Bibliothèque nationale de France. Département des manuscrits : Mélanges de Colbert

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France. Bibliothèque nationale.
Bibliothèque nationale de France. Département des manuscrits : Mélanges de Colbert
History of French Canada
MG 7 IA 6
Document original
Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada
The Bibliothèque nationale de France is the National Library of France, located in Paris. It is intended to be the repository of all that is published in France. It traces its origin to the royal library founded at the Louvre Palace by Charles V in 1368. Charles had received a collection of manuscripts from his predecessor, John II, and transferred them to the Louvre from the Palais de la Cité. The library grew rapidly during the reigns of Louis XIII and Louis XIV, due in great part to the interest of the Minister of Finance, Jean-Baptiste Colbert (1619 - 1683), who was a huge collector of books. The library moved to various locations over time and opened to the public in 1692. The library's collections swelled to over 300,000 volumes during the radical phase of the French Revolution when the private libraries of aristocrats and clergy were seized. Today, the library’s mission is to constitute collections, especially the copies of works published in France that must, by law, be deposited there, conserve them, and make them available to the public.
Jean-Baptiste Colbert (1619-1683), the Comptroller General of Finance and State Secretary of the Navy under Louis XIV, had, at rue des Petit -Champs in Paris, a very famous library at the time. This minister expanded its library with a huge mass of documents that he bought, or made copies of from a few scholars in Paris, in France and even abroad. The majority of the collections of Colbert were paid to the king's library in 1732. However, some collections remained in his family until the late 18th century, before moving to the National Library. This collection includes correspondence between Colbert and different people in the city, colonies or official ports (Rochefort, La Rochelle, Saint- Malo, Bordeaux, Brouage , etc.). The correspondents include municipal leaders, ambassadors, commanders of ships, governors, intendants, bishops, superiors of religious orders, dealers, managers trading of companies, and so on. Among the many correspondents include Colbert du Terron, Paul Ragueneau, Tracy, Talon, Frontenac, Salières, La Barre, Le Borgne, Mgr de Laval, La Rochette Gargot, Du Perron Thalour, Laurent Tonty, Gaudais-Dupont et Seignelay. Part of the collection deals with the expenses of the royal treasury for paying officers, the maintenance of troops, various allowances and bonuses.