The Muséum’s documentation network encompasses some twenty specialist libraries in the departments, based around the central library. Its document, archive and art collections are aimed at the scientific community as well as all interested audiences.
Initially made up of books from the King’s Cabinet as well as duplicates from the national library and items confiscated during the French Revolution, the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle has built up the documentation needed for the establishment’s scientific activity as its chairs have been created. Numerous donations have also helped to build up the archives.
This expansion policy is continuing today: in a manner consistent with the existing archives, the document collections are being developed with a focus on the missions of the Muséum. The network supports two centres for the acquisition and dissemination of scientific and technical information (CADIST) in botany-zoology and prehistory-palaeontology, and is also an associate centre of the Bibliothèque nationale de France (National Library of France).
The library network offers a range of spaces and services:
- a media library open to all, with a young people’s area;
- specialist reading rooms;
- an expertise documentation centre;
- a digital library.
It is also responsible for the processing, preservation and promotion of the Muséum’s scientific and administrative archives and art objects.