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





Founded through a bequest made to the City of Paris by an industrialist, Aimé-Samuel Forney, who wanted to enhance the situation of the arts and crafts, the library was inaugurated in 1886, in rue Titon (11th borough) in the Saint-Antoine district. Initially dedicated solely to arts and crafts and the decorative arts and frequented by craftsmen (cabinetmakers, ceramicists, painters, etc.), it extended its specialisation to art in general, thereby attracting a more diverse public (students, professionals in the fields of fashion, design and graphic design, etc.), in particular from 1961 when it moved to the Hôtel de Sens, at the heart of the Marais district.




* Fine arts: painting, sculpture, architecture, drawing, engraving, etc.
* Decorative arts: ceramics, costumes, interior decoration, design,
* Graphic arts: arts of the book, poster and advertising arts,
* Applied arts: fashion, design, decoration, etc.
* Arts and crafts: woodwork, metalwork, pottery, glasswork, textiles, etc.


Both a conservation library and a lending library, the Forney Library is now dedicated to the decorative arts, arts and crafts, applied arts and graphic arts. It distinguishes itself through the diversity of the documents conserved, both heritage documents and available for home loan including printed collections from the 18th century to the present day, books and periodicals, exhibition and museum catalogues, public and exhibition art sales catalogues and more. It also houses one of the most extensive iconographic heritage collections in France, consisting of advertising posters, wallpapers, fabric samples, catalogues of business organisations, postcards, original drawings, models and archives of professionals in the fields of the decorative arts, graphic design, design and fashion, as well as a large collection of advertising documents (imagery).

Regular exhibitions have always been organised with the aim of showcasing these collections.
The Forney Library today – its documentary and cultural project

The specialist and heritage libraries of the City of Paris:
The Forney Library is part of the municipal network of Parisian libraries, and more particularly the network of specialist and heritage libraries comprising the library of the Hôtel de Ville de Paris and the Historic Library of the City of Paris.

Specialist libraries portal (catalogue, digitised documents, news):

The Forney Library – its collections and reading rooms:

The Forney Library welcomes a very diverse public including students and professionals in the fields of art, applied arts, arts and crafts, graphic arts, fashion and design, teachers, researchers, amateurs and people with a curious disposition. Its collection of loan documents (including DVDs) attracts a wide-ranging public, going beyond researchers interested in heritage resources, who can make use of the warm reading rooms boasting a striking architectural character. Furthermore, as a historic monument in the Marais district, it attracts numerous visitors and tourists who are fascinated by this medieval building in the heart of Paris and the exhibitions its hosts.

During 2016, the Forney Library was closed to public for major refurbishment with a view to being able to welcome readers and visitors in the very best conditions: accessibility of the ground floor dedicated to exhibitions and shedding light on its collections, the rationalisation of its spaces and enhanced visibility regarding the areas intended for the public and reserved for staff, and greater clarity and fluidity of the movements of readers and visitors..
Renovation work is ongoing in 2018 on the 3rd floor of the building, dedicated to the iconographic and reserve collections, in order to further improve the levels of comfort offered to readers.

Cultural project:

Within the framework of the policy defined by the Cultural Affairs Directorate, the Forney Library has developed an ambitious project with the aim of satisfying the existing public and attracting new visitors. Its cultural policy is manifested through exhibitions, a permanent circuit (when there are no temporary exhibitions), workshops and conferences focusing on arts and crafts, fashion, design, graphic arts and more.

A new circuit showcases the library’s architectural and documentary heritage, offering visitors the chance to enjoy the “treasures” of the Forney Library at their convenience. The main reading room is also visible from this circuit that is open to visitors. Attracted by the building’s spectacular exterior and keen to enjoy the heritage, visitors are invited to “step inside” and follow the free circuit – “the gallery” – which tells the history of the building and displays some of the library’s precious yet highly visible and accessible documents, either in their original format or using digital media (a multimedia device is provided by the Société des Amis de la Bibliothèque Forney – the Friends of the Forney Library). The library hosts conferences, workshops and cultural activities of every kind: groups, visits, art and craft demonstrations, artistic encounters and more.

Useful information
The library is open to any person with the baccalaureate or any adult carrying the specialist libraries card of the City of Paris. This free card is created immediately upon presentation of an ID document and a recent passport photo. Personal and valid for one year, it allows the holder to consult documents on-site or take loan documents home.

Hôtel de Sens, 1 rue du Figuier, 75004 Paris
Saint-Paul underground station (line 1) or Pont-Marie underground station (line 7)
Velib’ stations: 4010, St Paul-Pavée, 4009, Village St Paul, 4011, place du bataillon française de l’ONU
01 42 78 14 60

Social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest

Library opening hours:
Tuesday, Friday and Saturday: 1 p.m. - 7.30 p.m.
Wednesday and Thursday: 10 a.m. - 7.30 p.m.
Opening times of exhibition and the gallery:
Tuesday to Saturday: 1 p.m. - 7 p.m.

Société des Amis de la Bibliothèque Forney
Hôtel de Sens, 1 rue du Figuier, 75004 Paris

J-B Gurliat - Mairie de Paris

J-B Gurliat - Mairie de Paris


SABF Donation - Ambre solaire, pour brunir sans brûlures Lithographic poster, 160 x 120 cm drawn by Charles Loupot.  Paris: Printer. Courbet, 1936

SABF Donation -Dédalus point par point no.9 / Rafaële Ide, 2017

SABF Donation - Dominique Digeon, poem by Charles Baudelaire, 2016. Handwritten, cut, woven, in a box with typed text, unique copy, dated, signed

SABF Donation - Tokyo Umbrella / Franticham,  Redfoxpress, 2008. Photographs taken in Japan by Hantic-Ham and Francis, September 2008. Work printed in 69 copies on traditional Korean paper in the Redfoxpress studios, 2008

SABF Donation - Invasion of the iguana people by the American, Wellington Sun. Self-printed in 20 copies, numbered and signed. Black and white comic – silk-screen printed cover - 5 coloured passages, 8 pages – 28 x 19 cm

SABF Donation -Lucinges / Michel Butor, Martine Jacquemet, Aencrages & Co 2016. This second edition was produced on the occasion of Michel Butor’s 90th birthday for the Artistic Book Festival in Lucinges, 2016

SABF Donation - Flip-Flop Prophets by the Canadian, Owen Plummer, printed and published by Le Dernier Cri in Marseille, 2008. Silk-screen printed in full – 16 coloured passages, 48 pages – cover with flaps – 30 x 22 cm. 200 copies – out of print.

SABF Donation - La Pelote qui tricote le temps, Catherine Liegeois, poem by Geneviève Peigné


Vues maritimes en médaillons, panneau décoratif intermédiaire de papier peint, manufacture française vers 1860-1870, dessin de Victor Poterlet (1811-1889). Impression à la planche sur papier continu, fond gris lissé, 16 couleurs. 95 cm x 48 cm
©Yves Lesven/Bibliothèque Forney

Les rives du Bosphore, lé 23. Papier peint panoramique, manufacture Joseph Dufour à Paris, édition originale avant 1812, reédition seconde moitié du 19ème siècle par la manufacture Desfossé & Karth. Impression à la planche sur papier continu, fond bleu ou gris, 13 couleurs. 145 cm x 57 cm
©Yves Lesven/Bibliothèque Forney

Papier à motif répétitif d’après Jouy, Manufacture Paul Dumas à Montreuil-sous-bois, vers 1929. Impression à la machine, fond blanc, 3 couleurs. Reprend en motif inversé la toile imprimée « Au loup » de la manufacture Oberkampf à Jouy, 1783-1789, dessin de Jean-Baptiste Huet. La bibliothèque conserve un exemplaire de cette toile, en coloris bleu, TI 181058 GF
©Yves Lesven/Bibliothèque Forney


Collectif Hécatombe. Un Fanzine Carré no C. 2013. offset, sérigraphie, cousu collé cartonné, 9 x 9 x 9 cm.
Riri. Nini, la coccinelle de la mer. 2010. Linogravure, 10 cm.
Maïc Batmane. Monstres. Février 2016. Risographie. 
Selena Wong. Deux filles. 2011. Dessins et photographies, 8cm.
©Yves Lesven/Bibliothèque Forney

The Société des Amis de la Bibliothèque Forney (Friends of the Forney Library)

The first Société des Amis de la Bibliothèque was founded in 1914 with a view to bringing together private initiative and the public authorities, encouraging donations and contributing to the expansion of the collections and the library’s renown. Its activities are manifold:

* In close collaboration with the curators, it devotes most of its resources to acquiring rare or precious documents and communication tools;
* It participates in the organisation of exhibitions as well as producing brochures and postcards;
* Since 1962, it has published a regular newsletter which has become a genuine reference work in the fields of the decorative arts and artistic events;
* It organises guided visits of workshops and exhibitions.

For more information about us, visit:

Digital device (graphic screen), presentation and guide of the library’s resources open to the public.