The BULAC's primary mission is to create relevant and robust collections of books and documents, mainly in vernacular languages, on the languages and civilisations of the Balkans, Central and Eastern Europe, the Maghreb, the Near East, the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa, Asia, the South Sea Islands and native American civilizations. Linguistics, literature, history and other fields in the humanities and social sciences are among the vast disciplinary fields the BULAC covers to promote understanding of these cultural spaces.
At the BULAC the concept of "languages and civilisations" covers vast disciplinary fields in the humanities and social sciences, literature and arts of all the countries concerned.
The BULAC's collections bring together the holdings of around twenty libraries and collections specialising in languages and civilisations to give a total of 1.5 million works. A particular feature of these collections is that nearly half of the original holdings were constituted by internationally-renowned researchers.
The documents currently in our collections come in all formats - print (books and journals in all languages), printed sheets, photographs and audiovisual material or digital files.
The BULAC's collections thus respond to users' need to understand the way the world's civilisations are evolving on geopolitical, environmental, religious or cultural levels. The BULAC aims to ensure that the documents in its field are both preserved on a long-term basis and always up-to-date to thus create an international-level research centre with high-level collections and promote interdisciplinarity and a comprehensive approach to phenomena. Another aim is to make this tool available to diverse sectors of society such as students, teachers, researchers, decision-makers as well as the non-academic public and in this aspect the BULAC is unique among its kind.
Located at the heart of the Pôle des Langues et Civilisations (Languages and Civilisation Centre), next to the Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales (INALCO) [French National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations], the BULAC's vocation is to provide a space help bring people together and for creation, reference and memory. The library aims to develop a synergy between the research and librarian professions throughout the successive stages of scientific creation - the production and processing of corpora and conserving and communicating documents. As this kind of ambition in the field of documentation involves such vast territories, it only makes sense in the broader framework of a partnership with other institutions which makes up a robust documentation network with accurate mapping of document resources in each field.
The "Pôle des langues et civilisations" (Languages and Civilisation Centre) opened in October 2011, providing new facilities in the new Latin Quarter of Paris - the "ZAC Paris-Left-Bank" - alongside the Bibliothèque nationale de France François Mitterrand (BnF) [François Mitterrand National Library of France]. This centre has no equivalents elsewhere in the world, bringing together as it does the majority of resources and participants from the field of diversity of world languages and cultures.
The "Pôle des langues et civilisations" is not autonomous on an administrative level and is made up of several organizations with converging interests, objectives and missions in the same group of buildings:
The "Pôle des Langues et Civilisations" also has an 200-seat auditorium which regularly houses cultural and scientific events organized by the INALCO, the BULAC and their partners. The auditorium can be reserved for use by public or private sector organizations: auditorium [at] bulac.fr.
The BULAC's Education and Research Coordination Mission was set up to galvanize exchanges between the library and the world of research into the geolinguistic sectors covered by the BULAC .
There are multiples objectives to this namely:
This Mission works on behalf of varied sections of the public including teachers, researchers, doctoral and post-doctoral students working on world cultural, political and economic diversity. Specific services are provided for these users for example personalized assistance for researchers from other countries. The Education and Research Coordination (Coordination Enseignement et Recherche) mission is the designated contact for teachers and researchers to ensure constant coordination on priority acquisitions.
Contact: enseignement-recherche [at] bulac.fr
Part of the BULAC's mission involves organizing cultural events with the aim being to provide alternative ways for people to discover all the singularity and wealth of the BULAC's heritage collections and thus enrich their personal or professional culture.
The BULAC's cultural events draw on all the forms, sources and formats of knowledge and include the monthly "Mardis de la BULAC" (Tuesdays at the BULAC) conferences, book-centred events, film screenings and exhibitions. These events promote the remarkable, specialist collections at the BULAC, particularly our holdings in vernacular languages which help make the library so original, and also facilitate exchanges between different knowledge fields thus promoting transdisciplinarity and the transmission of knowledge.