After the French Revolution of 1789 valuable documents were placed in the stewardship of municipalities, and so began the French tradition of public libraries preserving the cultural heritage of the nation. This model of cultural preservation made it difficult for the French to develop more accessible public libraries along the lines of the United States or even the United Kingdom. It was not until after the Second World War that France began to move away from its early model toward that of public service – but this transition is far from complete.
cultural preservation model
public library heterogeneity
France has a long library tradition. However, the historical mission of ...