Museum library and documentation centre

The library and documentation centre provide a wide range of documents on the museum collections and all the ceramic arts, and more generally decorative arts.
The documentation centre has a significant archive of documents on the museum’s works and artists, and also on the ceramics manufactories.
The special feature of the archive is that it continually adds documents to its files on the pieces in the museum’s collections.
The library is home to over 8,000 general documents on art, plus a collection of specialist works on the decorative arts and on ceramics, examining all the fields of art from the 19th century to the present day.

Opening days and times

The library and documentation centre are freely accessible on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10am to 12pm and from 2pm to 5pm.
To book an appointment you can contact us by telephone on +33 (0)5 55 33 08 50 or by email at

The collections

The old archives in the Adrien Dubouché National Museum library go back to the latter half of the 19thcentury. Originally, these archives were used by the students at the Limoges National School of Decorative Arts founded by Adrien Dubouché. The library must have been a source of inspiration to these young people, situated right next to the museum’s pieces of art.
The archives are divided into various major themes linked to the museum’s collections, are alphabetically indexed and contain some remarkable works and collections, including :

A copy of Diderot and d’Alembert’s “Encyclopédie”.
Catalogues of the major French, international and world exhibitions from 1871 to 1904.
Accounts of Limoges exhibitions, particularly from 1862, 1864, 1870, 1879 and 1886.
Art and archaeology reviews (L’Art, L’Art décoratif, Art et décoration, L’Art pour tous, L’Art et les artistes, La Gazette des Beaux-Arts, Connaissance des Arts, Bulletins from the Limousin Archaeological and Historical Society).

The contemporary archive contains monographs, French and foreign exhibition catalogues, museum collection catalogues, French and foreign specialist reviews on the decorative arts and ceramics, sales catalogues, and La Gazette de l’Hôtel Drouot (from 2005-2012).
Internship dissertations and thesis on the history of ceramics and the museum are also stored here, and can be consulted with permission. Finally, works about French and foreign manufacturers can also be consulted here.

The museum’s library also contains various resources on other forms of media (books, CD, DVD, VHS and audio cassettes, CD-Rom, slides etc.) relating to workers’ history, the history of porcelain and ceramic techniques, exhibitions, conferences, and the history and collections of the museum.

The National Museum Libraries Collective Catalogue

You can consult the museum library’s catalogue online at :

The photo library

You can also view some of the photographs of pieces in the museum’s collection online :