The Versailles Municipal Library, listed for the historical importance of its collections, extends over nine sites: the Central Library, which holds most of the historical collection, the Heure Joyeuse Library, founded in 1935 and dedicated to children’s literature, the Digital Atelier, the library of the Open University of Versailles (UOV), and five neighbourhood libraries: Porchefontaine, Prés-aux-Bois, Petits-Bois, Saint-Louis and Vauban.
The Central Library is located in the former Foreign and Maritime Affairs building, built in 1761-1762 at the instigation of Choiseul and to the designs of Jean-Baptiste Berthier. The Gallery of Foreign Affairs, the building’s ceremonial area, listed as a historic monument in 1929, was a centre of French diplomacy until the Revolution. It was here that the 1783 Treaties of Versailles were negotiated, granting independence to the United States of America. Today it houses 55,000 antiquarian books and offers visitors the chance to explore a series of five rooms with admirably preserved interiors and artworks, including a portrait of Louis XV by Louis-Michel Loo, overdoors by Louis-Nicolas Van Blarenberghe and his workshop, and a group of paintings by Jean-Jacques Bachelier. In addition to its public collections, the library has considerable holdings of historical and local importance: from cuneiform tablets to 21 st -century artists' books, these include around 2,700 manuscripts, 120,000 printed books, 8,000 prints, as well as important collections of coins and medals, photographs, drawings, paintings, sculptures and objects, either from revolutionary confiscations or acquired later through donations, bequests or acquisitions.
Among the library's remarkable holdings are the manuscripts of Madame de Maintenon, part of Marie-Antoinette's and Madame du Barry’s libraries, the Goujet collection of rare 16 th -century poetry and literature, incunabula, livres de fêtes, manuscript and printed music, and numerous books of royal or princely provenance.
Activities are offered on a regular basis across the library network to promote public engagement and showcase the historical collections, accessible online since 2021 thanks to the digital heritage library "La Sirène".
Paris Rare Book & Graphic Arts Fair - Salon du Livre Rare 2022
As in 2021, this key rendez-vous for collectors, the rare book trade or anyone interested in the world of rare books, will take place in the Grand Palais Ephémère, a temporary structure which houses the most emblematic Parisian cultural events while the Grand Palais itself is closed for renovations.
Perfectly situated between the Ecole Militaire and the Eiffel Tower, the building fits elegantly into the prestigious Champ-de-Mars site and is easily accessed by public transport.
The Fair will refocus on the world of books, autographs and graphic documents: booksellers as well as drawing and print galleries will be happy to share with a large public the timeless appeal of our written, printed and illustrated patrimony.
A unique event in the world of books and works on paper.
More information can be found on the website: https://salondulivrerare.paris/ or by contacting fair organiser Anne-Marie Coulon at contact[at]slamlivrerare.org