Explore the Collection

Our shelves hold over 120,000 books

The material in the Library's collection of over 120,000 items is composed primarily of works by American and other English-language authors, and features significant holdings in American history and civilization, American literature and literary criticism, American artists, and general aspects of American culture and society. The collection is otherwise described as encyclopedic, covering all topics of knowledge.

The Library also offers the best of classic and contemporary fiction; English translations of world literature; non-fiction ranging from art to business, travel to social sciences, self-help to biographies, languages to cookbooks, and more. An extensive collection of reference materials is also accessible for consultation, and includes dictionaries, encyclopedias, basic reference works in all fields, bibliographies, and periodical indexes.

Over 100 periodical titles are available for consultation (newspapers, magazines and journals), complemented by 2500 titles accessible online.

The Library welcomes and encourages suggestions for purchases. These suggestions are used to help the Library's staff in developing collections that serve the interest and needs of our members and the community.

Catalog search

Use our online catalog search to find books, music and videos from our general and children's collections. Use the drop-down ‘Search’ menu to search by keyword, author, title, subject, or series. Narrow your search to a specific section, date, or format, using the ‘More search options’ link or the 'Narrow your search' filters. To view our alphabetical lists of subject headings, series names, or author entries, use the ‘Browse’ option under the 'Search' menu.

Catalog Search

If you are looking for an article from a journal, magazine or newspaper, please see details of our digital databases or our list of periodicals available in print, or on CD or microfilm.

Children & young adults collection

With more than 10,000 volumes, The American Library in Paris has one of the largest collections of English-language books for young readers in continental Europe.

The collections for children and young adults include board books for babies and preschoolers, a wide selection of classic and contemporary picture books, children's fiction and early chapter books, as well as an extensive non-fiction collection for school age children and a diverse young adult collection. The Library also subscribes to several English-language magazines intended for children and teens. Over 500 children's films are available on DVD with audiobooks and music CDs available as well.

The American Library in Paris carries the entire selection of Caldecott award-winning titles from 1938-present, and all Newbery award winning titles from 1922-present, along with many of the honor books from each of these collections.

Audio-visual collection

The Library's collection of CDs and audio tapes includes jazz, pop, classical works, and audiobooks. American and international films, as well as documentaries and popular TV series, are available on DVD. Also available: Language learning methods, on audiotape and CD.

Special Collections

Special collectionsMembers and users of the Library have access to unique special collections including materials donated by Olivia de Havilland, an Honorary Lifetime Trustee of the Library. Over the years, other well known figures such as Marlene Dietrich, Sylvia Beach, Janet Flanner, Patricia Wells, and Nadia Boulanger have contributed their private collections of both fiction and non-fiction.

The Library is also home to the cookbook collection of the late Gregory Usher, creator of the Ritz Escoffier cooking school and former director of both Le Cordon Bleu and La Varenne cooking schools of Paris.

The American Library is expanding its collection of art books thanks to a ongoing relationship with the Paris College of Art. All members and users of the Library have access to these art book and periodical offerings on a reference-only, non-circulating basis.

Last modified on Thursday, 18 December 2014 11:30