The acquisition in 1856 and 1866 of the majority of the papers and manuscripts of Bernardin de Saint-Pierre marked the beginning of the library of Le Havre's policy of acquiring pieces of national heritage. Along with Casimir Delavigne, Bernardin de Saint-Pierre was Le Havre's literary giant in the XIX century.
The library currently conserves manuscripts and drafts of the main works of the author, except for Paul et Virginie: the drafts of Harmonies de la Nature, Les Etudes de la nature, Le Voyage à l'Ile-de-France, and fragments of Arcadie, Amazone, Empsaël and Zoraïde. The extensive correspondence addressed to Bernardin de Saint-Pierre or written by him give an idea of how prolific and famous he was.
In addition, the library is actively seeking to acquire the many editions of the works of Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, especially of Paul et Virginie. A part of the works collected by Paul Toinet were acquired in 1996 with the help of the FRRAB of Haute-Normandie.
The inventory of these collections can be consulted in the Catalogue collective de France and the new acquisitions in the library's online catalogue.
The very rich correspondence of Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, part of which is conserved at the library, is being inventoried and digitalised by the research body Electronic enlightenment, who are based at the University of Oxford.