Collections and Heritage

Paris Sciences & Lettres (PSL) is home to great treasures. Museums, collections and libraries nestled within PSL’s institutions ensure the preservation of precious historical and often obscure little-known (ou unbeknownst) artifacts and pieces of art, including scientific instruments, paintings, statues, drawings, photographs, glass panels plates, furniture, decorative objects, and manuscripts. Accessible to PSL students, faculty and researchers as a rule, some of these collections may be open to the public as well.

PSL’s schools and institutes, centuries-old institutions developing cutting-edge research and design, hubs of artistic creation and emulation, collectively house the fruits of the curiosity, exploration and passions of the renowned scholars and artists writ into their history.
 
Three museums open to the public (Musée de minéralogie de MINES ParisTech, Musée Curie, Musée Pasteur) and the collections of the Observatoire de Paris constitute an extraordinary assemblage of rich, scientific heritage.

Beaux-Arts de Paris is home to an unparalleled collection of artistic heritage, with over 400,000 works of art, including the 25,000 drawings in the Jean Bonna collection, and holds the second-largest graphic arts collection in France, after the Louvre.

PSL’s libraries are equally stunning in this regard, and are home to collections of international importance, from the orientalist collections at Collège de France and the ancient and contemporary sheet music and records at CNSMDP, to the gouache paintings of the decorative artist René Gabriel entrusted to ENSAD and the archives of Paul Langevin at ESPCl.

This collective heritage, essential for informing the history of science and the arts, serves to inspire contemporary design and fosters a fruitful interaction between the arts and sciences at PSL. Moreover, these collections provide prime material for research in the digital humanities field.

This heritage is shared with the public through permanent and temporary exhibits, physical and virtual alike. The buildings in which the collections are housed are themselves remarkable examples of historical architecture.

PSL’s heritage comes to life via the portal PSL-Explore, which includes a single catalogue of all collections, including featured collections, plus virtual exhibits and a digital library.