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
New publication

La réforme politique en Birmanie

pendant le premier moment colonial (1819-1878)

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New publication

Bulletin de l'École française d'Extrême-Orient 105 (2019)

Cahiers d'Extrême-Asie, vol. 28 (2019) : Pokchang, Image Consecration in Korean Buddhism

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Reopening of the EFEO Library by APPOINTMENT
Paris, France,

From Monday 6 July 2020, the library reading room will open a limited number of places, by appointment. These places are reserved for advanced students (M1, M2 and PhD) and researchers in Asian studies wishing to consult the collections of the Maison de l'Asie. For practical reasons, we ask readers to reserve their documents at least 24 hours in advance. Reserved works will be pre-deposited on a table when the reader arrives. Reservations are made as usual on the library catalogue, via the reader account: catalogue.bulac.fr.

TO BOOK A PLACE, CLICK HERE.
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Covid-19 Information
Paris, France,


Reopening of the EFEO Library by APPOINTMENT

From Monday 6 July 2020, the library reading room will open a limited number of places, by appointment. These places are reserved for advanced students (M1, M2 and PhD) and researchers in Asian studies wishing to consult the collections of the Maison de l'Asie. For practical reasons, we ask readers to reserve their documents at least 24 hours in advance. Reserved works will be pre-deposited on a table when the reader arrives. Reservations are made as usual on the library catalogue, via the reader account: catalogue.bulac.fr.

TO BOOK A PLACE, CLICK HERE.

When the maximum number of open places is reached, the reservation date disappears from the drop-down menu.Reading places will be open for reservation every Thursday for the following week.

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.

Second volume of the 2018/2019 activity report

The second volume of the 2018/2019 activities report was presented to the School's Academic Council on 23 June. It is now available HERE.