The National Library of France (Bibliothèque nationale de France) is a library located on the Rue de Richelieu in Paris, near the metro station Bibliothèque François Mitterrand.
The origins of the library go back to the Middle Ages when the books in private collection of kings started to grow in number. In 1368, Charles V was the first king to establish an official library called Bibliothèque Royale in the tower of Louvre. After issuing an edict in 1537 by Francis I requiring any book printed in France to be handed over to the Royal Library, the collections of the library started to expand rapidly. During the French Revolution, the library was converted into the Bibliothèque de la Nation. At that time its collections were further expanded with the books belonging to the Roman Catholic Church and the aristocracy. In the 19th century the library was modernized and the cataloguing of its printed materials started. Also, the reading room, which bears the name of its architect Henri Labrouste, was added to the building. Finally, in 1994 the Bibliothèque Nationale was merged with the newly opened Bibliothèque de France and thus the Bibliothèque nationale de France was established.
The four futuristic buildings of the library are the works of the architect Dominique Perrault. They are four 24-story buildings: François-Mitterrand, Richelieu-Louvois, L’Arsenal, The Bibliothèque – Musée de l’Opéra, each of which is in the shape of an open book. The National Library of France is one of the largest libraries in the world, with the capacity to accommodate up to 1,600 readers. It also provides extra 2,000 seats in the private reading rooms intended for the researchers only. The library holds over 14 million books, periodicals, and manuscripts, including an impressive collection of Greek manuscripts. It also has its digital library for on-line users with thousands of scanned volumes, audio documents, and images.
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|Neighbourhood||La Gare (13th Arrondissement - Gobelins)|
|Geographical coordinates||48.8337430, 2.3759460|
|Address||75013 Paris, Av. de France|
|Construction dates||1989 - 1995|
|More information||official website|