Paris Library, Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Bibliotheque Sainte-Genevieve and Bibliotheque Forney.
The National Library of France (Bibliothèque nationale de France in French) is the most prestigeous library in France. In 1368, Charles V founded a library at the Louvre with a large collection of manuscripts. But Louis XI is the veritable founder. The National Library of France was the first library to establish the legal deposit. Main addresses: the Site Richelieu, 5 rue Vivienne 2nd arrondissement and the Site François-Mitterrand, 11 Quai Francois Mauriac 13th arrondissement of Paris.
The Site Richelieu is also called the quadrilatère Richelieu. It's the historic site. You will be impressed by the oval reading room, the Salle Ovale. There is also in the building Richelieu, the oldest museum of France, the Cabinet des Médailles, that contains a rich collection of coins and antiquities from the French Kings. A must-see at the museum: the largest ancient cameo, the Great Cameo of France. Tip: the museum is free every afternoon between 1 to 5pm.
The Francois-Mitterand or Tolbiac library is situated at the metro station, Bibliotheque Francois Mitterand. This modern construction displays four towers (Tour des Temps, Tour des Lois, Tour des Lettres, Tour des Nombres), two main levels (Rez-de-Jardin, Haut-de-jardin) and a garden in the middle. The complex is huge, around 380 km of shelves and 10 000 000 of books.
The Sainte-Geneviève Library (Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève) is located place du Pantheon (10), near the Pantheon monument and the Sorbonne University, in the 5th arrondissement of Paris. The building is classified as an historic monument of Paris. Visit inside the library. It's worth a look! The main level has a marble floor and magnificent paintings on the walls, representing a garden. On the the first floor, the reading room Labrouste is grandiose with vaults. The library contains over 1 million of books.
This famous Paris library has been the place for well-known writers and other famous people. Ones of them are Jules Laforgue (poet), Jean Prevost (French writer), Pierre Larousse (publisher of the Great Universal Dictionary of the 19th Century) and Simone de Beauvoir (French writer).
The Forney Library or Bibliothèque Forney is located in the Marais quarter of Paris. The Hotel de Sens, a Paris splendid palace houses the library. The Forney Library focuses mostly on decorative art, fine arts and graphic arts.
Address: Hotel de Sens, 1 rue de Figuier 75004 Paris
The BHVP is another famous public Paris library in the Marais. You can find here some interesting information of the history of Paris. The Bibliothèque historique de la ville de Paris is located in the Hotel d'Angoulème Lamoignon. The collection of the library includes over 2 millions of books, various manuscripts, maps...
Address: 24 rue Pavee 75004 Paris. Metro: Saint-Paul