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Faculty facts and data 2011/2012

Libraries and archives

p. 108-109

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1The Collège de France has an archive service and sixteen libraries across three sites.

2Head Librarian and Director of the General Library:

3Anne Chatellier. E-mail:

4Library catalogue:

5Digital Library and online catalogue of the archives:

6The libraries SUDOC (ABES University Documentation System)

General Library

7The General Library has collections related to the Collège de France ‘s past and present teaching and research activity. It groups together documents concerning the present Chairs, the history of the institution, and the 800 professors who have successively held Collège de France Chairs since the institution was founded in 1530. It also contains reserve collections bequeathed by professors, such as the Marcel Bataillon and the Georges Dumézil libraries, as well as archives which can be consulted in the same buildings.


Egyptology Library

9This library boasts a specialized collection of books on Pharaonic Egypt and Christian Egypt, hieroglyphic, hieratic, demotic and Coptic philology, linguistics and palaeography, the epigraphy, history and archæology of Egypt and Nubia, and, lastly, the portrayal of Pharaonic Egypt from the end of paganism­ to the present day. In addition, it holds the collections of scholarly archives of professors of the Collège de France and of French and foreign Egyptologists, including collections of photographic archives as well as a collection of videos.


Institute of the Ancient Near East

11• Library of Assyriology. This library, founded in 1936 by Charles Fossey, contains a collection specializing in the history of the ancient Near East and specifically in cuneiform, Sumerian and Assyro-Babylonian documentation. It also boasts a large collection concerning Anatolia and Hittite and Hurrite studies. Archaeology of the Near East is also well represented.


13• Library of West Semitic Studies. The library of the Institute of Semitic Studies holds a collection specializing in Semito-Hamitic (Afro-Asiatic) linguistics, western and southern Semitic epigraphy, and the history and archaeology of the Near East, North Africa and Ethiopia. A large part of the collection concerns the study of the Old Testament and the Qumran manuscripts. The Institute of Semitic studies also houses the collections bequeathed by André Dupont-Sommer, Jean Starcky and Marcel Cohen, as well as the scientific archives of Jean Starcky and Marcel Cohen.


15• Library of Oriental Christianity. This library consists of collec­tions of books, periodicals and off-prints concerning the study of New Testament literature and the history of Oriental Christianity. The main subjects covered are Judeo-Christianity, Gnosticism, Syrian-Egyptian monachism, and Manichaeism. E-mail:

Byzantine Library

16The Byzantine Library, founded jointly in Paris in 1929 by the American scholar Thomas Whittemore and the Boston Byzantine Institute, holds a specialized collection on Byzantine civilization in general and more specifically on early Christian and Byzantine archaeology and art, Byzantine history and lite­rature, the history of the Orthodox Church, and the liturgy, art and history of the countries influenced by Byzantine civilization (Slavic countries, Georgia, Armenia, the Near East), as well as on Coptic art and literature. In addition, specialized collections in Byzantine epigraphy, numismatics and sigillography are developed within the collection of the History and Civilization of Byzantium Research Centre.


Library of Arab, Turkish and Islamic Studies

18The library of Arab and Islamic Studies contains the collections of Louis Massignon, Jean Sauvaget, Henri Laoust, Régis Blachère, Jacques Berque, and Claude Cahen. The books it holds therefore concern all the disciplines of Arab-Islamic civilization, from the origins of Islam to the contemporary era. A large proportion of the library’s books is in Arabic.


Claude Lévi-Strauss Library (Social Anthropology Laboratory)

20The library was founded, along with the laboratory in 1960, by Claude Lévi-Strauss. Its collections cover all fields of anthro­pology as well as related fields (sociology, history, prehistory and archaeology, linguistics, psychology and psychoanalysis, folk traditions and oral literature). It has been enriched over the years by the collections of Robert Hertz, Georges Devereux, Michel de Certeau, Isac Chiva, Ariane Deluz and Jean Pouillon, bringing together books, numerous offprints and archives. The library houses a paper copy of the Human Relations Area Files, a system of research,analysis, classifica- tion and filing of ethnographic data. The library participates in the ethnology network.



Far East Libraries

23The collections of the Far East Libraries, which is the responsi­bility of a specific institute (see above Institutes pp. 92-93), consist of personal libraries bequeathed by professors of the Collège de France, and collections gathered by the oriental institutes of the Sorbonne before their transfer to the Collège de France in 1972, as well as donations, transfers (the collections of the former Centre of Chinese Studies in Peking, brought back to France after 1950), and major purchases since 1973. The Chinese catalogue contains the largest number of titles and includes rare books (shanben, with a published catalogue), the finest European collection of local monographs (difangzhi) and a rich collection of collectanea (congshu, with a published catalogue). The Japanese collection also comprises numerous collections on religion, literature and anthropology, as do the Korean and Tibetan collections. The Indian collection is devoted primarily to literature in Sanskrit and Indo-Aryan languages, history and archaeology. In addition, the Institute of Indian Studies has computerized map and photograph collections covering the whole subcontinent.

24E-mail Institute of Advanced Chinese Studies:

25E-mail Institute of Advanced Japanese Studies:,

26E-mail Institute of Korean Studies:

27E-mail Institute of Tibetan Studies:

28E-mail Institute of Indian Studies:,

Library of the Asian Society

30A private institution, the library of the Asian Society is not part of the Far East Institutes. It covers all fields dealing with Asia, it is devoted more to history and philology than to contemporary issues. It thus holds a fine collection of periodicals in Western and Asian languages (more than 1,800 titles). In addition, it has benefited from the bequests of entire libraries of consi­derable importance, primarily in the fields of Chinese studies (E. Chavannes, H. Maspéro, P. Demiéville), Tibetan studies (J. Bacot) and Indian and Southeast Asian studies.



32The Archives are run by the Collège de France’s Libraries and Archives Department. They consist in reports of professors’ meetings since 1656, course posters since the eighteenth century, audiovisual and iconographic documents, and professors’ manuscripts, personal papers and scholarly documents. Access to documents is governed by the French Heritage Code.


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« Libraries and archives », La lettre du Collège de France [En ligne], 7 | 2015, mis en ligne le 04 novembre 2015, consulté le 27 mars 2019. URL :

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