The library of the SHPF

Founded by Fernand de Schickler in 1866 and located near the Place Vendôme, the Société de l’Histoire du Protestantisme Français (SHPF) (Society for the History of French Protestantism), was moved to 54 rue des Saints Pères in a building provided by Fernand de Schickler, in 1885

History of the SHPF

  • Library of the Society for the History of French Protestantism © Fondation Bersier (Thibault Godin 2015)

The library was located in a building overlooking a courtyard, a former clothing workshop and then a bookshop depository.

As soon as 1886 the SHPF opened its doors to researchers once the ground floor was turned into a big reading room.

In 1877 there were about 15,000 volumes in the library; in the early twentieth century it contained about 30,000; and nowadays there are over 180,000.

A huge amount of work went into recovering the memory of a Reformed past, and offering the readers vast amounts of information.

Besides the works, it houses many manuscripts, engravings as well as numerous periodicals. The documentation enables it to act as a museological stock for exhibitions concerning the history of Protestantism.

The SHPF today

  • Bibliothèque de la Société de l’Histoire du Protestantisme Français
    Library of the Society for the History of French Protestantism © Fondation Bersier (Thibault Godin 2015)

The Society presents temporary exhibitions in its library on various themes depending on anniversaries or various celebrations.

It publishes a quarterly magazine called the Bulletin de la SHPF, as well as Notebooks on genealogy. It also organises lectures.

Besides managing the library and its publications, the SHPF also owns Protestant museums in the provinces, the most noteworthy being the Musée du désert at Mas Soubeyran in Anduze.

The SHPF organises with the French United Protestant Church an annual meeting of representatives from huguenot museums in France and abroad.

The Musée du Désert

The Musée du Désert revives 200 years of Huguenot history, mainly the Desert period from 1865 -date of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis XIV- to 1789, during which Protestantism was forbidden in France. Every year, on the first Sunday in September, the assemblée du désert (assembly of the Desert) takes place there: it is a meeting of Protestants from different walks of life who attend worship in the morning and a festive commemoration in the afternoon.

To know more

The library of the SHPF

54 Rue des Saints-Pères, 75006 Paris, France

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