses locaux comme sur son site Internet.
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    The National Library of France traces its origin to the royal library founded at the Louvre by Charles V in 1368. It expanded under Louis XIV and opened to the public in 1692. The library's collections swelled to over 300,000 volumes during the radical phase of the French Revolution when the private libraries of aristocrats and clergy were seized. After the establishment of the French First Republic in September 1792, "the Assembly declared the Bibliotheque du Roi to be national property and the institution was renamed the Bibliothèque Nationale. After four centuries of control by the Crown, this great library now became the property of the French people."

    Following a series of regime changes in France, it became the Imperial National Library and in 1868 was moved to newly constructed buildings on the Rue de Richelieu designed by Henri Labrouste. Upon Labrouste's death in 1875 the library was further expanded, including the grand staircase and the Oval Room, by academic architect Jean-Louis Pascal. By 1896, the library had become the largest repository of books in the world, although it has since been surpassed by other libraries for that title.

    On 14 July 1988, President François Mitterrand announced the construction and the expansion of one of the largest and most modern libraries in the world, intended to cover all fields of knowledge, and designed to be accessible to all, using the most modern data transfer technologies, which could be consulted from a distance, and which would collaborate with other European libraries. Surprisingly, the library does not maintain a wireless network.

    In July 1989, the services of the architectural firm of Dominique Perrault were retained. The construction was carried out by Bouygues. Construction of the library ran into huge cost overruns and technical difficulties related to its high-rise design, so much so that it is commonly referred to as the "TGB" or "Très Grande Bibliothèque" (i.e. "Very Large Library," a sarcastic allusion to France's successful high-speed rail system, the TGV). After the move of the major collections from the rue de Richelieu, the National Library of France was inaugurated on 15 December 1996. It contains more than ten million volumes.

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