The starting point of the development of Paris was the Île de la Cité in the Seine. Since the Middle Ages, Paris has developed developed substantially as the capital of France and one of the largest cities in Europe.
The basic urban structure typical to Paris today was established in the 19th Century, when Napoléon III, and Georges-Eugène Haussmann, commonly known as Baron Haussmann, carried out extensive renovations to the city. A network of new boulevards including the one connecting the Louvre Palace and the Triumphal Arch, water supply and drainage systems, green zones and squares were built during this period. Since then until today, a number of urban plans were implemented to restore and preserve historical monuments or old townscapes constructed by generations of royalties and their architects and to install modern styles in the city at the same time. After a series of renovations, architectural styles of every epoch from the Roman Period, the Middle Ages, to the modern and present times exist in Paris today. This has brought the city and France the most attractive features: diversity and the harmony of the old and the new.
In 1989 and 1998, Kyoto University Library acquired a collection of materials regarding the architecture such as palaces, castles and churches, the streets, the squares and the landscape of Paris and its surrounding areas.
This collection is composed of materials useful for research not only in architectural or technological history, but also French modern history, urban history, cultural history and topography.