French National Bibliography Online Citation

Welcome to the BnF

The Bibliothèque nationale de France collects, preserves and makes known the national documentary heritage.

The BnF’s collections are unique in the world: 15 million books and printed documents, manuscripts, prints, photographs, maps and plans, scores, coins, medals, sound documents, video and multimedia documents, scenery elements... All disciplines, whether intellectual, artistic or scientific, are represented in a comprehensive way. About 150 000 documents are added to the collections each year thanks to legal deposit, acquisitions and donations.

Today, the BnF’s digital library, Gallica, provides access to over four millions documents.

Numerous cultural events highlight and make known the library’s outstanding collections: exhibitions, lectures, symposiums, concerts and meetings are planned all the year long. They are run by librarians and personalities from the cultural world.

Main services

Discovering the BnF (duration:3 min 29 s)

How to find us?

François-Mitterrand Library
Quai François-Mauriac
75706 Paris Cedex 13

Address and transports - François-Mitterrand Library

Opening hours: on Mondays, 2 p.m. – 8 p.m. (Research Library) Tuesday – Saturday, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. On Sundays, 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Richelieu Library
58, rue de Richelieu
75002 Paris

Address and transports - Richelieu-Louvois Library

Opening hours: Monday – Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Arsenal Library
1, rue Sully
75004 Paris

Address and transports - Arsenal Library

Opening hours: Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. On Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Opéra Library
Place de l’Opéra
75009 Paris

Address and transports - Opéra Library

Opening hours: Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Currently at the BnF

Visiting the library

Guided tours of François-Mitterrand Library
Discovering the library’s history, the building’s architecture and the reading rooms.

Guided tours of Richelieu Library
The tour allows to discover the library’s historic areas and the museum of coins and medals. It also provides information about the huge upgrading works currently made on this site.

Guided tours of the Arsenal Library
Tour of the library located in the old Paris military arsenal where numerous old scenery elements are still housed today.

How to get your reader’s card?

Reference Library's reading room

© Alain Goustard / BnF

There are two levels at François-Mitterrand Library:

  • The Research Library (Rez-de-Jardin level) is open to accredited readers.
  • The Reference Library (Haut-de-Jardin level) is open to anyone 16 years of age and over.

In the Research Library, heritage collections – printed and audiovisual documents, manuscripts, prints, photographs... - are available on any type of medium. The Research Library consists of several sites: the Rez-de-Jardin level at François-Mitterrand Library, the Richelieu-Louvois Library, the Arsenal Library and the Opéra Library. Printed and audiovisual documents are housed at François-Mitterrand Library and the others at Richelieu Library. The collections housed at the Arsenal Library focus more particularly on French literature and book history. To be accredited, readers must be 18 years old and provide a proof of academic, professional or personal research activities requiring access to the collections kept at the Research Library.

The reading rooms of the Reference Library, located at the Haut-de-Jardin level of François-Mitterrand Library, provide free access to reference collections in all fields of knowledge: printed books and magazines, audiovisual documents, periodicals, digital books or data bases. The Reference Library is open to anyone16 years of age and over, after the purchase of a reader’s pass.

Most of the BnF’s documents are described in the Catalogue général de la BnF. Manuscripts and archives are partly described in the BnF Archives et manuscrits catalogue.

  • Consulting the Catalogue général de la BnF
  • Consulting the BnF archives et manuscrits catalog

In both libraries (Haut-de-jardin and Rez-de-Jardin levels), the reading rooms are available with an admission charge. Entrance to the Reference Library is free after 5 p.m.

Consulting online

Ask a librarian

SINDBAD is a free reference service offering document references on all subjects and factual information (biographical elements, facts, figures, dates).

Ask a librarian (SINDBAD)

Getting the duplication of a document

The duplication of documents kept at the BnF can be ordered for a commercial or private use from the reproduction services. The duplication can be made on various formats and on a wide variety of media.

Reproduction services

Friday, December 15, 2017


4: General Reference Works

The works listed here are a starting point for writers, editors, and others involved in publishing who would like more information about topics covered in this manual. The list includes all the works cited in the text as further resources along with other useful references. Although some make recommendations that diverge from those of this manual, they reflect the specific demands of different disciplines and the evolving traditions of writing, editing, and publishing. As with all reference sources, readers should carefully evaluate their suitability for a given purpose.


4.1 Biography

American Men and Women of Science. 25th ed. Edited by Katherine H. Nemeh. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson/Gale, 2008.

American National Biography. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000–. Updated quarterly.

Burke’s Peerage, Baronetage, and Knightage. 107th ed. Multiple vols. London: Burke’s Peerage, 1826–.

Canadian Who’s Who. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Published annually, with semiannual supplements.

Concise Dictionary of National Biography: From Earliest Times to 1985. 3 vols. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992.

Dictionary of American Biography. 11 vols. New York: Scribner’s, 1995. Supplements.

Dictionary of Canadian Biography. 14 vols. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1966–. Supplements.

Directory of American Scholars. 10th ed. 6 vols. Detroit: Gale Group, 2002.

International Who’s Who. London: Europa. Published annually.

Marquis Who’s Who on the Web. New Providence, NJ: Marquis Who’s Who. Continually updated.

Merriam-Webster’s Biographical Dictionary. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1995.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 60 vols. Prepared under various editors. New York: Oxford University Press, 1885–2004. Also available at

Who’s Who: An Annual Biographical Dictionary. New York: St. Martin’s Press. Published annually.

Who’s Who in America. Chicago: A. N. Marquis. Published biennially. See also Marquis Who’s Who on the Web.

4.2 Geography

Cambridge World Gazetteer: A Geographical Dictionary. Edited by David Munro. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

Columbia Gazetteer of North America. Edited by Saul B. Cohen. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000.

Merriam-Webster’s Geographical Dictionary. 3rd ed. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1997.

Omni Gazetteer of the United States of America. Edited by Frank R. Abate. Detroit: Omnigraphics, 1991.

Oxford Atlas of the World. 16th ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.

The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World. 12th ed. London: Times Books, 2007.

The World Factbook. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency. Continually updated.

4.3 Encyclopedias

Britannica Concise Encyclopaedia. Rev. ed. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2006.

Canadian Encyclopedia. 2000 ed. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1999. Also available at

Columbia Encyclopedia. 6th ed. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000.

Encyclopedia Americana. 30 vols. Danbury, CT: Scholastic Library, 2006.

The New Encyclopaedia Britannica. 15th ed. 32 vols. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2007. Also available at

Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. San Francisco: Wikimedia Foundation.

4.4 Almanacs and Yearbooks

Canadian Almanac and Directory. Toronto: Grey House. Published annually.

Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. Time Almanac. New York: Time Home Entertainment. Published annually.

The Europa World of Learning. London: Routledge. Published annually. Also available at

Europa World Year Book. London: Europa. Published annually. Also available at

New York Times Almanac. New York: Penguin Group. Published annually.

The Statesman’s Yearbook. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Published annually. Also available at

Whitaker’s Almanack. London: Stationery Office. Published annually.

World Almanac and Book of Facts. New York: World Almanac Books. Published annually.

4.5 Guides to Books, Periodicals, and Other Sources

ABI/Inform Complete. Ann Arbor, MI: ProQuest Information and Learning.

Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules. 2nd ed. Chicago: American Library Association; Ottawa: Canadian Library Association; London: Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, 2002. Loose-leaf update, 2005.

Ashley, Lowell E. Cataloging Musical Moving Image Material: A Guide to the Bibliographical Control of Videorecordings and Films of Musical Performances and Other Music-Related Moving Image Material. Canton, MA: Music Library Association, 1996.

Australian Books in Print. Melbourne: D. W. Thorpe. Published annually.

Bibliographic Index. New York: H. W. Wilson. Published semiannually. Also available, as Bibliographic Index Plus. at

Book Review Digest. New York: H. W. Wilson. Published monthly, except for February and July, with annual cumulations. Also available, as Book Review Digest Plus. at

Book Review Index. Detroit: Gale Research Company. Published monthly, with quarterly and annual cumulation.

Books in Print. New York: R. R. Bowker. Published annually. Also available at

Bowker’s British Books in Print. New Providence, NJ: R. R. Bowker. Published annually. From 1988 to 2003 titled Whitaker’s Books in Print: The Reference Catalogue of Current Literature; before 1988 titled British Books in Print.

Canadian Books in Print. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Published annually.

Catalog of U.S. Government Publications. Washington, DC: GPO Access.

Dissertation Abstracts International. Ann Arbor, MI: University Microfilms International. Published monthly with annual cumulation.

Guide to Reference. 12th ed. Edited by Bob Kieft. Chicago: American Library Association, 2008.

Guide to the Contents of the Public Record Office. 3 vols. London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1963–1968.

Guide to the National Archives of the United States. Washington, DC: Archives, 1987. Also available at

Guide to U.S. Government Publications. Edited by Donna Batten. Formerly known as Andriot. Detroit: Gale Research Company. Updated annually.

Humanities Index. New York: H. W. Wilson. Published quarterly with annual cumulation. Also available at

Index Islamicus. Leiden: Brill. Published quarterly with quinquennial cumulation. Also available at

Library of Congress Subject Headings. Washington, DC: Library of Congress Cataloging Distribution Service. Published annually. Also available at

Livres disponibles [French books in print]. Paris: Cercle de la librairie, 1977–2004.

The New Walford Guide to Reference Resources. 9th ed. 3 vols. London: Facet, 2005–10.

New York Times Index. New York: New York Times Company. Annual cumulations.

PAIS International in Print. New York: Public Affairs Information Service. Published monthly, with every fourth issue being cumulative.

Pemberton, John E., ed. The Bibliographic Control of Official Publications. New York: Pergamon, 1982.

Periodical Title Abbreviations. 17th ed. Vol. 1, by abbreviation. Vol. 2, by title. Detroit: Thomson/Gale, 2007.

PubMed. Bethesda, MD: US National Library of Medicine.

Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature. New York: H. W. Wilson. Published annually. Also available at

Rodgers, Frank. A Guide to British Government Publications. New York: H. W. Wilson, 1980.

Schmeckebier, Laurence F., and Roy B. Eastin. Government Publications and Their Use. 2nd ed. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 1969.

Science Citation Index. Philadelphia: Institute for Scientific Information. Published bimonthly with annual cumulations. Also available at

Social Science Index. New York: H. W. Wilson. Published quarterly with annual cumulation. Also available at

UKOP: Catalogue of United Kingdom Official Publications. London: Chadwyck-Healey. Continually updated.

Ulrich’s International Periodicals Directory. New York: R. R. Bowker. Published annually. Supplemented quarterly by Ulrich’s Update. Also available at

Verzeichnis Lieferbarer Bücher [German books in print]. Frankfurt am Main: Verlag der Buchhändler-Vereinigung. Published annually. Also available at

4.6 Quotations

Bartlett, John. Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations: A Collection of Passages, Phrases, and Proverbs Traced to Their Sources in Ancient and Modern Literature. 17th ed. Edited by Justin Kaplan. Boston: Little, Brown, 2002.

Crystal, David, and Hilary Crystal. Words on Words: Quotations about Language and Languages. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000.

The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. 7th ed. Edited by Elizabeth Knowles. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.

4.7 Abbreviations

Acronyms, Initialisms, and Abbreviations Dictionary: A Guide to Acronyms, Abbreviations, Contractions, Alphabetic Symbols, and Similar Condensed Appellations. 39th ed. 4 vols. Edited by Bohdan Romanenchuk. Detroit: Thomson/Gale, 2008.

Davis, Neil M. Medical Abbreviations: 30,000 Conveniences at the Expense of Communication and Safety. 14th ed. Warminster, PA: Neil M. Davis Associates, 2009.

Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms: Includes US Acronyms and Abbreviations and NATO Terms (English Only). Washington, DC: Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1998. Amended version available at

Jablonski, Stanley. Jablonski’s Dictionary of Medical Acronyms and Abbreviations. 6th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders, 2008.

Stahl, Dean, and Karen Kerchelich. Abbreviations Dictionary. 10th ed. Originated by Ralph De Sola. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2001.

Webster’s Guide to Abbreviations. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1985.

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