Publications by institutions and public authorities, statistics, etc.: essential sources for understanding yesterday’s and today’s world.
Administrative documentation has been subject to the legal deposit scheme since the Montpellier legal order of December 28, 1537.
The 'Guide des publications officielles françaises'
The 'Guide des publications officielles françaises' (Guide to French Official Publications) aims to facilitate the access to documents published by the legislative and executive powers but also by legal entities under public law connected to these powers. Most of the time, these publications are either periodicals, bulletins or directories. Links provided in this guide direct users either towards online websites and resources or towards bibliograpical notes contained in the catalogue général de la BnF.
The Reference library offers a choice of official publications using a practical approach focused on current events. These include the following:
- the Journal officiel de la République française (Acts and decrees, partnerships, debates, the Bulletin des annonces légales obligatoires, administrative documents, etc.) in its print version for the current year and on microfiche, CD-ROM, and via online databases for previous years
- publications by the Direction des Journaux officiels (Aux sources de la loi, Codes officiels, Conventions collectives, Guide des bonnes pratiques hygiéniques, Législation et réglementation, La loi au quotidien)
- parliamentary debates and documents (from both the Assemblée Nationale and the Senate)
- publications by Documentation française, and in particular reports (official reports, reports by the conseil d’analyse économique, the Conseil de l’emploi, des revenus et de la cohésion sociale, etc.)
- practical guides and material aimed at providing citizens with information about their rights and assisting them with administrative processes
- material published by financial, consultative, and supervisory institutions (the Conseil d’Etat, the Conseil constitutionnel, the Cour des comptes, etc.)
- Government Ministries’ official journals and documents from bodies attached to overseeing Ministries (the Commission bancaire, etc.)
- documents published by public institutions (INSEE, Banque de France, INED, etc.)
- certain local government documents (City of Paris)
Also available in the Reference library are facsimiles of the Journal officiel de la Commune de Paris (room J), the Journal officiel de la France libre, and the Journal officiel Algiers edition from June 1943 to August 1944 (rooms D and J).
The collections held at the Research library are, in theory, exhaustive. There may, however, be gaps as a result of either the two world wars or failings on the part of depositing organizations.