I regaled you awhile back with a tale about my library research in Rome--complete with an overly "enthusiastic" librarian.
While I'm mentioning great places to research, you should definitely put Paris Museum of Art and Industry on your "to do" list. It is my favorite museum on this planet--and it's where I fell in love with early science.
Several years ago, I had the opportunity to visit its massive, truly massive, collections storage area. Can you only imagine what it was like to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of centuries of scientific experimentation?
The off site storage center is in a suburb of Paris and is about the size of a medium shopping mall. There are rows and rows of shelves as far as the eye. The sections are perfectly grouped and catalogued. A football field's worth of early telescopes here. Enough telephones and telegraph equipment to fill a small house. And don't forget all of the weights, pulleys, vacuums, and various bottles of every shape and size imaginable. Truly, the world's most extraordinary Cabinet of Curiosities in existence!
If you read French, here's more information about the Museum's storage facilities.
The geek world is so full of marvels. I have some other stories to tell about French libraries, and a library in Dublin that claims to have a ghost! Stay tuned.