Composed of rare and mainly unpublished works, the IMEC collections stored at Ardenne Abbey offer the largest catalogue of private literary archives in France. Thanks to authors, artists or their heirs, thanks to publishing houses, organizations, societies and many individuals, researchers are now offered an exceptional archival collection on contemporary scholarly, artistic, literary and publishing life.
IMEC resources and collections are organised in four categories as follows:
- Author collections: drafts and manuscripts, working notes, private and professional correspondence, personal books and diaries, photographs, audio-visual materials, and newspapers and magazines.
- Publisher collections: editorial files, contracts, batch records, accounts, and media kits.
- Journal and press collections: operational documents of the journal, briefing books, correspondence, and contracts.
- Organization and association collections: articles of association, management issues, operational documents, correspondence.
Among all of its archival holdings, the IMEC reserves a special place for certain collections of imprints, and these can be found either in special libraries or in libraries dedicated to the work of specific writers, intellectuals or artists. In addition, many rare books and journals can be found only in IMEC’s specialized collections or publishers’ production libraries.
One also has open access to:
- Case study libraries, offering the published work of authors whose archives are stored at the IMEC, with all the existing editions and translations as well as all the critical literature about them. This collection also contains doctoral dissertations and press kits,
- A large collection of journals, encompassing the 20th– and 21st-century intellectual and creative diversity in arts, literature, humanities and publishing. Special attention is given to friends’ diaries,
- A specialized library on the book trade and archives, making available a selection of books on archives and on the history of print culture and the publishing industry (authors, publishers, printers, libraries, etc.), which partly comes from the collection of the “Cercle de la librairie” (French Employers’ Union of the book industry). For instance, it offers the most comprehensive collection of the Bibliographie nationale de France (French Library General Catalogue of Printed Books).