BnF – Bibliothèque nationale de France


Conditions: in summary

  • Some commercial use of images may be free. There are two sources on the website: one says free, one says a charge
  • Non commercial use is definitely free
  • Images which are already digitised and online are available at high-res free of charge
  • If a reproduction charge is made, there is an 80% reduction for academic use
  • The more charged images are used, the greater the discount

There are two conflicting entries on the BnF site. To be perfectly sure before publication it is advised to contact the BnF directly.

The first conditions says:

‘All catalogue entries are made available free of charge, for any type of reuse, including commercial, with the obligation to quote the source, according to the principle of the Open License.’Licence ouverte  (

Conditions at

However there is a second, more detailed page that says differently. It is clear that in all cases,

‘The non-commercial use of the documents is free and free of charge in compliance with the legislation in force and in particular the maintenance of the mention of source: BnF or Bibliothèque nationale de France.’

It then goes on to say:

Fees and process for the use of documents

You want to use BnF documents in a publication, an audiovisual production, an exhibition, in any paid service or product, advertising or commercial media. These commercial uses are subject to an authorization and the payment of a fee, in addition to and independently of potential reproduction works of documents. (See section “Reproduction products and fees” and “How to order reproductions”). These uses of documents fall in the framework of the ordinance (law) n°2016-307 of March 17, 2016 (title II of book III in the code of relations between the public and the administration).

Non-commercial use of documents is open and free of charge in accordance with the legislation in force, especially the maintenance of the source of the document: BnF or Bibliothèque nationale de France.

Declare a commercial use

When you order reproductions, on estimate or online from Gallica or the Catalogue général, you will be submitted a question about your commercial use at the end of the purchase process, in case of a positive answer, an online declaration form will be submitted.

If you already have images, the declaration form below must be filled as soon as possible for any commercial use project. This form is also available in the section « Mes achats » of your personal account if you have one.

Pay the fee and get an authorization of use

The use fee can either (according to the customer’s choice) be paid after the declaration or upon publication which is based on the sending of a copy of the publication to the Reproduction department. According to the choice made in the declaration, you will obtain a temporary or final authorization of use.


This form has a price simulator so you can quickly get an assessment of your fee without validating it.

Commercial use fees

Detailed prices below are set per image unless otherwise stated. We remind you that potential reproduction works (technical charges) are invoiced independently.

Discounts are applied depending on the total number of images used in the same project:

  • from 10 to 19: -10%
  • from 20 to 29: -20%
  • from 30: negotiated fee
Book, Press and periodical (electronic version included)
Location Fee ex. VAT
Inside page 60 €
Vignette (smaller than 1/8 page) 30 €
Cover 180 €

An increase is applied in case of a distribution in several countries: +50%

However: **********- 80 % for academic publications************




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