Far East Libraries

Libraries and collections

The Far East Libraries possesses noteworthy collections, most of them unique in France, available to researchers and advanced students working on classical China, Japan, India and Tibet as well as ancient and modern Korea. The institutes share a common management and reading room, but each collection is the responsibility of a specific institute: the Institute of Advanced Chinese Studies (IHEC), Institute of Advanced Japanese Studies (IHEJ), Institute of Indian Studies (IEI), Institute of Tibetan Studies (IET) and Institute of Korean Studies (IEC). The collections consist of personal libraries bequeathed by professors of the Collège de France, collections gathered by the oriental institutes of the Sorbonne before their transfer to the Collège de France in 1972, as well as multiple donations (from professors, French and foreign foundations, etc.), transfers (the complete collections of the former Centre of Chinese Studies in Peking, brought back to France after 1950), books acquired by CNRS teams hosted by the Collège de France and major purchases made with the Far East Libraries’ budget since 1973.

The Chinese catalogue contains the largest number of titles and includes, in particular, rare books (shanben, with a published catalogue), the finest European collection of local monographs (difangzhi) and a rich collection of collectanea (congshu, with a published catalogue). The Japanese collection, somewhat smaller in size, also comprises numerous collections on religion, literature and anthropology, as do the Korean and Tibetan collections. The Indian collection is devoted primarily to literature in Sanskrit and Indo-Aryan languages, history and archaeology. In addition, the Institute of Indian Studies has computerized map and photograph collections covering the whole subcontinent.


Access is limited to researchers, professors and doctoral and post-doctoral students. Master’s students are admitted upon introduction by their supervisor.

Services available

On-site consultation, photocopying, microfilm reader-photocopier, loans (with restrictions), on- and off-line bibliographic research help and information by post or telephone. Periodicals in the Chinese collection are also accessible via the SUDOC online catalogue.

The management and cataloguing of acquisitions are entirely computerized. Retrospective computerization of the old card catalogues is underway. More than 100,000 notices have been keyed in, of which approximately 80,000 are accessible in their original scripts (Chinese, Japanese and Korean) on the Collège de France libraries OPAC.

Opening hours

September–July: Monday to Friday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. (restrictions apply for the Japanese, Korean and Tibetan collections).
August: Monday to Friday, 2 p.m.–6 p.m.
The libraries are closed during Christmas holidays.


Far East Institutes
52, rue du Cardinal Lemoine
75231 PARIS Cedex 05, Staircase C, 1st floor
Tel.: +33 1 44 27 10 98 (secretary’s office)
Fax: +33 1 44 27 18 54

Institute of Advanced Chinese Studies
Tel.: +33 1 44 27 18 08/18 09

Institute of Advanced Japanese Studies
Tel.: +33 1 44 27 18 06/18 24

Institute of Korean Studies
Tel.: +33 1 44 27 18 32/18 14

Institute of Tibetan Studies
Tel.: +33 1 44 27 18 30

Institute of Indian Studies
Tel.: +33 1 44 27 18 10/18 07