French Museum Content: The National Library of France


The mission of the BnF is to collect, catalog, conserve, enrich and communicate historical documentation and archival content from across France's history. The library ensures access to its collections to as many people as possible, both locally and remotely, and encourages national and international cooperation.

Cover of the book "Arsène Lupine" by Francis Boisset and Maurice Leblanc, 20th century / National Library, Paris, France / Photo © Photo Josse / Bridgeman Images


Thanks to the essential contribution of the prestigious Giraudon agency and great art photographers like Josse, Bridgeman's catalog is rich in content from French collections of institutions such as the Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville de Paris , the Bibliothèque de l'Opéra Garnier , the Paul-Marmottan Library , the Arsenal Library and the Mazarine Library.

Fol 35b The paradise of Mahomet, miniature from "The story of Mahomet", 1030 (gouache and gold on parchment), Persian school, (11th century) / National Library, Paris, France / © Archives Charmet / Bridgeman Images

Bridgeman is home not only to unique archives but also offers a high standard of service. All of our photos are painstakingly catalogued for large format scans in the highest quality. These images are accompanied by all the necessary authorisations and guarantees for all types of use, including editorial. 


Manuscripts kept at the National Library of France

f.135r Miniature of Pilate washing his hands of the fate of Jesus, from the 'Book of Hours of Marguerite d'Orléans', 1426-59 (vellum), French School, (15th century) / Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, France / Bridgeman Images


Scene of monastic life. Detail depicting monks of the Order of Carmen. Miniature from the "Book of hours according to the usage of Paris" illuminated by the workshop of the Master of Bedford. 1450 / National Library, Paris, France / Photo © Photo Josse / Bridgeman Images


Cover and first page

One of the most beautiful bindings in the Bibliothèque nationale de France (Paris): a binding in brown calfskin decorated with interlacing which covers a volume of the Hours of the Virgin printed in Paris in 1549. It is a remarkable example of these rich decorated bindings. by the application of colored pastels, very fashionable in the 16th century / Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, France / Foto © Gusman / Bridgeman Images

Consult all the images of the BnF available on Bridgeman Images.


The architecture of the new BnF

The institution, founded in 1368, is made up of two sites - one of which bears the name of the President of the Republic at the origin of the project, François Mitterrand. It was named after the construction of the new building, directed by Dominique Perrault, where the library was transferred in the 1990s.

View of the new François Mitterrand library in Paris by Dominique Perrault (b.1953) / Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, France / Photo © Leonard de Selva / Bridgeman Images

Want to see more images? Visit our website and explore the collection.


Discover other French museums available at Bridgeman Images


Need help ?

Can not find what you are looking for ? Contact us . We would be happy to help you with your iconographic research, at no obligation or additional cost.

Finally, if you want to register or connect to our site, you will be able to download images and videos faster.

Back to Blog

Related Articles

French museums: the Musée Carnavalet in Paris

A highlight in the Bridgeman archive are the numerous French museum collections, including many...

French Museums - The Condé Museum

The collections of French museums: the Condé museum at the Domaine de Chantilly

Greatest French Museums - the Louvre Collection

Bridgeman Images owns and distributes a large number of French museum collections, mainly from the...

Back to top