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
Covid-19 Information
Paris, France,


The Maison de l'Asie and the library are closed to the public from March 16 until further notice.

All cultural and scientific events are cancelled.
Lecture by Mrs Tôn Nu Quynh Trân
25 March 2020
Mrs. Tôn Nu Quynh Trân's lecture: "The development of the urban space of Saigon from its origins to 1954 as seen through plans and maps of the city", which took place on September 19, 2019, at the Ho Chi Minh City Center, has been posted on the EFEO's YouTube channel.

This lecture is part of a series of bilingual lecture-debates (consecutive French-Vietnamese or Vietnamese-French; English-Vietnamese or Vietnamese-English translation) organized at the EFEO Center in Ho Chi Minh City. The audience of about forty guests consists of researchers, teachers, students, and intellectuals from Vietnam and abroad.
EFEO Field Scholarships - 2nd Semester 2020
14 March 2020
The deadline for submitting an application to an EFEO Field Scholarships for Master and PhD students enabling a field study in Asia at one of the EFEO centers is set to the 14th of March 2020.
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Doctoral contract – Campaign 2020
09 March 2020
As part of its support for international cooperation activities, the Ministry of Enseignement supérieur, de la Recherche et de l’Innovation (MESRI) awards five doctoral contracts each year in partnership between a Doctoral School and one of the five Écoles françaises à l’étranger (EFE).

Details and the procedure for submitting applications to the EFEO can be found here.

Application documents may be sent until April 30, 2020, 3:00 p.m. (Paris time), according to the procedures specific to each EFE. The results will be sent before the end of June.
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Lecture: ''Kalash, les derniers animistes de l'Hindu Kush''
Paris, France, 06 March 2020
As part of the photographic exhibition set up at the EFEO, "Kalash, les derniers animistes de l'Hindu Kush", Jean-Yves Loude gives a lecture: "Solstice païen. Fêtes de l'hiver chez les Kalash du Nord-Pakistan". He will be accompanied by Xavier Nory, author of the photographs of the exhibition.

Thursday, March 12, at 1:30 pm at the Maison de l'Asie.