La médiathèque

The Media Library

20,000 books and more than 3,000 audio-visual documents can be freely consulted in the mahJ’s media library, an unparalleled source of information on the art and cultures of Judaism.

The media library

Located midway through the permanent collection, the media library and its 28 workstations provide all visitors with free access to more than 20,000 books and some 3,000 audio-visual documents, a source of information on Jewish art and culture for researchers and the general public unparalleled in Europe.

The collection

The library’s acquisition policy focuses on traditional Jewish art (religious art, manuscripts, synagogues, funerary art), Jewish art in the modern era (artists and movements in all fields, including music, literature, the performing and audio-visual arts), and questions of iconography and representation. In parallel, the library has developed a collection on Judaism and the history of the Jews and their communities.

In addition to the 2,000 documents inherited from the Musée d’Art juif (monographs, periodicals, dossiers on artists), a loan from the Séminaire israélite de France, the library is constantly enriched by numerous donations.

The media library is enriched by some 700 items each year.

Computerised catalogue

You can consult the media library’s catalogue on the Rachel network at

Archives, documents and press

In addition to its book collection, the media library is custodian of the archives of some 40 artists and artistic institutions. It also has 3,000 dossiers on artists, 2,000 thematic dossiers including numerous dossiers on the local history of the Jews in France, more than 50 collections of historic French Jewish newspapers and periodicals dating from the early 19th century to the present day, and European Jewish newspapers and periodicals, notably Zionist publications and literature and philosophy reviews. The library subscribes to thirty Jewish community and academic reviews, and periodicals published by cultural and linguistic groups.


In conjunction with the museum’s exhibition programme, the library exhibits a selection of rare documents. Several writing workshops are organised each year. The media library hosts monthly events organised by the Cercle de généalogie juive. Evey month, the Livres vivants programme host with a personality to discuss an aspect of Judaism. 

The video library

In 1991, the mahJ inherited a collection of more than 200 films constituted by the Institut de la mémoire audiovisuelle juive de Paris. The video library also has a collection of recordings of the TV programme La Source de vie from 1985 to 2005.

Regularly enhanced by acquisitions, the video library currently has more than 2,000 VHS cassettes and DVDs, including around 1,000 documentaries, 400 fiction films, 400 recordings of La source de vie, 400 recordings of events at the mahJ, some 20 animation films and around fifteen experimental films. Yiddish cinema and Yiddishland are represented by around 70 titles and Israeli cinema by 300 films. 


The media library hosts some 2,500 visitors yearly. The most frequent searches concern Jewish artists, the history of the Jews in France and of other communities in the diaspora, genealogy and onomastics.