Library of Paris

A reference library on maritime history and the five navies (military, merchant, fishing, sailing and scientific), shipbuilding, naval history and techniques, naval archeology, ethnography, maritime art.

Partial view of the library of the Paris Navy Museum © National Maritime Museum / S.Dondain

At the Palais de Chaillot, the National Marine Museum houses a research library, recognized as a reference library relating to maritime history and the five navies - military, merchant, fishing, pleasure and scientific - shipbuilding, history and techniques of navigation, naval archeology, ethnography and maritime art. The consultation of its funds is nevertheless currently suspended. Due to the museum's renovation project. & Sup2;


The library collections consist of older and more recent documents, French or foreign and rely 35 000 printed and iconographic collections, 350 manuscripts 1000 periodicals including 70 current titles, 7000 boat building plans and 70 000 postcards.
The fund has grown steadily in its reference topics.
The library also has 10000 iconographic document files
warships, Navy personalities and marine artists, as well as specific themes.

The National Maritime Museum is engaged in a renovation project that will enable it in a few years to offer a new cultural offer and provide new services to its users. The library, too, will adapt to the new practices of researchers and readers. It is getting ready, and it forces us to suspend the consultation of our funds in the current reading room. It will close its doors from the 1er August 2016 until the 2ème semester 2018, date at which the consultations will resume in our new center of conservation and resources of Dugny, in Seine Saint-Denis (the modalities of access and consultation will be indicated later).
We ask our readers to apologize.
In the meantime, the consultation is possible at the following address and allows access to some books in digital version:

Our collections will be the subject of an ambitious project of the collections, and we will try to make them accessible in new ways, even during the closing of the museum (2017-2021)! A new reading room will have its place in the renovated museum. Let us know your needs and your wishes: you will help us to conceive!

Terms of consultation

Due to the closure for work of the National Museum of the Navy at the Palais de Chaillot, the Paris library is currently closed to the public to prepare for its move and the museum renovation project.

Documentary Research

Due to the renovation, documentary research can only be carried out for cultural institutions: museums, libraries, archives, etc. Thank you for your understanding.

The library does not sell any plans for ships. For any request for plans please contact:
- the Historical Defense Service: for requests concerning ships of war subsequent to the French Revolution
- the Association of Friends of the Navy Museum or model associations who are authorized to sell plans


Specific information


National Maritime Museum
17, Trocadero Square
75116 Paris

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Paris - Practical Information

The museum is closed for renovation, follow the news of the renovation on the social networks and the site.

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Digitized books

Digitized books as part of a project with the National Library and its partner libraries.

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Treasures of the Library

prestigious works, exploration travel atlas traces of expeditions, life stories ... the library holds treasures.

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Paris - History Museum

Located between the Louvre and 1748 1938, the museum has been housed in a historic building, the Palais de Chaillot.

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The museum collections

The Department of Conservation has to manage mission, study and enrichment of the Navy National Museum collections.

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photographic service

rich collection of thousands of images and using the iconographic research.

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