Tracing the public of the first Parisian library for art and archaeology: on the readership at Doucet's library (1910-1914)

Claire Dupin de Beyssat
In June 1909 an art and archaeology library opened in Paris, at 16-18 rue Spontini: Discreetly, in a quiet ground floor of the Porte-Dauphine district, rue Spontini, [...] a new library has just opened its doors to historians and artists. It is the beautiful collection of documents, magazines, and books relating to the history of fine and decorative arts gathered by M. J. Doucet in the course of his private research. 2 At the time, Jacques Doucet was already well known within the art world as a
more » ... the art world as a collector and patron. 3 Indeed, since the end of the nineteenth century, he had put together a remarkable collection, 4 specializing in eighteenth-century art and including paintings and sculptures as well as prints, ephemera, decorative objects and books. Parallel to his art and book collections, Doucet seems to have gathered a large number of documents, including registers, inventories and index cards: these archival materials, along with his book collection, expanded with Doucet's interests, and together probably form the foundations of the Bibliothèque d'art et d'archéologie (BAA). Doucet, already generous towards scholars and curious, decided around 1908 to open his library to the public. He recruited a librarian from the Union and archaeology 2
doi:10.48352/uobxjah.00003423 fatcat:x2lnpptbsbbefcivxhsj4cto7i