French and Francophone

French resources

5. French resources in Maghreb

5.2 Libraries and Archives

Libraries and Archives in France

Archives Nationales d’Outre-Mer

Archives on the colonial presence in French Overseas Territories.

The Archives Nationales d'Outre-Mer keeps two large collections:

The archives of the Secretariats of State and the Ministries responsible for the French colonies from the 17th Century to the 20th Century;

The archives transferred from the former colonies and Algeria when independence took place between 1954 and 1962, apart from the management archives which remained in the countries concerned.

All fields of colonial history are represented from the exploration of territories and the creation and administration of the colonies, the economic relations with Metropolitan France and the training of colonial administrators to the monitoring of political and liberation movements, wars and independences. Over 38 km of dossiers, 150,000 photographs, 60,000 maps and plans and a library of 120,000 books, periodicals and press titles.

Gives access to the Archives' online research tool IREL (Instruments de recherches en ligne).

Bibliothèque et Centre de Documentation de La Maison des Sciences de l’Homme d’Aquitaine  & CELFA(Centre d’Etudes Linguistiques et Littéraires Francophones et Africaines)

The Centre d’ Etudes Linguistiques et Littéraires Francophones et Africaines (CELFA) has an important collection on the literatures and cultures of the Maghreb.

Bibliothèque de l’Université Paris IV – Sorbonne & Le Centre International des Etudes Francophones(CIEF)

The library of the Centre International d’Etudes Francophones (CIEF) has a large collection on Maghrebian literatures including a selection of rare books. The CIEF organises numerous research seminars and conferences for national and international researchers in the area of Francophone studies.

Bibliothèque de Littérature Générale et Comparée de l’Université de Paris III – Sorbonne Nouvelle & Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Comparatistes (CERC)

The Library of the Département de Littérature générale et comparée gives access to 8,000 books including a specialist collection on African literature.  The Department (where the CERC is based) specialises in the comparative study of the politics and poetics of writing in Francophone literatures (in particular the Maghreb and the Caribbean).

La médiatèque Abdelmalek Sayad - Musée de l’histoire de l’immigration

La médiathèque Abdelmalek Sayad – the reference library of the Museum contains 20,000 documents and 200 journal titles, and is an important source on the history and memory of immigration in France.


Libraries and Archives in Algeria and Tunisia

Les Archives Nationales de Tunisie,122, Boulevard 9 avril 1938, Tunis 

Contains archives relating to the pre-colonial, colonial and postcolonial period.

The gathering of public records in Tunisia started in 1874, making Tunisia the second country, after Egypt, to opt for the organisation of its records, and this even before the establishment of the French Protectorate (1881-1956). In 1967, the Presidency State Secretariat underwent a whole restructuring, and the archives administration became known as the « Division des Archives générales et de la Documentation » (Division of General Archives and Documentation). Since the beginning of 1999, the National Archives services were transferred from the Prime Ministry to their new headquarters located at 122, Boulevard 9 avril 1938 in Tunis.

Bibliothèque Nationale de Tunisie

The main collections of the national library consist of: a) manuscripts (240,000), including 40,000 pieces related to Arabic-Islamic culture, b) monographs (1,000.000), c) periodic journals (16,000) published in Tunisia dating back to 1860. The library also gives access to non textual sources, such as maps, postcards, plans and etchings, as well as audio-visual sources.

BiblioUniv Algérie (le Portail des Universités Algèriennes), Alger

Online portal to documentary resources held in Algerian Universities. The portal is maintained and edited by the Centre de recherche sur l’information scientifique et technique CERIST 05, Algiers.

CCDZ : Catalogue Collectif d’Algérie

A national catalogue of documentary sources of University, research centres and school libraries in Algeria.

Website available in Arabic only. The library offers access to collections in French, English and Arabic. Available to members only, although it is possible for overseas researchers to request special library access.

Located on two sites: a) old site: BP127 El Hamma, Les Annassers, tel: (213) (0)21 67 57 81, fax: (213) (0)21 67 29 99, Email:; b) new site: 1 avenue Frantz Fanon, tel: (213) (0)21 63 10 49, fax: (213) (0)21 61 04 35.

Bibliothèque  de l’Université d'Alger 1, Algiers
The library contains collections of literary works in French, English and Arabic.

Bibliothèque Centrale - Université Constantine 1, Algiers
Offers access to collections in French, English and Arabic on a variety of subjects and topics. Pluridisciplinaryperspective.

Bibliothèque du CRASC (Centre de recherche en anthropologie sociale et culturelle), Bir El Djir Oran
Documentary sources available in French, English and Arabic. Open access to researchers.

Bibliothèque Jacques Berque, Frenda, Tiaret

No website. Documentary sources on a variety of subjects available primarily in French. The library is affiliated to the University of Tiaret in the West of Algeria.

Bibliothèque universitaire de Tizi Ouzou, Tizi Ouzou

Documentary sources available in French, English and Tamazight. Open access to researchers sponsored by a researcher from the University of Tizi Ouzou; alternatively, the librarian can be contacted to apply for access.

Bibliothèque des Glycines, Algiers
5 chemin Slimane Hocine, 16000 Alger, tel: 021 23 94 85

No website. The Bibliothèque des Glycines hosts documentary sources on the countries and cultures of Algeria and the Maghreb. It contains an important collection of “Cahiers berbères”.

Institut français d’Algérie, Algiers
Documentary sources available primarily in French.



Centre des Archives Nationales d’Alger, Algiers
Les Vergers, Birkhadem, Alger, tel: (213) (0)21 54 16 20, fax: (213) (0)21 44 96 24.

Public access to a variety of documentary sources including microfilms, catalogues, official journals, audio-visual materials. The centre owns an important collection of 3000 maps and plans from the colonial period that cannot be found in France. Archival colonial sources dating back to 1830, although the majority of sources relate to the colonial period 1920-1962.

Centre des archives de la wilaya d’Alger, Algiers
Rue Hocine Asselah, Alger, tel: (213) (0)21 71 14 26.

Access to sources related to the prefectural colonial archives that remained in Algeria after the country’s independence.