Mission statement

The Centre technique du livre de l'enseignement supérieur (CTLes) is a depository for low-use higher-education and research library print collections in the Paris metropolitan area. The facility offers proper safekeeping and preservation conditions. A daily CTLes shuttle delivers requested documents to Paris libraries. Alternatively, interlibrary loans are provided by postal service.

The holdings are divided into three groups :

  • Transfers: collections ownership is transfered from libraries to the CTLes
  • Deposits: libraries remain owners of their collections and rent spaces in CTLes closed stacks.
  • Temporary storage: the CTLes can offer temporary space to libraries facing refurbishment works or disasters. In that case, no document delivery service is provided.

In addition to this first mission, the CTLes has a leading role in the cooperative preservation management of journals collections in higher education institutions. It provides support to the growing number of cooperative preservation programs.

About us

Established in 1994, the CTLes is a State facility under the supervision of the French Ministry of Higher Education. 

The site is shared with the French national library (Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF). The two institutions have the common objective to share and reduce the operating cost.

Chairman of the board : Mr. Philippe Marcerou.  Director : Mr. Guillaume Niziers.


  • 1994

    Founding decree

  • 1996


  • 1997

    Arrival of first holdings

  • 1997-2009

    Shipping platform

    Shipping platform of holdings from the French print legal deposit to main academic libraries.

  • 2004

    Beginning of the shared storage program

    Beginning of the shared storage program in the Paris metropolitan area for print medical journals. Steering committee : Bibliothèque interuniversitaire de santé de Paris and CTLes.

  • 2010

    Larrouturou report

    Report on Parisian academic properties by Bernard Larrouturou delivered to the higher education minister, stipulating an increase in CTLes shelf space

  • 2014

    Increase in the number of shared storage programs for journals

  • 2016

    Building extension

    Opening of a building extension, half-equiped with shelves. Shelf space increased by 55 linear kms

  • 2017


    CollEx-Persée network established. CTLes is a founding member

  • By 2026

    Shelf space to be increased to 185 linear kms



Storage conditions

The CTLes has industrial stacks and traditional stacks.

  • Environment: an average temperature of 18°C and a relative humidity rate of 50% are maintained.
  • As soon as they arrive, the holdings are processed to remove dust item by item by means of cotton cloths and a vacuum cleaner with a particulates filter.
  • All traces of mould and bacteria are tracked. Dubious cases are submitted to the on-site BnF physics and biology laboratory for disinfection if necessary.
  • Holdings are stored in neutral containers made of alveolar polypropylene. This storage system provides maximum protection for print documents (journals and books) against dust, light, bacteria, mould and insects.

Shelf space in linear km 



The CTLes is located in Bussy-Saint-Georges, in the Gustave Eiffel business park, 25 km from Paris.

Contact us

Please do not hesitate to fill the contact form in English.