The historic library
About a thousand volumes are kept at Arenenberg. The section of French authors and philosophers fills the shelves of the library’s cabinet in the museum’s permanent exhibition. The remaining books are stored in the depository. The collection covers virtually all subjects: In addition to literature, there are also books on history, Switzerland, and art. The personal library of Prince Louis Napoléon also includes his textbooks: The classics of Greek and Latin, mathematics, technology, mechanical engineering, and military science. Only a few volumes are bound in red leather while most are paperbacks showing considerable signs of wear and tear.
The research library
In addition to the historic library, a research library has evolved and grown since about 1906. The foundation for this library were various donations and purchases from specialized libraries. These include, among others, the one of Ambassador Dr. Joachim Kühn (1892 – 1978), a researcher of France. The focus of the literature is, of course, on the Bonaparte family and primarily on the most important family members Napoleon I and Napoleon III. Other focal points include history, people, and art. All told, – virtually – all topics associated with the time between the French Revolution and the end of the First World War are covered. The largest portion of the literature is in French as well as in German and English.
The library is a member of the Verein Bibliotheken der Regio Bodensee, the association of libraries in the Lake Constance region. The collection is constantly being updated in the SWB union catalogue of the Southwest German Library Network. About 2,500 titles are added every year.