Sainte-Geneviève Library (French: Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève) is a public and university library in Paris, which inherited the collection of the Abbey Of St Genevieve. The library contains around 2 million documents.
The Sainte-Geneviève Library inherited the writings and collections of one of the largest and oldest abbeys in Paris. Founded in the sixth century by Clovis I and subject to the rule of St Benedict, the abbey was initially dedicated to the apostles Peter and Paul. In 512 the body of St Genevieve, later the patron saint of Paris was buried there and in time became the new dedication. The monastery was repeatedly plundered by the Normans in the ninth and tenth centuries, yet increased activity is visible in the early eleventh century.
Subsequent decadence led to a reform in 1148 promoted by the abbot of Saint-Denis, Suger, then regent of France. The Canons Regular of St Augustine were installed at the abbey until the Revolution, maintaining the library and a school of copyists. The oldest known manuscript from the library of the abbey, now preserved at the Public Library of Soissons (ms 80) is an ex-libris of the twelfth century: Iste liber is Sancte Genovefa parisiensis.
As was the custom in ecclesiastical libraries, this mark of ownership is accompanied by a threatened penalty for anyone daring to steal the book or simply mask the ex-libris: Quicumque furatus eum fuerit, vel celaverit, vel ab ecclesia subduxerit, vel titulum istum deleverit, anathema sit (Whoever steals this, or uses the offices of the church to withdraw it, or removes or otherwise conceals its title, he is anathema).