National Library of Benin

The National Library of Benin (French: Bibliothèque nationale du Bénin) is the legal deposit library for Benin. Originally chartered in November 1975 and located in Ouidah, the library moved to a purpose built unit in the Ouando neighbourhood of Porto-Novo during the 1980s.

National Library of Benin
Benin National Library ext.jpg
Established1975 Edit this on Wikidata


Benin National Library emblem

Originally located in Ouidah,[1] The National Library of Benin was established on 25 November 1975 following the approval of the decree n°75-305. The first director of the library was Noël Hontongnon Amoussou. A 1976 Unesco report on the early stages of development of the library underlined the limited budget, the lack of personnel training, and the lack of global planning.[2] A new building was created during the 1980s in Porto-Novo, which was opened to the public in 1987.[1] For many years the director of the National Library was Florence Ayivi Foliaon.[3]

By 2014, the library did not have a fire emergency system in place, no internet network, and the place had not been visited by the country's Minister of culture for 20 years.[4]


The purpose of the National library of Benin is to collect, organize, preserve, and make accessible the documentary patrimony of the country.[4] The library is composed of three units.[4] Since opening, it holds a collection of 10,000 ancient documents on Dahomey and Africa in general. 4 copies of all books produced in the country must be deposited at the National Library (3 for books printed less than 300 times[5]).[2] The French Institute in Benin donates 3-year-old magazines and newspapers to the library.[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Kent, Allen; Lancour, Harold; Daily, Jay E., eds. (1989). "The National Library of the Republic of Benin". Encyclopedia of library and information science (Volume 44 ed.). M. Dekker. pp. 26–27. ISBN 9780824720445.
  2. ^ a b (in French) Kenneth H. Roberts, Rapport d'une mission financée par le programme régulier,, October 1976
  3. ^ Mathurin C. Houngnikpo; Samuel Decalo (14 December 2012). Historical Dictionary of Benin. Scarecrow Press. pp. 19–. ISBN 978-0-8108-7373-5.
  4. ^ a b c (in French) Esckil Agbo, Une quarantaine d'années après sa création: La bibliothèque nationale du Bénin végète dans une décrépitude grandissante,, 25 October 2014
  5. ^ Mandatory Deposit Laws,
  6. ^ (in French) Léon Sogodo Djogbenou, De la presse sur support papier à la presse en ligne : tendances et évolution à la médiathèque de l’Institut français du Bénin,, 19 January 2016


External linksEdit

Coordinates: 6°30′42″N 2°36′22″E / 6.5118°N 2.6061°E / 6.5118; 2.6061