Public libraries and the genesis of cultural policies during the XIXth century : Dijon and Besançon between 1816 and 1914

The French public libraries founded by Napoleon in 1803 were created from the confiscations during the French Revolution. The slow development of these libraries during the XIXth century seems to be due to the non engagement of the town councils. This problem is analyzed here for the public libraries of Dijon and Besançon with the manner in which these town councils adapted their own library policy with Paris. This adaptation emerges from the socio-economical restrictions which imply a minimization of the public library priorities.