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The Mundaneum is an exceptional archive centre and exhibition space in Mons, known to hold 12 million bibliographic records. Le Monde describes it as the Paper Google and the New York Times as The Web Time Forgot.

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Listed by Unesco as exceptional heritage, the Mundaneum stores so many documents they would create a 6 km long line if put side by side... This off the beaten path gem in Wallonia can be compared to the invention of the printing press in the 15th century.

The Centre received the "European Culture Award" in 2016 for helping a shared vision: peace through culture. At the edge of this digital revolution, the Mundaneum offers a fantastic playground bringing together information and digital literacy. It is considered the ancestor of our modern web search engines. It partnered with Google in 2012.

A bit of history

The origins of the Mundaneum date back to the end of the 19th century. Created from the vision of two Belgian jurists, Paul Otlet, father of documentation, and Henri La Fontaine, who was awarded for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1913, the project aimed to gather together and index all of the world's knowledge.
The Mundaneum became a universal centre of documentation and was the birthplace of international humanist institutions during the first half of the 20th century. Today, it is considered the first search engine in history and is nicknamed "Paper Google".

The Mundaneum today

The Mundaneum holds exhibitions and conferences linked to this exceptional heritage site. It preserves significant documentary heritage, which is comprised of:
  • Universal Bibliographic Repertory
  • The International Newspaper Museum
  • Personal papers from the founders
  • Archives on anarchy, feminism and pacifism
  • Books, posters, photographs, post cards, etc.
Since 1998, the Archives Centre has had an exhibition space, with a scenography designed by François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters. The Mundaneum, a space for memory, exchange and exhibitions, today stands in good stead to become a crossroads between history, culture, technology and the debate on culture.


We do our best to keep you informed. It's best, however, to check the latest news with the attraction you are visiting, or operator you have booked an activity with. Read our travel advice.
This information is given for indication purposes only, best to check with the site you hope to visit before heading there - by phone, email, social media or simply by visiting their website. Advantage Pass

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-50% off the individual admission price

Offer valid until 31/12/2024 according to opening hours on presentation of your Pass. Valid for a maximum of 4 people on admission to the permanent tour and current exhibitions. Cannot be combined with other offers from this partner.

Wallonia has developed the Access-i program to give travellers a clear understanding of what the infrastructures offer. Please click here to see the list of facilities and activities accessible to visitors with reduced mobility.

This museum offers the following facilities:

  • If you are blind or visually impaired: holding rails, appropriate toilets, lifts
  • If you are deaf or hard of hearing: video in sign language

This site is not yet Access-I certified: please contact them directly for further details.


Access for PRM (autodeclared) - Daylight - Shop - WIFI


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