Observatoire de Paris Library – Museum Collections

The Observatoire de Paris Library maintains museum collections at both its Paris and Meudon sites. Museum holdings are quite varied: scientific instruments, coins, medals, paintings, sculpture, drawings, pastels, prints, photographs …

The museum's collection of 1,000 scientific instruments contains some remarquable 16th century pieces and instruments used in historic scientific breakthroughs: historic expeditions to Peru and Lapland,  instruments used in creating the metric system, or by François Argo and Léon Foucault, to name a few. The iconographic collection of 2,000 documents includes such spectacular pieces as Cassini's lunar map, a depiction of the Southern Hemisphere sky painted by Mlle Le Jeuneux in 1732 based on Abbé Nicolas de La Caille's observations, La Hire's self portrait, or pastel astronomical illustrations by Léopold Trouvelot.

Access terms

Free annual registration required. The library is open to Observatoire de Paris staff and students, as well as to outside lectors upon proof of current research.

Outside lectors will be granted a three-day pass, without proof of research, on presentation of a valid official photo ID. 

Lending terms

Library loans are reserved for permanent and temporary Observatoire de Paris staff and students.

Lending terms: 1 month, renewable 5 times. 20 documents maximum. 

Observatoire de Paris Library – Museum Collections

Contact and localisation

77 avenue Denfert-Rochereau
75014 Paris
+33 (0)1 40 51 21 90


Mon.-Fri.: 9:00 am -1:00 pm; 2:00 - 6:00 pm

Service and equipment

Computer with free access