The Centre’s historic library
A historic library was organized as soon as the Centre of Diplomatic Archives was created in Nantes in 1987, for the needs thereof. Enhanced regularly by new acquisitions, today it boasts nearly 10,000 monographs and 1,057 French and foreign periodicals.
Without claiming to be exhaustive, the library specializes in areas specific to the centre, in terms of the archives :
- history of the Moroccan and Tunisian Protectorates and the Syria-Lebanon Mandate;
- history of the Ottoman Empire;
- foreign French history.
A significant portion of the collection comprises French and foreign periodicals, sent to Nantes by the Ministry’s Library in Paris. The Times (1815-1945), the Augsburg Gazette, which became the Allgemeine Zeitung (1838-1907), the official British journal comprising the Commons Journals (1547-1854, 1884-1887) and the Lords Journals (1509-1853) are among the most complete collections. There will also be many French-language publications, published in former French establishments in China (Shanghai) and the former French dominions in Indochina and North Africa. However, they rarely form homogeneous collections, with the notable exception of the official Tunisian Journal (1883-1972) and the Official Bulletin of the French Protectorate of Morocco, Empire Chérifien (1912-1980).
There are freely accessible manual card catalogues for newspapers catalogued through 2002, then, beginning in 2003, a list of new acquisitions is available on a computer in the reading room.
The library of the Cooperation Ministry, 1960-2000
In the early 1960s, the Cooperation Ministry had a documentation centre, which was tasked with conserving the studies and reports carried out by the officers of the Cooperation department and bodies acting in the field of development in Africa and the Third World. As such, it held a certain number of official documents - public and confidential - on French development aid. An acquisition policy made it possible to create a library at the same time.
The Cooperation Ministry and the Foreign Affairs Ministry merged on 1 January 1999. In the context of this merger, the documentation centre and its library were transferred to the latter. They continued to grow until the end of 2000, at which time the decision was made to terminate their activities and empty out the premises on Rue Oudinot. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Archives Department (library) inherited the collection. As there was not enough room in its Paris premises, it transferred it to the Centre of Diplomatic Archives in Nantes in November and December 2001 to ensure that it is communicated to the public.
Composition of the collection
The collection, closed definitively in 2000, brings together:
36,400 works, including 18,956 volumes grouped together in "generalities or topics common to several countries" and 17,444 volumes classified by country.
450 journals, published from 1960 to 2000.
a group of press kits covering the period, 1960-1999 (639 boxes). They are classified geographically and thematically. See: inventory of press kits of the library of the Cooperation Ministry, August 2001.
a collection of Official Journals and budgets of African states (with elements missing).
a series of 1,800 studies and internal reports, dated 1960-1986, from the hydraulics, livestock farming and transport offices of the Cooperation Ministry. Non-inventoried series.
a map library comprising some 1,600 maps collected since the 1960s and about 50 atlases mainly concerning French-speaking black Africa. Non-inventoried series.
A portion of the catalogue of the Cooperation Ministry’s library is computerized.
The other research tools are manual card catalogues and typed inventories, which are freely available in the reading room.
Methods of communication
Works are ordered in accordance with the same methods as archives.
On-site consultation only.
In this section
- A tour of the Quai d’Orsay
- A tour of the Quai d'Orsay