27th March 2020

BnF: Online Resources

Millions of resources freely accessible online


  • For all to; read, look, listen
  • for teenagers and adults : learn, teach and play
  • for researchers and students


In this time of sanitary crisis which prompts us to stay home, the National Library of France keeps on making available the wealth of its collections and the breadth of its digital offer. Ebooks in ePub format, digital items, podcasts, apps, learning sites, media…. Millions of resources are freely available online to work, learn, relax and play.




READ Thousands of books in ePub formatLes travailleurs de la mer / Victor Hugo ; illustrations de Daniel Vierge – BnF Several thousands of books can be downloaded freely in ePub format from Gallica, the BnF’s digital library. This format is especially suited to read on mobile devices (smartphones, eReaders, tablet computers. From the 1876 edition of  «Les travailleurs de la mer» by Victor Hugo , illustrated by Daniel Vierge, to a selection of young adult  literature (Jean de La Fontaine, Benjamin Rabier, Jules Verne…), we cater to the most diverse audiences.


LOOK,LISTEN Podcast and video conferences

Follow philosophy courses by François Jullien, listen to Alan Lee, the illustrator of Tolkien, or listen to legendary theatre voices … the BnF’s conferences are available as podcasts on all dedicated apps and as video on   bnf.fr.


  • Virtual exhibitions


The website  Expositions.bnf.fr is the gateway  to 98 virtual exhibitions classified in 6 thematic paths  (Le livre et l’écrit, Ecrivains et conteurs, Histoire des représentations, Arts et architecture, Photographie, Cartes, plans et globes). This is an opportunity to rediscover the online versions of some of the BnF’s major recent exhibitions such as: Paysages français, une aventure photographie 1984-2017 or Les Nadar, une légende photographique.


  • Millions of images online


Several portals allow one to dive into the wealth of the BnF’s heritage thanks to  selections in Gallica, the Image Bank as well as bnf.fr: among hundreds of themes such as travels, nature images, culinary heritage, globes in 3D or ancient artifacts.



  • Rediscovering our music collections


The BnF Collection Sonore (Sound Collection) offers online 45 000 albums released between 1949 and 1962 and available on all music platforms.

Travelling with Patrimoines partagés / Shared Heritage

The digital collection Patrimoines partagés / Shared Heritage brings together a set of digital libraries constituted by the BnF. It brings to life the richness of the ties established by France and the rest of the world across the centuries and put in light the global dimension of France’s past.




  • Bibliothèques d’Orient
  • France-Pologne
  • France-Brésil
  • France-Chine
  • France-Japon




In this context of crisis, the BnF has made the choice of freely making available online all content to be found on Retronews, its dedicated press site. All resources produced by journalists, researchers and scholars – articles, documentary series, video and audio documents evoking and analyzing past events, be they trivial or important ones, covered by the press of the time – are freely accessible without prior registration. Moreover, thanks to a 15-day subscription free of charge – available on all pages of the site -, it is also possible to access all advanced search features. In order to do so, please create a book-entry account at the following address:  https://www.retronews.fr/inscription/gratuit0320

All personal data will be deleted at the end of the subscription.




  • Colouring books and games.


Classes.bnf.fr gives also access to Gallica’s coloring sheets and coloring albums, thematically classified: alphabet books, animals, circus, fairy tales, image books, games, means of transportation, landscapes, plants, advertizments.

Various games invite users to follow the traces of Ulysses, to become King Arthur in a role-playing game or to pierce the mysteries of the Kingdom of Istyald in a video game.


  • Playful apps


The BnF has created apps to engage in a playful way with its collections through creating a pictorial narrative with BDnF or kind monsters with Fabricabrac.




Holders of  a Pass Recherche can access distantly electronic resources, that is about a hundred thematic databases (press, law, sciences…) and 100 000 ebooks.

Tools to assist you in a search such as dedicated portals (sustainable development, Press and media) or bibliographies are available: from Jane Austin to preparing entrance exams for teaching jobs, CAPES and Agrégation, in history, geography or even philosophy.

Gallica regroups also digitized reference works organized in disciplines.


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