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National Library of France

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National Library of France Paris  France
National Library of France
The National Library of France dates back to 1368 when Charles V established the Royal Library. Located in Paris, it opened to the public in 1692 as one of the world’s first free public libraries. Its collection grew with books confiscated from private and church libraries during the French Revolutions, and, later, with the spoils of Napoleon’s conquests during his rule. Today the library houses 15 million books, manuscripts, prints, photographs, maps, coins, and multimedia documents in two Paris buildings—the François-Mitterrand Library and the Richelieu Library that has been the National Library of France’s historical center since the 18th century.—Miranda Smith