At the Maison internationale’s central library, 50,000 printed books covering all fields of study and a selection of press titles are at your disposal (for on-site consultation only). You can also take advantage of a wide range of online resources (books, journals, articles, data, etc.). Through its French-language collections and its language area, the library is also a gateway to French culture and language. With seating for 200, it offers a range of complementary services (training, interlibrary loans, printing, binding, computer workstations, etc.). Since 2021, it has also had 3 group rooms and a completely renovated language area. With its mainly French-speaking collections and language area, the central library is also designed as a gateway to French culture and language.
Designed by Jean-Frédéric Larson, a specialist in university architecture and the author of numerous buildings including the Baker Memorial Library at Darmouth College in 1928, the central library borrows directly from the classical style, giving it an atmosphere of another time. The library was inaugurated by French President Albert Lebrun on November 14, 1936. With a storage capacity of 50,000 volumes, it offered 150 reading places.
Imitating wood, the library’s fireplaces are adorned with two large paintings by Georges Degorce. The first depicts the French Pasteur and the English Lister, recalling the friendship between peoples. The second depicts Robert de Sorbon, evoking the Cité Internationale’s links with the University of Paris. Contemporary with the construction of the Maison Internationale, these two allegorical canvases take the form of a semicircular arcade and blend perfectly with the classicist décor. They are surmounted by a clock in the shape of an ex-libris, ticking away the hours.
In 2021, work has enabled us to reorganize the spaces and welcome our visitors in a modernized but still studious and pleasant setting. The mezzanine has become a new reading area with 30 places and two rooms dedicated to group work. On the first floor, a work area accessible to people with reduced mobility and a study room have also been created. The languages area has been relocated and enlarged. It now combines self-study and conversation group activities, with the creation of a dedicated room. A patio has been added to brighten up the space.
André Honnorat entrusts Louis Barrau-Dihigo and Camille Bloch with the task of defining the future direction of the library.
Honnorat travels to the United States to study the International Houses and Student Unions of American universities, from which he wants to draw inspiration to create a “common home for spiritual life”, which will become the International House and include a library among its general services.
First work listed in the inventory register (Henri Fouqueray, Histoire de la Compagnie de Jésus. Paris: Picard, 1910) from Stephen d’Irsay’s library, whose 134 volumes acquired at the “global and fixed price of 12,700 francs, including works on the history of universities” constitute the embryo of the documentary collection.
Inauguration by Albert Lebrun, President of the French Republic.
The library is a rare mixed-use facility in the Cité internationale, opening its doors to residents.
In “Les Nouvelles Littéraires”, Georges Duhamel appealed to the generosity of the scientific community to enrich this “magnificent hope of a library”. French and foreign publishers and writers responded en masse, and over 10,000 books and magazines were added to the collection.
Opening the library to non-resident students.
Internet access for the public.
Membership of RENATER (Réseau national de télécommunication pour la technologie, l’enseignement et la recherche).
Creation of the OPAC (local catalog of collections) and the sitothèque.
Cataloguing and reporting documents in the SUDOC (catalog collectif des documents des bibliothèques de l’enseignement supérieur).
Renovation of the reading room. Installation of Wifi. Opening of the library on Sundays.
First prize in the Agence bibliographique de l’enseignement supérieur competition for the project “Utilisation d’IDREF pour l’enrichissement de notices bibliographiques : le cas de Classiques Garnier numérique“.
Computerization of the libraries of the houses of Argentina, Italy, Morocco, Portugal and the Swiss Foundation using PMB open-source software.
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