Documentary Resources

Library and archive scans

The Library

The library of the Centre de recherche currently contains almost five thousand books. As a working library for researchers, it has to meet their requirements whilst carrying out its associated documentary function as the museum library of the Palace and the Bibliothèque municipal de Versailles (BMV). Apart from indispensable reference books and periodicals, it has taken on the task of assembling a collection of catalogues of French and international exhibitions relating to life at court.

Moreover, thanks to several donations, in 2013, 2015 and 2023, the library of the Centre de recherche du château de Versailles was enriched with around 2,500 specialized works, in particular with the Yves Bottineau donation (on history, art history, painting, sculpture, architecture, town planning and goldsmithing – mainly in Spanish and Portuguese – and on Versailles) and the Daniel Séré donation (on politics and diplomacy from Henri IV to Louis XIV via Mazarin and Richelieu).

In addition to these works, which can be consulted at the library and by appointment at the Research Centre, researchers can also access the 700,000 works of the BMV (around one hundred thousand of which date from before 1800) as well as the 14,000 works in the museum library.

The Collective Catalogue of the National Museums Libraries

In order to make its library catalogue publicly available online, the Research Centre has joined the network of National Museum libraries, which also includes the museum library of the Palace of Versailles.
Following substantial modifications, this collective catalogue is now available online, offering the reader the resources of around fifteen libraries.

Access the online catalogue (in french).

Access to JSTOR

Both the Palace of Versailles and the Research Centre subscribe to JSTOR, a reliable system of digital archives designed to help the libraries of universities and other higher education establishments bring together their academic work, and guarantee its long-term conservation.
The JSTOR database, available on subscription, now gives us online access to scholarly works published in over one thousand academic journals from all over the world, in the areas of humanities, social sciences and science. Monographs and other valuable documents for university research can also be consulted here.

Bibliographic Database of the Centre de recherche

Since May 2010, the Centre has, moreover, made its Bibliographical database available to the public. Accessible through the Research Centre’s resources portal, this database already contains more than 5,650 references relating to Versailles and to subjects addressed in the Research Centre programmes.

A bibliography on the history of Versailles and the French court

In 2022 and 2023, the Research Centre oversaw the preparation of a general bibliography on the history of Versailles and the French court, from the 16th to the 20th century, to supplement the articles already referred to in its biographical database.
This bibliography, which will be regularly updated, lists - as at 23 April 2024 - 1,518 references: 586 scientific works dedicated to Versailles and the court, 465 monographs and biographies, 154 exhibition catalogues, 153 collective works (Festschriften, conference proceedings), 70 chapters or contributions in collective books, and 90 theses and essays. All of these references are classified by type of publication and are contained in the following file (in French):

General bibliography on Versailles

Note that journal articles have been excluded from this inventory as they are already included in the biographical database of Centre de recherche.

Furthermore, from this general bibliography, a selective and thematic bibliography is also available (in French):

Selective and thematic bibliography on Versailles

Archive scans

In addition to providing access to the palace archive collections (architecture, museum, fountains department), the Research Centre has several copies of large series dating back to the Ancien Régime, mainly from the National Archives.

One of the Centre’s important partners is the Archives départementales des Yvelines because of its extensive collections relating to the Ancien Régime, and its role in piloting the use of online databases, with one database for both objects (conservation of antiques and objets d’art) and archives.

Download the inventory of microfilms and digitised documents available to researchers at the Research Centre (in French):

Inventory of microfilms and digitizations
Website produced with the support of:
Château de Versailles
Conseil général des Yvelines