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In 1876, Roubaix’s Municipal Council, eager to satisfy the wishes of the local population by providing specific educational services tailored to the needs of an industrial city (Roubaix had been the textile capital for many years), decided to create an establishment intended to bring together public courses, academic schools (weaving, art) along with their collections, the Museum of Art and Industry and the library in a centrally located position all of these had been previously scattered throughout the city.
At the same time, the French government hoped to establish a textile school in order to meet the needs of the industry. The government decided to assist the city of Roubaix. The school would, therefore, become a national institution.
The Ecole Nationale d’Arts Industriels (ENAI) was officially established under the Law of 5 July 1881, and an agreement was signed in 1882 between the French government and Roubaix. The building of the school was then entrusted to the French architect Dutert, the inspector for the teaching of art in the Nord region, who had supported this project for several years. ENAI became known as ENSAIT in 1921.
Charles Louis Ferdinand Dutt, who was born in Douai in 1845 and died in Paris in 1906, was the architect of the school. He became highly regarded towards the end of the 19th Century.
In 1863, he attended the School of Fine Arts in Paris where proved to be an excellent student. In 1869, he was awarded the Prix de Rome in Architecture (it had already been awarded to Fleury Victor Dutert, his brother, in 1864).
He then spent five years in Italy. He worked on the restoration of the ancient Palace of the Caesars on the Palatine Hill in Rome and participated in archaeological digs.
The dual-purpose building, serving as both a public library and a training center, was unusual. Its geographical location within the same building as the school was chosen for its central location, making it directly accessible to the public. It was, however, set at a distance from noisy workshops.
After the Second World War, Roubaix’s library was relocated to rue du château. ENSAIT’s library ceased to function in 1975, after being damaged by fire.
Since then, this building has been dedicated entirely to the support of ENSAIT’s students.
Built-in 1881, the library is listed in the French supplementary registry of historical monuments. This exceptional building offers its readers a glimpse of a rare form of architecture.
Ten computer stations are available for literature searches (textiles databases, engineering technology, Kompass, etc...)
Library resources are correctly science and textile orientated for engineers.
A wealth of documentary resources at ENSAIT includes a wide range of publications and electronic resources, articles, final year dissertations, student engineering projects, theses and Masters of Research Degree research materials, and internship reports.
You may also access periodicals (primarily specialized press publications) and encyclopedias (notably the Encyclopaedia of Polymer Science and Technology).
Important ancient archives, detailing a wide variety of subjects, are also being cataloged.
These specialized resources are available for professionals across different departments who may come on-site to consult specific research information through our literature search service (costs depend on requirements).
SAIT staff and engineering students: if you wish to borrow resources, a simple library registration is required after paying a 30 euro deposit and providing your bank details. This deposit will be returned to you, subject to conditions. Registration enables you to borrow a maximum of 3 items for three weeks.

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