Documentation and collections centre

Specialized multimedia and multilingual documentation centre

The documentation centre was founded when the Institut International de la Marionnette was created in 1981.
This specialized multimedia and multilingual centre grew out of the initial donation of Jean-Loup Temporal (1921-1983), which included printed materials from the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as autograph or typewritten manuscripts of texts for puppet shows. It has been supplemented over time by donations, bequests and acquisitions.

The documentation centre has had an online catalogue where most of its resources are listed.
It is at the service of students, trainees, and researchers and is open to teachers, artists and the general public.

The ressources

  • Books: approximately 12,000 works on puppetry and the performing arts.
  • Grey literature: about 100 convention proceedings, masters and doctoral theses.
  • Manuscripts/typescripts: approximately 300 autograph or typewritten manuscripts (typescripts) from the 19th and 20th centuries, plus the typescripts of Edward Gordon Craig, acquired by the Institute in 2001.
  • Periodicals: approximately 300 puppetry and performing arts periodical titles (representing about 8000 issues).
  • Audiovisual documents: approximately 3000 documents (recordings of shows, presentations given at the end of professional training courses, work by students of the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts de la Marionnette (ESNAM), animated films, interviews and documentaries).
  • Iconographic documents: approximately 56,000 documents, on various digital or physical supports (paper prints, slides, negatives, postcards and posters).
  • Documentary files: approximately 7,000 files supplied by documentalists on companies, festivals, permanent theatres, schools and museums in France and around the world, as well as thematic files.
  • Puppet collections: 1500 objects (see the section Puppet collection)


Alain Recoing Collection (1924-2013), entry to the Institute between 1994 and 2015.
Claude and Colette Monestier collection (Marionnettes des Tournemains, Théâtre sur le Fil)
Geneviève Leleu-Rouvray collection
Thierry Dufourmantelle collection (1953-2011), donated by his widow in January 2013
Brunella Eruli collection (1943-2012), donated by her brother, Marco Eruli in 2013
Jacques Chesnais collection (1907-1971) (Branche de Houx, Comédiens de bois), constituted between 2012 and 2016 (gift of her daughter in 2012, purchase at an auction in 2014, bequest of her daughter in 2016)
Yves Joly collection (1908-2013), entry to the Institute in 2017
Monique Créteur collection (Compagnie des Marionnettes de Nantes), donated to the Institute between 2014 and 2019
François Lazaro collection (Clastic Theatre), donated to the Institute in 2020

More details on each collection

Documentary and cultural heritage activities

Audiovisual production (video recordings, interviews, documentaries)
Enhancing visibility of the collections on the Portail des Arts de la Marionnette
• Design and production of exhibitions in collaboration with the Institute’s Research and Innovation Department and cultural heritage institutions dedicated to Puppetry.
• Design and production of mediation tools
Digital / photographic campaigns
• Coordination every two years of the Foire Internationale du livre des arts du spectacle (International Performing Arts Book Fair), during the Festival Mondial des Théâtres de Marionnettes.
Bibliographies for ESNAM students and their educators

Services offered by the Documentation centre

Online Catalogue
Hosting researchers in residence who benefit from access to the resources of the research centre
• On-site consultation of documents
• Help with personalised research
• Providing thematic bibliographies
Computer stations available to readers for consulting digital databases and documents
Responding to requests for information, be they on-site or at a distance
Databases on companies, festivals, training locations, museums, …
• Distribution of a monthly list of new acquisitions
• Opening for the Journées portes ouvertes (Open days) organized by the Institut International de la Marionnette
• Open every day for the entire duration of the Festival Mondial des Théâtres de Marionnettes.

More details