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The library of the Royal Museum of Mariemont is a scholarly and research library that covers a far-reaching area connected primarily with history, archaeology and art history. The richness of its antique and rare collections, its specialized documentation and its computerization and digitalization programmes make it one of the principal research libraries of the French-speaking Community of Belgium. The library, like the Estate of Mariemont, was bequeathed to the State of Belgium in 1917 by the Hainaut industrialist and patron Raoul Warocqué. Having inherited splendid bibliophile collections from its donor, it has continued to be enriched and currently has a collection of around 130,000 volumes. Located in the Museum building, it welcomes visitors, students and researchers in a spacious reading room offering open shelf access to a rich documentation of several thousand volumes. Card and computerized catalogues give access to all the collections.

Principal disciplines

History - Art History - Archaeology
Classical philology - Far East
Decorative arts (principally Ceramics)
Bibliophilic - Museology

Number of volumes

130,000 volumes, 400 of which are titles of current periodicals.

Composition of the collections

Warocqué Collection (donated by Raoul Warocqué, 1870-1917) :

Precious works (rare editions from the 15th to the beginning of the 20th century, decorative bindings, illustrated books, etc.), documentary library.

Increases and donations since 1935 :

Along with the regular acquisitions of works and journals concerning the Museum’s disciplines, several exceptional donations have enriched the collections :

  • Michaux Collection: incunabula, Aldine editions, bibles and religious works, illustrated books.
  • Charles Bertin Collection: manuscripts and original editions of French literature of the 20th century, fine bindings.
  • Charles Plisnier Collection: archives of the Belgian writer Charles Plisnier (1896-1952).
  • Geoffroy de Beauffort Collection: automobile literature, decorative bindings, original editions and large-format editions.

 Specialized sections

  • Periodicals
  • Archives and manuscripts
    • Archives of the Warocqué family
    • Regional archives (civic guard of Chapelle-lez-Herlaimont, Mariemont-Bascoup brass band, Carton de Familleureux family, Abbey of Aulne, etc.)
    • Archives of the French Egyptologist Alexandre Moret (1868-1938)
    • Archives of the writer Charles Plisnier (1896-1952)
    • Archives of Redu, the “Village du Livre
    • Around 100 manuscripts, from the 12th century to the present: charters, papal bulls, book of hours, literary and historical manuscripts, etc.
  • Handwritten documents: Around 5000 letters and documents by famous men and women: royal families, politicians, writers, musicians, philosophers, scientists, etc.
  • Maps: Documents linked with geography, the cadastral register, navigable and railway routes, the coal mines of Belgium and principally those of Hainaut.