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
In Memoriam
20 October 2021
It is with deep regret that we learn of the demise of the eminent sinologist and former director of the École française d'Extrême-Orient (EFEO), Léon Vandermeersch, who passed away on October 17, 2021 at the age of 93.

The entire staff of the EFEO will always remember him with the greatest respect and we express our deepest condolences to his family.
In Memoriam by Franciscus Verellen
New Publication

Mémoires de l'Inde
Textes et légendes Charlotte Schmid

READ MORE
Covid-19 Information: new procedures of the library
Paris, France, 11 October 2021
From Monday, September 13, access to the EFEO library changes:
  • The library will be open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m
  • It will no longer be necessary to reserve a place in the reading room, but you will have to be registered or pre-registered on the Bulac catalogue for the "Maison de l'Asie" site: https://catalogue.bulac.fr/
  • The documents will be communicated 20 minutes after their reservation from your reader's account, and will be made available on the shelves on the patio side of the reading room- The library will welcome 15 readers per day. In case of overcrowding, priority will be given to readers consulting EFEO documents
  • The health pass will not be required, but the wearing of masks and the respect of protective measures will continue to apply
If you are experiencing Covid-19 type symptoms, please postpone your visit to the library.
Aséanie
Online,


All issues of the journal Aséanie (from 1997 to 2014) are now available on Persée!
24e Rendez-vous de l'histoire de Blois
Blois, France, 06 October 2021

Meet the Réseau des Écoles françaises à l'Étranger - ResEFE - at the 24th Rendez-vous de l'histoire in Blois during the Carte blanche for the ResEFE: "Les chercheurs sur leur terrain de travail : questions sociales et environnementales". October 8, 2 to 3:30 p.m. Chocolaterie site of the IUT - Amphi 1, Blois.
Christophe Pottier, for the EFEO, will present "Vivre et travailler dans les temples d'Angkor au XXe siècle".
The ResEFE will also be present at the Salon du livre, on the stand of the Librairie Jean de Léry (Stand N and N')