Bibliothèque de Documentation Internationale Contemporaine

  • Library of International Contemporary Documentation
  • BDIC


The BDIC is a library-museum renowned for its collections covering the history of the 20th and 21st centuries, with a focus on international relations. The collections of the BDIC are unique, due to the diversity of their origins, the range of topics covered, and the variety of the types of documents that are conserved.

The BDIC originated from a donation in 1917 of an exceptional private collection dating from 1914, which contained all types of documents relating to the First World War. The documents, including both visual and printed materials, were collected from a wide variety of sources and in many different languages. As a result, the BDIC is in possession of an incredibly rich collection on the First World War, one of the largest and most diverse in Europe.

Archival and Other Holdings

From its origins the BDIC collects, stores and offers its readers Collections of private archives given to the BDIC on deposit. Since the beginning of 1990s, the production of audiovisual archives and oral history adds to this policy.

The main topics of the collections are:

  • First and Second World War

  • history of international relations, from the twentieth century onwards

  • other armed conflicts of the twentieth century, genocides

  • colonial history and history of decolonisation

  • migrations (voluntary or forced), minorities, human rights

  • ideologies, political and social movements, political history.

The BDIC also preserves the archives of "La Cimade" (64 rue Clisson, Paris, France -, (+33)(0)1 44 18 60 50,

Finding Aids, Guides, and Publication

A “Calames Database” is now available for consultation on the website site of the BDIC. The inventories gradually put online are organized in three large categories:

  • The inventories of personal or family archives

  • The inventories of communities’ archive (archives produced by a legal entity: association, party or movement, institution, etc.)

  • The inventories of collections that the BDIC constituted over time thanks to its various departments and by artificially combining documents, may they be in French, in foreign languages or from diverse origins, according to their themes or to their supports. For this last category, 3 big components were defined: World War 1914-1918, World War 1939-1945, Countries and continents

The digitized collections are available for consultation in the digital library of the BDIC.