Fifty years ago, the demonstrations of May 68 turned the streets of Paris and Nanterre upside down, and shook France to its very core. Linked with a vast international protest movement, it brought about profound changes in French society.
Fifty years on, various cultural institutions explore the history and legacy of May 68 through get-togethers, exhibitions, newly-opened archives, participatory workshops, theatre, music, debates and talks casting fresh light on the events.
Uniting the programmes of several cultural partners in Paris and the surrounding region, this site is designed to share these rich and varied tributes with a broad public.
A civic institution supporting the collective memory.
Collecting, conserving, communicating, explaining and showcasing its holdings, and promoting a sense of citizenship among young people are the fundamental roles of the Archives Nationales.
Created during the French Revolution, the Archives Nationales preserves the public archives of the various political regimes from the 7th century to the present day, as well as deeds of Parisian notaries and private archival holdings.
The Law of 7 Messidor Year II (27 June 1794) established free access to the state’s archives as an assurance of democratic governance and state transparency.
Around 350 linear kilometres of archives are conserved, in all formats, together with millions of native digital files.
Among these documents are items which symbolise key moments in French history such as Merovingian papyri, the trial of the Templars, Louis XVI’s journal, the Tennis Court Oath, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, Napoleon’s will, the successive French Constitutions, and the first numerical census of the population in 1962.
The Bibliothèque nationale de France is one of the oldest and largest libraries in the world. It welcomes visitors on four locations in Paris and keeps its collections alive thanks to a rich calendar of cultural events.
The BnF collects, preserves and highlights the national heritage. Its collections, gathered through the legal deposit and thanks to an active acquisition policy, are unique in the world: 15 million books and periodicals but also manuscripts, prints, photographs, maps and plans, scores, coins, medals, sound, video and multimedia documents, sets, costumes… that are constantly increasing. All intellectual, artistic and scientific disciplines are represented and classified according to some encyclopaedic approach. The premises of the BnF welcome over one million visitors every year. Gallica, the digital library of the BnF, provides free access to over 4 million documents.