Collections and services

Official publications

Publications by institutions and public authorities, statistics, etc.: essential sources for understanding yesterday’s and today’s world.

Official foreign publications

The extent and geographical coverage of official foreign publications vary widely from country to country. These publications are available in their original languages, or in bilingual editions for languages which are little read in France (with the second language usually being English).

The collections held by the Reference and Research libraries include various types of documents: collections of texts (laws, decrees and case law, treaties, etc.), parliamentary publications and documents, official journals, publications and reports issued by executive authorities, statistics (both general and by subject), publications by central banks, etc. Bibliographical search tools (guides, indexes, inventories, etc.), most of which are freely accessible, make it easier to locate these documents.accessible, make it easier to locate these documents.

The Reference library’s selection of official publications is mainly focused on current events.

The largest collections relate to certain European Union member countries (including in particular Great Britain and Spain, and, to a lesser extent, Germany and Italy), as well as the United States.

The documents available on these countries reflect their political, legal, economic and social situations, as well as their international position. Other geographical regions are covered by a few reference publications such as general statistical directories.

The Research library covers a wider range of countries and documents and a broader chronological scope.

These collections are largely a result of international exchanges set up under the aegis of UNESCO after the Second World War.

BnF has particularly extensive collections in relation to certain specific countries and geographical regions (some European Union and OECD member countries, and certain French-speaking countries and countries historically linked to France).

The oldest (many date back to the early 19th century) and most extensive of these include the following:

  • official publications from the United States, covering more than two centuries of American administrative history, thanks, among other things, to the exchange policy initiated in the 19th century by Alexandre Vattemare
  • official publications from Great Britain
  • official publications from countries in French-speaking Africa, which are extensive in relation to the 1960s but less complete for the 1970s and 1980s
  • official publications from Germany, which are a little less complete than the above collections

Also worthy of mention are collections of official publications from the colonial era – Indochina, the Maghreb, and black Africa (early 19th century).

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Digital resources

Where to consult the documents ?

Law, Economics and Politics Department

Ask a librarian

SINDBAD is a free virtual reference service providing document references and factual information. Ask a librarian (SINDBAD)