The National Library of Ivory Coast (BNCI) originates from the Ivorian section of documentation of the French Institute of Black Africa (IFAN), colonial research institution in the fields of ethnosociology, anthropology, prehistory, etc. ., based in Dakar, Senegal. This section of IFAN was located at the present site of the Museum of Civilizations of Cote d'Ivoire. The legal existence of the BNCI date of Decree No 71-434 of 10 September 1971 while attached to the Department of Libraries and Publications of the Cultural Affairs Department of the Ministry of Education. The current building, gift of the government of Canada, saw its foundation stone laid March 9, 1971 by Mr. Mitchell Sharp, Canadian Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, following an agreement between the two States in November 1970. It was inaugurated January 9, 1974 by the late Felix Houphouet-Boigny, the first President of the Republic of Ivory Coast.