The American Library in Paris Collection

The material in the Library’s collection of over 100,000 items is composed primarily of works by American and other English-language authors, and features significant holdings in American history and civilization, American literature and literary criticism, American artists, and general aspects of American culture and society. The collection is otherwise described as encyclopedic, spanning many genres, and includes numerous works in translation.

Several hundred fiction and non-fiction eBooks are available on the OverDrive platform, and new releases are added regularly.

The Library is subscribed to nearly 100 periodical titles (newspapers, magazines, and journals), which are available for consultation and borrowing. These print issues are complemented by online access to two dozen popular e-magazines via the RBdigital app. Library members can access an additional 2500+ periodical titles from two leading digital databases, JSTOR and EBSCO, which contain full-text articles from scholarly, academic, and popular periodicals.  For title lists and details about accessing these online resources, visit our digital databases page. Or, login directly from our online catalog.

The Library welcomes and encourages suggestions for purchases by Library members. These suggestions are used to help the Library’s staff in developing collections that serve the interest and needs of our members and the community.

Catalog search

Use our online catalog search to find books and periodicals from our collections. Use the drop-down Search menu to search by keyword, author, title, subject, or series. Narrow your search to a specific section, date, or format, using the More Search Options link or the Narrow Your Search filters. To view our alphabetical lists of subject headings, series names, or author entries, use the Browse option under the Search menu. If you are looking for an article from a journal, magazine, or newspaper, please see details of our digital databases and e-sources.

Periodical Archives, Institutional Archives & Special Collection

An appointment is now necessary to consult items from our archives. Please email us to make arrangements.

Our onsite periodical archives includes past issues of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Harper’s Weekly, The New Yorker, Life, Ebony, Art in America, and many others. The majority of the Library’s periodical archives are located on the Lower Level and in the main floor Conference Room. Our complete list of archived periodical titles and date ranges is listed on the archives appointment application. To check availability of a specific issue, please email our librarians.

A significant portion of our periodical archives is now housed in the CTLes (Centre Technique du Livre de l’Enseignement Supérieur) repository. Library members may request issues via interlibrary loan (fees apply)  To search the catalog of periodical titles at CTLes, please check here.

The Library’s small Special Collection is held in the Collections & Reference Office and in the Director’s Office. Our Special Collection includes books previously owned by Marlene Dietrich, Sylvia Beach’s Shakespeare & Company bookstore, Janet Flanner, Patricia Wells, Nadia Boulanger, Alain Bosquet, Irwin Shaw, James A. Emanuel, and others. All the books in our Special Collection are listed in our online catalog.

The Library’s institutional archive of documents and photographs may only be consulted by prior arrangement. Please email us with information about your research and we will send you the relevant finding aids. Many of the Library’s oldest archival photographs are visible on our Tumblr and a selection of images and documents that illustrate milestones in our history are on our website’s timeline.

How the Library is arranged:

Main Floor

The front of the Library houses New Books, Cookbooks, Graphic Novels, and current periodicals. Art books, including Sports & Recreation (700s) are entirely shelved in the soundproof Florence Gould Reading Room. Fiction, Biography, Travel Guides and Travelogues are located under the Mezzanine.


Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Mysteries are located on the Mezzanine. The Non-Fiction collections on the Mezzanine include: Generalia (000s), Philosophy & Psychology (100s), Religion (200s), Social Sciences (300s), Languages & Linguistics (400s), Natural Sciences (500s), and Applied Sciences (600s).

Lower Level

The Lower Level is dedicated to our extensive Literature & Literary Criticism (800s) and History (900s) collections, as well as the bulk of our periodical archives.

Children's Library & Teen Mezzanine

With more than 19,000 items, The American Library in Paris has one of the largest collections of English-language books for young readers in continental Europe. The collections for children and young adults include board books for babies and preschoolers, classic and contemporary picture books, children’s fiction and early chapter books, as well as an extensive non-fiction collection for school-aged children and a diverse young adult collection. The Library carries the entire selection of Caldecott award-winning titles from 1938-present, and all Newbery award winning titles from 1922-present, along with many of the honor books from each of these collections.

Click here to learn more about our children’s collection.

Click here to learn more about our teen collection.