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The BSI in Geneva

Route de Florissant no 5 (1933-1934)

The architect Samuel Vaucher (1798-1877) built this residence for himself and his family in the late 1830s.

It was later sold to the banker Isaac Hentsch-de Chastel (1785-1868). The house was destroyed in the summer of 2014.

La Bibliothèque Sino-internationale, dont le projet définitif avait été établi en 1932, a commencé à s'installer

dès l'année suivante à Genève, dans un immeuble sis au numéro 5 de la route Florissant [1]

After the installation of the Library at the Château de Montalègre in September 1934, the house at 5 route de Florissant remains active as Institut Sino-International.

The house at 5, route de Florissant.

Château de Montalègre (1934-1938)

route de Vésenaz, Genève. Tél. 45.330

The Sino-International Library was inaugurated at the Château de Montalègre on September 23, 1934.

Asset 1Mont.png

Pavillon du désarmement (1938-1949)

The Sino-International Library moved in January 1938 [2] to the Pavillon du désarmement, an annexe to the Palais Wilson, built in 1932 by architect Adolphe Guyonnet and engineer Louis Perrin.

The building was destroyed by fire on the night of August 1, 1987.

Source : Chine. N°3 (Juin-Juillet 1938), p.31.


A Shanghai branch (French: Section de Shanghai, Chinese: 上海之部 ) of the BSI was situated at Route Fergusson 393 - now Wukanglu 393 (Chinese: 武康路393).

This house, very significant historically, is still visible in Shanghai.

In addition to being the Shanghai seat of the BSI, this house and the compound around was around 1935 :

  • The property and the seat of the Che Kiai Cheu (Chinese : 世界社 ; World Society ), Association de coopération internationale pour le développement intellectuel, économique et social.
  • The seat the Chinese National Committee of Intellectual Cooperation (Chinese: 世界文化合作中国协会).
  • The seat of the Peking National Research Institute (Chinese: 北平国立研究院).
  • The seat of an International school build on the model of the Geneva International School.
  • L'école du livre du Shanghai : a school for librarians and other professions related to books
Wukanglu 393 .png
Map of 393.png

New York

The planned New-York Section of the BSI seems to have never been fully implemented. However, a Woochefee Institute (pinyin: Wu Zhihui) was active in New-York. In the current state of our research, we know very little about the activities of this Institute.

The building was bought in April 1945 by a "Chinese Delegation for International Cooperation" represented by Li Shizeng, and resold in February 1949.

New-York, Riverside drive 85-86

Nice, Lyon, Paris

Other branches were planned in Nice, Lyon and Paris, but seem to have never been fully implemented.


Biblioteca Nacional de Uruguay

Departamento de Materiales Especiales, Biblioteca Nacional De Uruguay. Photo Xavier Bouvier, October 2022.


  1. [BSI Genève Shanghai, 1934, p. 1]
  2. Journal de Genève, 15 January 1938