Housed in the former Salle du Clergé in the Hôtel des Menus-Plaisirs, the CMBV library has amassed a unique collection of 17th and 18th century French baroque and classical music.
It has expanded its remit to include theatre, dance, literature, history and the performing arts. It is both a working centre and a source of information for researchers, university students and amateur and professional opera singers and musicians.
The CMBV is freely available to students, musicians, researchers, genealogists and academics working on baroque music. Study groups from France and abroad are also welcome.
Admission to the library is by appointment only. General enquiries and requests for an appointment should be preferably sent by email.
Material may be consulted on site but there are no lending facilities.
Photocopies or digital copies of documents and music are permitted, provided they are copyright-free, unpublished or not commercially available.
The CMBV library’s digital catalogue lists the digital and print documents available on site. The instructions on the catalogue home page should be followed to ensure optimum research results.
The available copies bar under each catalogue record indicates the barcode, shelf mark and document media of each copy. The symbol indique une source accessible en ligne, il suffit de cliquer pour y accéder.
For legal reasons, CMBV sound archives may not be transmitted in digital form but may be consulted on site by appointment.
The CMBV library provides a free documentation service and can send digital documents if copyright/publishing rights permit. We recommend that you send a permalink when enquiring about a reference featured in our catalogue.
Donations to the library of relevant publications or (audio or video) archives are welcome, space permitting.
Collections, publications & reprints, journals, sheet music, choral material , sound archives and archives : CMBV library vous permet d'accéder à de nombreux outils.
The CMBV library’s collection of sheet music, publications and journals comprises around 42,000 multi-media and sound archives (in print or digital form) dating from 1550 to 1820.
The library also curates the CMBV’s historical and musical heritage. Auditions, concerts, programmes, audio and video documentaries may be consulted on site.
The CMBV library contains 5,935 publications about the French baroque and classical eras (1589-1789). The collection includes a wide choice of dictionaries, bibliographies, catalogues, monographs, articles and academic works from around the world on French and European music and theatre. They are mainly biographies of composers, essays on French baroque music; regional works, publications about music establishments, musical styles, forms, analysis, notation and performance, treatises on composition, voice, & instruments, performance and notation; works on history, literature, dance, opera, theatre, poetry, liturgy, sociology and iconography.
The library also houses the Marcelle Benoît collection (17th & 18th century France) and the Jean Lionnet collection (17th & 18th Italy).
The CMBV library stocks 73 different journals, including several complete series (around 2 000 issues) on the subject of early music.
The CMBV library contains some 12,000 volumes including 1,500 monumental works about English, French, French-Flemish and German music. Originally created to serve the CMBV’s scientific and musical projects (research, publications, concerts and teaching), the collection began to include facsimile manuscripts and sheet music from libraries worldwide. Thus assembled, it has become one of the most important collections of French baroque and classical music. It features leading composers such as Lully, Couperin, Rameau and Charpentier, as well as provincial musicians such as Desmarets, Grénon and Menault. The library specialises in vocal rather than instrumental repertoires (airs de cour, masses, motets, tragédies lyriques, ballets and operas).
The CMBV library has at its disposal 20,400 multiple examples of choral material (with or without orchestra), 630 publications for the requirements of the CMBV choir school (material for teaching, auditions, concerts, etc.).
The CMBV library has a collection of 2,000 CDs providing various interpretations of repertoires with the focus on French baroque and classical music.
The CMBV library houses audio and print archives.