History of the Paris Library

 

History

Founded in Hanoi in 1903, the EFEO (French School of Asian Studies) library bears witness to the manner in which the organisation's centres of interest have evolved over time. During the Indochinese period (1900-1957), the School's mission was to collect all printed books and manuscripts relating to French Indochina and to acquire all important publications on East Asia. The library added to its collections by means of regular purchases, gifts and exchanges, but it also acted as a depositary for books it printed itself. In 1944, the EFEO's Hanoi library contained approximately 80,000 volumes (including manuscripts), half of which were in European languages. At the end of the colonial period, agreements concerning the way in which the EFEO's collections should be shared between France and the three new nations of the former Indochina stipulated that works in European languages should be kept by the School, while works in local languages should go to the new countries. The most important local language manuscripts were then microfilmed. Later, several thousand books, most of them on Southeast Asia, were sent to France to form the core of the School's Parisian library, opened in 1968 at the same time as the Instituts d'Extrême-Orient, which later became the Maison de l'Asie.

Today, the EFEO library contains approximately 100,000 monographs and over 1,700 periodicals (700 of them current). Its collections also include several thousand rubbings and photographs. The library has evolved to keep abreast of the development of new fields of research which now cover a large part of Asia. Historical collections covering Japan and China, and South Asia have been added to those on Southeast Asia. While policy concerning the accumulation and study of documents has remained faithful to the School's core disciplines (archaeology, epigraphy, ethnology, and religions), emerging fields have not been neglected, as is witnessed by joint research programmes run with institutions possessing similar collections (the Collège de France, the Bibliothèque des langues orientales). The exchange of publications with Asian, European, and American universities and research centres constitutes an important part of the acquisitions process.

EFEO libraries outside Paris

EFEO's Paris facility is at the heart of a network of libraries maintained in a number of the School's Asian centres. At present, the centres in Chiang Mai, Hanoi, Jakarta, Kyoto, Pondicherry, Siem Reap and Vientiane possess significant libraries created for and by researchers working on site. The holdings of these libraries feature in the University Documentation System (SUDOC) and the BULAC catalogue. The collections generally respect the specific research interests of the Centre. Buddhism is well represented in the collections at Chiang Mai and Kyoto. Pondicherry possesses major collections in the fields of Sanskrit and Tamil philology, and South Indian archaeology and epigraphy. Siem Reap plays a central role in the activities of the Angkor Conservation Office, while Hanoi has recently made substantial additions to its collections on ethnology and the peoples of the Indochinese peninsular. Jakarta focuses on the social and religious evolutions of the region. The EFEO's Vientiane Centre boasts the only research library in Laos.

 

EFEO News
Season's Greetings 2018

The Ecole française d'Extrême Orient (French School of Asian Studies) wishes you a Happy New Year

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New publication
14 December 2017
Arts Asiatiques 72 (2017)

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International Workshop on Chinese Local History and Local Society, 14th and 15th December
Paris, France,

Thursday, December 14 and Friday, December 15, Michela Bussotti (EFEO) and Joseph McDermott (University of Cambridge) organize an international workshop on the study of society and local history that finalize the project FOES (Families, Organizations and Economies: inside and beyond local history in China, XV-XX century - projet exploratoire PSL) thanks to the support of PSL, EFEO and CECMC (UMR CCJ).

Programme (PDF)

Maison de l'Asie, 1st floor Salon, 22 avenue du Président Wilson - 75116 Paris

Contact: Michela Bussotti
New publication
06 December 2017
Cahiers d'Extrême-Asie 25 (2016)

Daoist Lives, Community and Place

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Release of the photographic collection of Pierre Pichard

999 photographs by the architect Pierre Pichard, former member of the EFEO, are now on line on the photo library website. These pictures were taken between 1987 and 2004 during missions in Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Laos, Burma, Bhutan, Nepal, Cambodia, Thailand and South Korea.
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