The BSU holds the personal library of Henri Lacaze-Duthiers (books, periodicals, collections of theses and offprints, manuscripts, etc.), which has resided there since the creation of the Arago Laboratory (1881), in the Library of the Oceanological Observatory of Banyuls. The collection contains more than 500 books.
This 'Lacaze-Duthiers' collection is very well preserved and includes rare books by eminent French and foreign scientists from the 17th to the 19th centuries, with exceptional iconography. The collection is strongly oriented towards the history of science. The exceptional nature of the documents and images complements and enriches the scientific literature already available on the Internet.
In particular, the documents presented here contain a picture of biodiversity at the ecological and biogeographical levels that can be used as a point of comparison with the state of contemporary Mediterranean ecosystems. The documents also contain illustrations of unparalleled finesse, drawn using techniques that are no longer used but which often revealed more information than photographs or diagrams. Thus, they represent valuable scientific data for taxonomic studies of marine organisms, and for studying potential variations in morphology and ecosystem condition through comparison with contemporary data. The majority of the documents contained in the Henri Lacaze-Duthiers collection concern marine organisms in the Mediterranean, in particular the Gulf of Lion, but some references concern other regions and ecosystems of the planet.