Resource Centre

A multimedia reference library for students, circus artists, performing artists and researchers.

Open from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5.30 pm.

Resource Centre of Cnac

The Resource Centre houses an extremely rich collection on the circus arts and on the performing arts in general. In partnership with the Bibliothèque nationale de France / BnF, it serves students and interns and is open to researchers and the general public, in the aim of collaboration and exchange with other higher education establishments (ENC Montreal, Esac Brussels).

Documentary resources and Research

Resources and Research

The Resource Centre also works closely with the Cnac research team, producing documentary and audio-visual resources on some of their research projects.

The audio-visual production unit is an educational tool that records numerous research projects. In addition, it provides a service for the profession by recording performances and shows. Part of this audio-visual resource is available at and a collection of videos (circus company shows) will be retransmitted at the portal run by HorsLesMurs.

A few figures:

- 9 000 works, periodicals, documents and dissertations on circus traditions and the contemporary circus,
- 12,000 photos of the Cnac and numerous posters,
- 2,200 videos: 700 on the circus mostly directed by the Cnac, and 800 related to Cnac shows and teaching, 700 on sister arts (dance, theatre, performance etc.),
- 1,300 videos available for streaming,
- more than 400 media available at CNAC.TV.

Specific collections

The Resource Centre also houses a rich selection of the following:

- the archives of the circus historian Tristan Rémy and of the artist Philippe Petit, as well as other historians and collectors such as Jacques Fort and Jean Villiers, etc.
- an exceptional collection on magic, containing 350 rare works that are references in the area, helping the sector to develop and nourishing the Cnac's new courses in magic,
- a collection of 520 remarkably interesting and rare, precious works
- 3,000 old photographs,
- a collection of 1,500 French and international circus journals, specific collections about female artists, the performing arts, stage arts and new technologies

CollEx Label “Circus and Illusion Collection”

In March 2021, the CNAC was awarded the CollEx label for its resource and research centre’s “Circus and Illusion” collection.

CollEx-Persée is an academic and technical information research structure set up in 2017. Its mission is to facilitate the access to and use of library collections by researchers.

By identifying collections of remarkable quality, of national or international interest, and by awarding them a “CollEx” label of excellence. This label relates primarily to documentary holdings in public libraries, both digital and printed, mainly in France. The CollEx (collection of excellence) label makes it possible to enrich and promote to researchers the diversity and quality of the collections recognised within the framework of the national CollEx-Persée, a mechanism of the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research.

The circus arts anthologies

In partnership with the Bibliothèque nationale de France / BnF, the Resource Centre is developing a multi-media site to enable amateurs, professionals and researcher to discover and understand the circus arts and disciplines.