Salon International du Livre Rare & de l'Autographe
Salon International du Livre Rare & de l'Autographe
Salon International du Livre Rare & de l'Autographe
Salon International du Livre Rare & de l'Autographe
Salon International du Livre Rare & de l'Autographe
Salon International du Livre Rare & de l'Autographe
Salon International du Livre Rare & de l'Autographe
Salon International du Livre Rare & de l'Autographe
Salon International du Livre Rare & de l'Autographe
Salon International du Livre Rare & de l'Autographe



Institute for Contemporary Publishing Archives (IMEC)

a commitment to excellence for an outstanding written heritage



One of the most esteemed archive conservation institutes in Europe, the Institut Mémoires de l’Édition Contemporaine preserves and showcases an exceptional collection dedicated to the history of thought and contemporary arts.
Since its establishment, the IMEC has contributed to raising awareness of research on literary, publishing, artistic and intellectual life.

Sketches and manuscripts, letters, notes and workbooks, translations, graphic and photographic works, audiovisual documents, digital files, first editions and documents… this rich, largely unpublished collection, documents a key part of the history of ideas and forms, and recreates the fusion of intellectual, writing and artistic ideas of an era.

A general interest association, the institute's role is to manage the resources entrusted to it and to open them up, culturally and educationally, to as wide an audience as possible.


preserve and communicate, a dual objective

Open, right from the beginning to the world of publishing, books and reviews, the collections at the IMEC contain archives of the greatest literary figures of our time – from Jean Paulhan to Marguerite Duras, from Jean Genet to Alain Robbe-Grillet, from Philippe Soupault to Roland Dubillard. The collections in the institute also host a major collection devoted to contemporary thought and social sciences, from Emmanuel Levinas to Jacques Derrida, from Georges Duby to Jean-Pierre Vernant, from Félix Guattari to Edgar Morin. The arts are of course present, in all their diversity: Patrice Chéreau, Gisèle Freund, Jean Hélion, Éric Rohmer, Alain Resnais, Erik Satie, Pierre Schaeffer or Antoine Vitez. The IMEC offers a first-class historical and documentary overview of the publishing, literary and artistic life of the contemporary period.

a cultural and educational role


It only makes sense to preserve this heritage if it reaches as many people as possible. To enable the public to meet writers and researchers, to exchange ideas on works and the major movements in contemporary thought, the IMEC is becoming a leading literary scene in itself. Artistic and cultural education projects accompany the programme and help to raise awareness amongst the young audience. The historic presentation of the monument, writing workshops, exhibition visits and a chance to meet those in the book industry leads to the discovery of the richness of the collection and the importance of the written tradition. Publications, exhibitions, and the loan of articles help raise national and international awareness of the institute's archives.


collect, classify, protect


Entrusted by authors or beneficiaries, publishing houses or cultural associations, the archives are preserved in their entirety, classified in an intellectually consistent way and are carefully archived. Through its various resources and collections (archives of authors and artists, publishing houses, specialist libraries, collections of reviews), the IMEC is piecing together, between publishing, writing, arts and thought, the networks making up the fabric of our cultural life, opening up new research perspectives.


a place dedicated to research


Coming from all over the world to browse the archives, researchers are offered the institute's guidance and advice service as well as the search tools for all resources and collections. Researchers can also stay in Ardenne Abbey. The institute is building a policy of professional and scientific collaboration with the main national and international research institutions. Conferences, workshops and seminars encourage exchanges and showcase archives. Lastly, Ardenne Abbey offers conference rooms, dining and accommodation areas, and a conductive environment for meeting and reflection.


a remarkable site

Founded in the XII century, steeped in history and painstakingly restored, Ardenne Abbey holds all of the IMEC's collections and activities.
The abbey's church, converted into a large library, offers researchers the peace and quiet that monastic buildings offered in the past. The archive building holds the archive handling workshops and storage facilities that meet the strictest conservation and security requirements.
Demonstrations, meetings and exhibitions as well as research and writing workshops are held in the large farmyard, the gardens, tithe barns and the press.
Owned by the regional council of Normandy, classified as an historical monument, the abbey has been awarded the prestigious label of a cultural meeting centre which are historic monuments that sponsor specific cultural projects.



The IMEC receives the support of the Ministry of Culture and Communication (DRAC in Normandy) and the region of Normandy.

Ardenne Abbey
14280 Saint-Germain-la-Blanche-Herbe
Tél. +33 (0)2 31 29 37 37
Fax +33 (0)2 31 29 37 36

Paris office
4, avenue Marceau 75008 Paris
Tél. +33 (0)1 53 34 23 23
Fax +33 (0)1 53 34 23 00

Bibliothèque de l’IMEC, © Philippe Delval

Bibliothèque de l’IMEC, © Philippe Delval

Extérieur de l’Abbaye d’Ardenne, © IMEC

The paper of Moulin Richard de Bas (i14, South Nave)

Since its invention, attributed to China sometime around 105 AD, paper travelled a long and winding road before it reached the West.
It followed the Silk Road, appearing in the Middle East at the end of the 8th century. As technical developments emerged, paper replaced parchment, and paper-making centres sprung up in Europe and France from the 14th century onwards. The centre in Ambert was developed around 1450. Some 300 mills scattered along various watercourses were in operation in the three paper-making valleys around Ambert, making paper by hand, sheet by sheet, from recovered rags.
Today, the Moulin Richard de Bas in Ambert (the last working paper mill in the Auvergne) keeps this ancestral activity alive. The Moulin Richard de Bas is open to visitors all year round, offering guided visits and introductory workshops during which visitors can roll their sleeves up and lend a hand.
Exceptional paper on which some of the key moments of our history have been written (Diderot and Alembert's Encyclopaedia in the 18th century, the one and only copy of the 5th Constitution from 1958, etc.), rare hand-made paper which has long been appreciated by great artists (Picasso, Dali and Rauschenberg among others) and art publications (collectors' editions), prestigious paper made in the vats in front of you: the mill has also specialised in producing paper suitable for modern printing techniques.
During the fair, we look forward to welcoming you and introducing you to these ancestral practices which have given rise to the sheet of paper, and showing you the articles and papers produced by hand, sheet by sheet, at the Moulin Richard de Bas.

Moulin à papier Richard de Bas
Richard de Bas
63600 Ambert
Tel. 33 (0)4 73 82 03 11