Iron Mountain is thrilled to announce our first bi-continental partnership with The French Heritage Society (FHS), in support of France’s oldest cultural organization: the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BnF). Based in Paris and New York, The French Heritage Society’s mission is to ensure that the treasures of French architectural and cultural heritage survive to inspire future generations to build, dream, and create. FHS does this by transmitting and safeguarding the skills, knowledge and love of heritage through transatlantic educational programs for university students, architects, artisans, art connoisseurs and collectors; fostering Franco-American friendship and cross-cultural exchange through select tours, lectures, conferences, galas and other events on both sides of the Atlantic; and raising funds for restoration and preservation grants.
“Thanks to Iron Mountain’s generous support of the French Heritage Society, the restoration of the remarkable 18th-century Louis XV Salon, also known as the Cabinet du Roi (the King’s Study), will open up to the public for the first time in 2021 as part of a major restoration campaign in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France,” explained Jennifer Herlein, the Executive Director of the French Heritage Society.
Iron Mountain’s Living Legacy Initiative is the company’s charitable commitment to preserve and make accessible cultural and historical information and artifacts. In 2017, Iron Mountain awarded The French Heritage Society a grant on behalf of the BnF’s Louis XV Salon. The Louis XV Salon has held the royal coin and medal collection since the 18th century.
The BnF is one of the world’s largest, most prestigious and digitally accessed libraries. Originating in 1368 as the Royal Library of Charles V, the BnF holds nearly all of France’s history. One of its most famous features is the large encyclopedic collection it holds—the collection ranges from 1,900 BC, with the Prisse Papyrus, to today. The BnF has been compared to the French version of the British Library or United States’ Library of Congress: a place of not only storage, but preservation of pieces with a scientific, artistic, and intellectual emphasis.
“The Bibliothèque Nationale de France is amazing, in terms of its architecture and history,” David Forest, Iron Mountain France’s Director of Projects, Strategies and Purchasing, noted. “The renovation ensures the Bibliothèque will continue its prime function of storing precious information and artifacts, as well as adding additional space for visitors to access new museum content. Iron Mountain France is pleased to be a part of this preservation and conservation project.”
The BnF has thirty million online visitors and 1.2 million visitors and readers annually. The BnF’s ambitious restoration project is from 2017-2021. In 2021, the site, which currently receives some 500 visitors a day, will be able to welcome 2,000 people daily, from researchers in its reading rooms to visitors who will come to discover the many treasures of the collections in its renovated museum.