La Cité de Dieu, trad. Raoul de Presles, 1486


1. Access

The Library is public, open to readers and visitors from Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. It is closed from 1 to 15 August; exceptional closing days may be announced in the reading room and on the website. Access to the library is subject to presentation of identification or a reader's card.

1.1. Readers

Any person wanting to use the services provided by the Library must have a valid reader's card. 

1.2. Visitors

Individual visits (up to 5 people) are permitted during opening hours, in silence, following a recommended itinerary. Visitors should wear a badge issued by the reception desk of the Institut de France, upon presentation of an identity document.

2. Registration

Registration of readers is done at the library, during opening hours, by the duty librarian, on presentation of an identity document (passport, national ID card, driver's licence, short- or long-term residency permit) and parental permission for minors under 16. Original proof of identity (no photocopy nor electronic copy) is asked to readers who wants to read heritage materials. An information form is completed at the first registration, and updated at each subsequent registration; an identification photo is taken. The personal data collected are computer processed for internal use only. In accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), readers have a right of access and rectification of their personal data.

The reader may choose between:

  • a 5-days card, valid for five consecutive working days, free of charge, not renewable within the same year, or
  • an annual card, costing € 15.

Members of the five Academies, the staff of the French Institute, and curators of French archives, libraries and museums are exonerated from registration fees.

The pass and annual card are strictly personal. Loss or theft of the annual card or pass must be immediately reported to the library.

3. Entry to and exit from the reading room

- Readers must show their cards at the entrance to the reading room, then deposit them at the circulation desk, where they will be assigned a reading place number and given the corresponding pass ; as they leave, they return the pass to the circulation desk and get their card back.

- Readers may not leave the library, even temporarily, unless they have returned or set aside all the books issued to them.

- Readers and visitors must systematically present their bags, handbags, luggage and folders open to the staff whenever they leave the reading room.

Temporary exit

- For a temporary exit, readers have to show their numbered pass at the reception desk of the library and at the exit of the building (23, quai de Conti). Coming back, they show the pass at the entrance of the building and at the entrance of the reading room.

Definitive exit

- Before leaving the Library, readers should return the numbered pass to the circulation desk, and take their personal reader card back, to be shown at the reception desk as they leave.

4. Collection consultation

- Readers are asked to wash their hands before entering the reading room.

- Library material is to be consulted within the library only.

- To get a book, readers have to give their numbered pass to the circulation desk; they get it back when returning the book.

- Some items, marked as such in the catalogue, cannot be issued immediately: the library will inform the reader when they are available in the reading room.

- Requests for items must be made before 5.30 pm.

- Early books, manuscripts and material from the rare books collections are consulted at seats numbered 31 to 50, where only pencil may be used. Consultation of this material must be justified and permission obtained from the duty librarian. If a substitute document is available, it will be proposed first. Prior permission must be obtained from the director to consult materials from the Grande Réserve collection or from the Archives.

- Readers are responsible for the material issued to them, and should not leave them unattended. Nothing must be laid on the books except equipment provided by the library; readers must not lean on the books or pile them up.

- Readers are asked to observe the duty librarian's instructions about consulting and handling the books (maximum opening angle, support, number of books issued at one time, occasional impossibility of setting books aside).

- Readers must return books to the circulation desk under the best possible conditions. They should ask the staff for assistance with numerous, fragile or bulky items.

- Books may be set aside, except for materials from the Grande Réserve collection, for up to 15 consecutive days for current documents, 8 consecutive days for old and rare materials.

5. Reproduction

5.1. Reproduction for personal use is allowed as long as it is legal and the condition of the material permits it:

  • photocopy for post-1900 works (fee-based service ; request to be made before 5 pm for delivery the same day);
  • self-service digital photography for pre-1900 works and manuscripts is subject to the authorisation of the duty librarian and signature of a specific form;
  • printouts of electronic or microfilm resources (fee-based service).

5.2. Reproduction for public use is done by the Library and a fee is charged. All public use of reproductions of documents from the Mazarine Library is subject to prior permission and entails payment of a specific fee (see rates) and the legal deposit of the publication concerned.

6. General Rules

- No food, drinks or liquid of any kind, voluminous objects or bags are permitted in the reading room.

- The tables are for consulting documents only: no other object may be put on them except for working tools.

- Group work is not permitted.

- Readers are expected to behave courteously towards other readers and the staff, respect the silence and help maintain an atmosphere suitable for study and research.

- They must be quiet in the stairs and courtyard of the Institut de France; smoking and eating are not permitted in those areas.

- Telephone conversations are not permitted in the reading room; readers are asked to put their computers, telephones and cameras in silent mode.

- Computer workstations are available to readers: priority is given to consulting the catalogue, using the library's electronic resources and requesting books.

- Photography for personal use is permitted without flash and with respect for the readers.

- The director's prior authorisation is required for any photo shoots (except for reproductions of documents, see article 5.1) filmmaking, reportages, and filmed interviews.

- The Library cannot be held liable for the loss of any objects or personal effects belonging to readers.

7. Application and compliance with the regulations

- These regulations are published on the library's website and given to readers at registration.

- Readers registering with the library agree to observe with the regulations and follow the staff's instructions to that effect. They agree to observe the regulations for information technology facilities, Charte du bon usage des équipements et ressources informatiques, published on the library's website and given to readers at registration.

- Failure to observe the regulations can lead to temporary or permanent exclusion from the library, without reimbursement, even in part, of the cost of the annual card. The offender shall be notified of his or her exclusion by the director of the library.

- The library staff, under the director's authority, shall assure the application of the regulations.

The regulations come into force on 3 January 2012 (updated on January 2022).

The Director of the Mazarine Library