Holiday in Paris for Law Librarians

Like the busman's holiday, this is for those of you who would like to explore the law-related resources that are to be found in Paris. You should first equip yourself with a map, such as the Michelin, that lists the street names and their coordinates. An interesting page: Paris balades

There are obviously other must-see sites not mentioned here, and you are welcome to propose them to us.


Centre Pompidou, familiarly known as 'Beaubourg', just north of the Hotel de Ville, has a large & comprehensive library. It has some books on French law in English along with the standard legal references, including the Gazette du Palais. Their Minitel server is 3615 BPI.

The "gasworks" (as Beaubourg is known for its distinctive architecture) is now reopened after long renovations.
For the latest

Hours :
12h-22h weekdays except Tuesday when closed
10h-22h Saturday, Sunday and holidays

Journal Officiel (see below), at 26 rue Desaix, a street leading off from the park just behind the Eiffel Tower. Catalog available. Hours are Mon-Fri 0830-1630 and Tuesday 0830-1800.
American Library, just behind the Eiffel Tower at 10 rue General Camou, has some English language treatises on French law. User fee is 60 FRF for non-members. Tues-Sat 1000-1900.
Le Kiosque de l'Assemblee Nationale, at the left-front corner (seen from the river) of the edifice, at 4 rue Aristide-Briande. It is a combination souvenir shop and bookstore for the publications of l'Assemblee, which are not so easily found elsewhere. There are also Minitels for trying out this gallic invention. Their own server is 3617 ASNAT. Mon-Fri 0930-1900, Sat 0930-1300 & 1400-1700.
La Documentation francaise across the Seine from the Louvre at 29 quai Voltaire, has sundry wares including their own publications. There are also periodicals from around the world, including Japanese business journals in English. Catalog available. Mon-Fri 1000-1800 except Thurs 1000-1300.
Bibliotheque Cujas (inter-university), 2 rue Cujas, at the Pantheon. This is 'Toys-R-Us' for law librarians, being the definitive collection of reference documents. Day-passes are issued free, computerised searches are done by specialists on a fee basis. Mon-Fri 0900-2100, Sat 0900-1800, shorter hours during vacations.

Jack Kessler on Cujas and French law

Bibliotheque Nationale, 58 rue Richelieu behind the Palais Royal, access restricted to pros, so bring your credentials. There is a section devoted to law of other countries besides France. With the move to the new BNF, the old BN buildings retain manuscripts, prints, photographs, maps and plans, music scores, coins, antique medallions and performance arts. Books, printed papers and audiovisual are now at the new BNF.
Hours vary for departments, generally M-F 0900-2000, Sat 0900-1700.
Bibliothèque Nationale de France, up-river from Gare d'Austerlitz, Metro station 'Quai de la Gare', For the latest on the operational state of the two sites (still subject to interruptions of service), hours and annual closing, see the BNF site and for more general information the Ministry of Culture.
Archives Nationales.
Drôle de bibliothèque, rapport du Sénat

Journal Officiel
This is the government printing office and is for the public the place to consult official documents on microfilm going back to 1869. It is supposedly the only place you can get a key-word search on the JO back to 1871. They will accept such a request by fax at and reply with a printout by ordinary mail, and the service is free.

The Codes (Civil, Penal, Procedure, etc.) are sold here at prices below Dalloz and Litec but lacking the jrisprudence. A free catalog describes the various publications and Minitel services.

There is also a desk for publications of the European Commission which, by the way, also has sales offices in the USA (800-274-4888), Australia, Canada, Japan, etc. (your nearest dealer given on demand).

Hours are Mon-Fri 0830-1630 and Tuesday 0830-1800.

Official concession :
Lois et Décrets of the last issue in .pdf images
Legifrance, limited free access
Jurifrance, paid subscription service

Information on publications and electronic services
Minitel legal databases, independent site associated with AdmiNet

Service de documentation du Conseil constitutionnel
2 rue de Montpensier Paris 1er. (Metro Palais Royal)
entrance on the left side of the Palais Royal.
Not open to the public, but if you have some special interest you may contact its curator by telephone at (33) 01 40 15 30 48 or by mail at the above address. They are very busy at election periods and when the Conseil is active but otherwise might try to help researchers, jurists, students, etc. for questions of droit public, constitutionnel, parlementaire et electoral, and also constitutional law of other countries.
Search of CC decisions, HTML display (Saarbrucken site)
Official site of Conseil constitutionnel

Jack Kessler's FYIFrance
Jack writes periodic and knowledgeable reports on the cultural scene in France (from his base in San Francisco), especially regarding French libraries. You may consult his latest works from the Web at