Since 2002, the Jacques Chirac Media Library has been housed in a contemporary building built by the architects Dominique Lyon and Pierre du Besset. It preserves exceptional old collections, notably a rich collection of medieval manuscripts on parchment as well as a collection of 3,000 booklets and almanacs from the Blue Library published in Troyes and sold by peddlers. In addition, the media library offers the public 110,000 documents on loan and numerous cultural events.
The Great Hall, visible on the left side of the building, contains 50,000 printed books from the former ecclesiastical libraries. In Troyes, these are the 4,600 printed books of Canon Jacques Hennequin, kept in the Cordeliers convent, or the medieval manuscripts of the Pithou brothers, at the Oratory college.
The collection of ancient manuscripts copied and decorated in the workshop of the Abbey of Clairvaux, since its creation by Saint Bernard in the 12th century, inventoried in 1472 by Abbot Pierre de Virey (1,790 manuscripts, 1,115 of which have survived) is preserved here in its great majority. This ensemble, which formed one of the principal libraries of the medieval West, constitutes today by its size and its important degree of conservation the first French medieval collection. In 2009, it was included in the UNESCO "Memory of the World" register, which aims to protect the world's documentary heritage of universal value, reflecting the diversity of languages, peoples and cultures, a mirror of the world and its memory.
Nationalized at the time of the French Revolution, the library's collections were enriched by donations and legacies in the 19th and 20th centuries. These include the 18th century German books by Father Hubert, local history documents by Doctor Carteron and the Far East collection bequeathed by the diplomat Victor Collin de Plancy.
A permanent exhibition, freely accessible during opening hours, retraces the history of these heritage collections. It presents about a hundred original documents: manuscripts from the Middle Ages, printed books, objets d'art, as well as animated films.
The works are listed in the computerized catalogue.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday: 10am-7pm
One Sunday per month: 2pm-6pm
The youth section is now open at the same hours as the school.
In the town centre
Visite de l’établissement, de ses collections et de l’exposition permanente « Mille ans de livres à Troyes ». Possibilité d’ateliers de découverte de l’enluminure, de la calligraphie ou de la reliure. Maxi : 45 pers (3 groupes de 15 pers.).