The History of the French National Library
DOI link for The History of the French National Library
The History of the French National Library book
France, like many countries with a long history, has grown older without realizing it. The French National Library, located in a building primarily designed during the nineteenth century, had been the model of an open library, welcoming researchers among whom no distinctions were necessary. The number of readers who wanted access to the library increased, particularly as universities developed shorter education requirements. The structural configuration of the library as we know it today essentially dates back to the nineteenth century. Under the leadership of the scholars who directed the library from the sixteenth to the twentieth century, the institution progressively lost its encyclopedic character. With the progress of democracy in cultural areas and in education, it is impossible to restrict nonaffiliated researchers from accessing a national library. There is therefore an unavoidable conflict between the elitism of a high-level research library and the ever-present demands of a democracy for wider access to knowledge.