2021 Année Napoléon > The Bibliothèque Nationale de France (French National Library)

© BnF/Gilles Coulon

As part of the commemorations of the death of Napoleon I in 1821, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France is organising a study day devoted to Napoleon’s interest in public education.

Updated on 10 March 2021

For further information, please visit the website of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (link in French).


Study Day > “Napoleon and public Education”
12 March 2021, 10am – 6pm, online

As part of the commemorations of the Year of Napoleon 2021, a study day will look back on Napoleon’s educational work, beyond the two great works of the creation of lycées (high schools) in 1802 and the foundation of the Université impériale (Imperial University) in 1806.

This study day deals with the reorganisation of the educational system during the First Empire not only from the point of view of its institutions, but also from that of the actors and the content of the teaching. Napoleon’s relationship with libraries is also highlighted.

The study day will be be broadcast online via the BnF’s Youtube channel. To listen to the talks, follow this link


Study day organised by Mr Fabien Plazannet, Director of the Department of Philosophy, History, Humanities at the BnF, with Jacques-Olivier Boudon, Professor at the Sorbonne and President of the Institut Napoléon, and Thierry Lentz, Director of the Fondation Napoléon.

10h: Introduction by Thierry Lentz, director of the Fondation, Marie de Laubier, director of collections at the BnF and Jacques-Olivier Boudon, Professeur at the Sorbonne, President of the Institut Napoléon

10h15-11h: Les hommes de l’enseignement: Roederer, Fourcroy, Fontanes (Thierry Lentz)
11h-11h30: Les cadres de l’enseignement sous le Consulat et l’Empire (Philippe Marchand)

Break (11h30-11h45)

11h45-12h30: L’enseignement de l’économie (Serge Schweitzer)
12h30-13h: Enseigner l’histoire: le projet d’Ecole spéciale d’histoire (Fabien Plazannet)

Lunch (13h-14h30)

14h30-15h15: Les écoles militaires sous l’Empire (Jacques-Olivier Boudon)
15h15-16h: Vu de l’étranger: le modèle féminin des Maisons d’éducation de la Légion d’honneur (Rebecca Rogers)

Break (16h-16h15)

16h15-16h45: La modernisation de la Bibliothèque nationale sous l’Empire (Charles-Éloi Vial)
16h45-17h30: La Bibliothèque de Napoléon à Sainte-Hélène (Jacques Jourquin)

17h30: Musical conclusion by Peter Hicks (Fondation Napoléon) (with Laure Dautriche, violin)

Any last minute changes will be announced here.

The study day will be be broadcast online via the BnF’s Youtube channel. To listen to the talks, follow this link or click on the video below.

BnF – Site François-Mitterrand
Quai François Mauriac, 75706 Paris
Telephone: +33 (0)1 53 79 59 59 (recorded message)

GENERAL Information

List of partners of “2021 Année Napoléon”.

Calendar of Events.

Follow the special Instagram account for “2021 Année Napoléon” events.

Follow the Fondation Napoléon’s Facebook page in English.

Follow the Fondation Napoléon on Twitter.

Consult the page of the partner publishers and their published or republished works
on the occasion of the bicentenary of Napoleon’s death.

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PrEsentation OF THE Bibliothèque nationale de France

The BnF is a public institution (under the supervision of the French Ministry of Culture and Communication) whose mission is to collect, preserve, enrich and inform about the documentary heritage of France.
The institution which used to be known as the “Bibliothèque Royale” (created by the Kings of France from Charles V onwards), then the “Bibliothèque Nationale”, today preserves more than 35 million documents of all kinds (370,000 manuscripts, 16 million printed books and periodicals, 15 million graphic works, 3 million audiovisual documents, 900,000 maps and plans, 650,000 coins, medals and objects,…) covering all subjects.
Its main sources of enrichment is the legal deposit, established by Francis I in 1537 (more than 300,000 new documents acquired each year, including about 80,000 books), acquisitions (54,000 books and 5,500 periodical subscriptions in 2019) or donations and exchanges (several thousand documents per year).
Every year, the BnF welcomes more than 900,000 readers in its various reading rooms and 400,000 visitors to its exhibitions, events and educational activities. It offers a wide range of on-site and remote services, including the digital library Gallica, which now contains more than 6 million online documents and including those from the collections of several hundred other libraries and partner institutions.