The BNU's iconographic collections are substantial and varied. They fall into two main groups - the general collection, and the Alsace-related collection. The general collection comprises a set of 25 000 portraits of famous people from all over Europe, and major photographic sets (including a collection of 22 000 French postcards by Father Ottmann, received in 2007, and a collection of drawings and engravings relating to the city of Nuremberg). It is of course the Alsace-related collection that is the larger of the two, and indeed it aims to achieve a degree of comprehensiveness. At present the catalogue covers most of the collection, and a various projects are under way to digitise these images and put them online. The BNU's digital library makes it possible to access the “images of Alsace” using a search engine and viewing the documents on the Internet. The highlights of the collection include the collection of old posters, the portraits of Alsatians, which is updated in partnership with the association “Portraits Anciens d'Alsace”, bookplates, postcards, etc.
In addition to these collections there are those of the workshops of twentieth-century graphic designers and artists (posters, preparatory sketches, gouaches, watercolours, etc), demonstrating acknowledged creativity and dynamism. Indeed the BNU devoted an exhibition to these works in 2009, entitled Lika, Dorette, Hella... women poster artists in Alsace (1900-1970).
The originals may be consulted on request in the Joffre Reading Room, in accordance with the BNU's Regulations.
tel.: +33 (0)3 88 25 28 56