French Library

Child selecting a book at French Library

Located on the 2nd floor of L’Alliance New York’s historic Beaux-Arts building is an extensive French library, right in the heart of NYC. Among all the other famous shows and cultural offerings, Manhattan is also home to one of the largest private collections of French literature in the nation.

Our first-class library offers over 25,000 books, magazines, DVDs, and digital resources for adults and children. The Library’s mission is to provide L’Alliance members and students with a comprehensive, colorful collection of materials par excellence to enlighten, educate, and inspire.

About L’Alliance New York’s French Library

The Library specializes in materials on contemporary France and plays a key role in supporting and promoting cultural and educational activities, as well as providing members with a window into another country. Visitors can find materials on-site, and members have borrowing privileges.

In addition to an extensive literary collection, this bright and sophisticated space houses a 1,500-title DVD collection with many classic films that cannot be found on streaming platforms, and many magazines and newspapers on all areas of contemporary French culture. The online library, Culturethèque, also has ebooks, comic books, hundreds of magazines, podcasts, audiobooks, and learning materials for adults and kids that are instantly available via laptop or tablet.

The Dillon Family Centre de Ressources offers users a wide range of informational services,  while the Jacques and Alexandre Leviant Centre d’Auto-Apprentissage provides a relaxing place where students and members can meet up and practice French over a game, puzzle, or while watching French TV. Young readers will find l contemporary materials in the Library’s Espace Jeunesse and can participate in one of its popular Story Time presentations.

Library Collections

The Library houses French-language books in all subject areas, including the latest bestselling novels, literary classics, travel books, food and wine collections, bandes dessinées, graphic novels, and contemporary literature translated into English.

We also offer French newspapers and magazines, French films on DVD, language-learning materials for all levels and ages, and resources for teachers of French. Children and teens can also choose from more than 5,000 books, magazines, and DVDs.

The Library’s History

L’Alliance New York (formerly the French Institute Alliance Française) was formed in 1971 with the merger of two of New York’s oldest and most distinguished francophile institutions: the French Institute, established in 1911, and the Alliance Française, founded in 1898.

The Library was inherited from the French Institute and, for nearly a century, has presented a broad view of French culture and civilization to the francophone and francophile communities of New York City.

The Library began as a simple reading room with periodicals, sales catalogs, and reference books on French art. It has expanded to include a broad selection of materials on history, literature, civilization, and social sciences.

In 1998, thanks to the generous support of individuals and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Library was completely renovated by the acclaimed architect Michael Graves, recipient of the 1999 National Medal of the Arts and the 2000 Gold Medal of the American Institute of Architects.

Library member picking a book

Become a L’Alliance
New York Member

Become a L’Alliance New York Member and enjoy full access to the library’s extensive collection at our French library in NYC and Culturethèque online.

Tue-Thu: 11:30 am–7:30 pm • Sat: 10 am–3 pm
22 East 60th Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY

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