Short description

The Bibliothèque historique de la ville de Paris (BHVP) is a public library specializing in the history of Paris and the Île-de-France region. Part of the network of municipal libraries of the city of Paris, it has been located since 1969 in the Hôtel d'Angoulême or Lamoignon, at 24 rue Pavée, in the 4th arrondissement.
Its collections deal with the history of Paris and the Île-de-France region in all its aspects: topographical and monumental history, urban, political, religious, social and cultural. It also holds important collections concerning theater and literature.
Its mission is to make available to anyone interested in these subjects the documentary resources that it preserves and enriches.
The hotel was built in 1584 for Diane de France, Duchess of Angouleme, legitimate daughter of Henri II, who left the letters D on the main façade overlooking the courtyard. The decoration composed of bows, arrows, quivers and dogs' heads evokes Diane's taste for hunting. The facade is of a rather rare composition: the Corinthian pilasters (with foliage) encompass the three floors. The hotel was rented and then bought in 1688 by Chrestien François de Lamoignon de Malesherbes who embellished the garden, which can be seen from the rue des Francs-Bourgeois. In 1718, he created the portal which bears the letters L M. In the decoration, two loves represent the virtues of the owner: one carries a mirror symbol of truth, the other a snake for prudence.
The Hôtel Lamoignon now houses the historical library of the city of Paris. The contemporary extension of 1966 hosts exhibitions.

Localisation
Open hours

Bibliothèque historique de la Ville de Paris - BHVP
Hôtel de Lamoignon
24 rue Pavée - 75004 Paris

Open every day from Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm

Ouverte tous les jours du lundi au samedi de 10 h à 18 h

Access

Bibliothèque historique de la Ville de Paris - BHVP
Hôtel de Lamoignon
24 rue Pavée - 75004 Paris

  • Metro - Saint-Paul, ligne 1
  • Bus : ligne 29, arrêt Payenne - lignes 69, 76, 96, arrêt Saint-Paul
  • Velib
    • Station 3013, 36 rue de Sévigné
    • Station 4010, 105
    • Station 3002, 26 rue saint gilles
  • Accessibilité aux personnes à mobilité réduite, accès par le jardin de l'Hôtel Lamoignon - Mark-Ashton au 25, rue des Francs-Bourgeois
Address

Bibliothèque historique de la Ville de Paris - BHVP
Hôtel de Lamoignon
24 rue Pavée - 75004 Paris
Tel. +33 (0) 1 44 59 29 40

Coordinates Latitude Longitude
Sexagesimal (°, ', ") 48° 52′ 26″ N 2° 17′ 42″ E
Degré décimal (GPS) 48.85702 2.36161
Full description

The current Historical Library of Paris, founded in 1871, is a public library specializing in the history of Paris and the Île-de-France region. It has been located since 1969 in the Hôtel d'Angoulême or Lamoignon, at 24 rue Pavée, in the 4th arrondissement.

Its collections deal with the history of Paris and the Ile de France in all its aspects: topographical and monumental history, urban, political, religious, social and cultural history. It also holds important collections concerning theater and literature. Its mission is to make available to anyone interested in these subjects, the documentary resources that it preserves and enriches.

The tormented history of the historical library of Paris

The first Historic Library of Paris was created by Antoine Moriau (1699-1759). He rented the Hôtel d'Angoulême-Lamoignon to house his collections, which he bequeathed to the City of Paris. The municipality then decided to open the city's first public library, which was inaugurated on April 13, 1763.

In March 1795, a decree placed the library "at the disposal of the National Institute of Sciences and Arts", and the collections were for the most part integrated into the library of the Institute.

In 1804, the library of the École Centrale was renamed Bibliothèque de la Ville de Paris. After several moves, it finally settled in 1835 in the Town Hall of the City of Paris. However, the library's collections were completely destroyed when the city hall was burned down during the Paris Commune on May 24, 1871.

A new city library was created thanks to the librarian Jules Cousin, who donated his personal collection of approximately 6,000 books and 10,000 prints to the city. In 1872, this library "public and specially dedicated to the history of Paris" was installed in the Hôtel Carnavalet, where a museum dedicated to the historical collections of the city of Paris was created.

In 1893, the library had 100,000 volumes. The collections of the museum and the library being very rich, a separation was made between the two establishments in 1898: the museum remained in Carnavalet and the library moved to a neighboring hotel, later known as the Hôtel Le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau, at 29 rue de Sévigné. The museum also had a print room collection separate from the library's collections.

The transfer of the library to the Hôtel de Lamoignon in 1968 and its opening in January 1969, after restoration and fitting out work, marked the renewal of the library.

Hôtel d'Angoulême or de Lamoignon

This is one of the oldest private mansions in the Marais, dating from 1559. It was bought in 1584 by Diane de France, legitimized by King Henri II with the title of Duchess of Angouleme. In 1619, the hotel was inherited by her nephew Charles de Valois, who was legitimized by King Charles IX, a comrade in arms of King Henri IV before conspiring, being imprisoned and then pardoned by the king.
The original plan of the hotel is attributed to the renowned architect Phlibert de l'Orme. The pediments show the attributes of Diane, goddess of the hunt: heads of dogs and deer, crescent moon, nymphs and trophies. Between 1624 and 1640, Charles de Valois (1573-1650), enlarged the wing along the rue des Francs-Bourgeois. The decorative Echauguette, at the corner of rue Pavée and rue des Francs-Bourgeois, is one of the rare corner turrets preserved in the district.

The historic library of Paris today

In 1928, the City of Paris bought the building, which was very dilapidated, and undertook its restoration. It was decided to install the Historic Library of Paris, which was cramped in the neighboring hotel shared with the Carnavalet Museum. During the work, painted beams from the early 17th century were discovered under the false ceilings. They are gathered in the reading room.

A modern wing (at the top of the stairs of the paved courtyard) is created and two levels are dug in the basement to accommodate the collections. The Historic Library of Paris opened to the public in 1969.

The collections of the historical library of Paris

The library's collections include more than 2 million documents of all kinds, concerning the history of Paris and the Île-de-France region, literature and theater.

They consist of printed books, newspapers and various ephemera, manuscripts, maps and plans, and iconographic documents (drawings, prints, posters, postcards and photographs).

  • Printed books. Approximately 300,000 volumes from the 15th century to the present.
  • Magazines and newspapers. Approximately 5,000 titles of magazines and newspapers from the 17th century to the present, including 260 current subscriptions
  • Maps and plans. Approximately 15,000 manuscript and printed maps of Paris and the Île-de-France region from the 16th century to the present.
  • Manuscripts. About 20,000 historical manuscripts from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. Also special collections: George Sand, Jules-Michelet, Jean Cocteau, Voltaire, Marie-Louise Bouglé, Charles-Félix Parent de Rosan.
  • Images
  • Drawings
  • Posters. About 80,000 posters from the 17th to the 20th century
  • Postcards Approximately 200,000 from the 19th century to the "20ᵉ century" concerning Paris and the Paris region.
  • Theatrical Collections. The core of the theatrical collections consists of the library of the Association de la Régie théâtrale (ART), entered in 1969. This collection mainly documents the life of private theaters in Paris in the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • Ephemeral documents. The library has a collection of ephemeral documents, formerly called Actualités, on Paris and its region
  • A reading room with 86 places allows the consultation of documents and access to computer stations.

Cultural activities of Historic Library of Paris

The library organizes occasional visits and regularly presents conferences on a particular specialty of its collections.

It also regularly exhibits documents in the windows of the library reception.

Funerary statues of Diana and Charles de Valois

The funerary statues of Diane d'Angoulême, executed by Thomas Boudin in 1623, and of Charles de Valois, due to Pierre Biard in 1661, are installed in a modern pavilion on the right at the top of the steps. Until the revolution, they adorned the funeral chapel of the Angouleme family in the church of the Minimes convent, now destroyed. This church was located north of the Place des Vosges.

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Open
Open hours today: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Monday

    10:00 am - 6:00 pm

  • Tuesday

    10:00 am - 6:00 pm

  • Wednesday

    10:00 am - 6:00 pm

  • Thursday

    10:00 am - 6:00 pm

  • Friday

    10:00 am - 6:00 pm

  • Saturday

    10:00 am - 6:00 pm

  • Sunday

    Closed

  • July 24, 2024 11:43 am local time

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