Jean Dubuffet was born in Le Havre in 1901, two years after Armand Salacrou, one year after Georges Limbour and two years before Raymond Queneau. All four went to the Lycée of Le Havre in their youth and forged life-long bonds of friendship. Jean Dubuffet was a painter, sculptor, man of letters and the inventor of a new pictoral and literary language.
In 1977, in conjunction with the Musée Malraux, the library put on the first exhibition dedicated to the literary oeuvre of Jean Dubuffet, following which the artist donated a substantial collection of illustrated works, exhibition catalogues and works of criticism.
In 1994 and again on the centenary of his birth in 2001, the library again exhibited the collection, which had been regularly enriched by several donations and purchases supported by the FRRAB of Haute-Normandie. In addition to the original donation, the collection today includes correspondence which has been donated (letters to Jacques Berne) or acquired (letters to Paul Marteau and Noël Arnaud, letters from Georges Limbour).
In 2011, the manuscripts of Jacques Berne, a poet and friend of Jean Dubuffet, and part of his library devoted to the artist became part of the Dubuffet collection
The collection is inventoried in the Catalogue collectif de France and in the library's online catalogue.