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French material elsewhere in the British Library

Researchers should note our French-language material is held in a number of Library departments and may have to be consulted in a specific Reading Room.

Pre-1851 French collections

Pre-1851 French collections are the responsibility of French printed collections, 1501-1850, and Incunabula, within Early Printed Collections.

Scientific material

Scientific items and a small collection of business and telephone directories can be consulted in the Science Reading Rooms at St Pancras.

Official publications

Official publications from France can be consulted in the Social Science Reading Room where guidance can be given in locating items not in the general catalogues.


Magnificent French and Flemish illuminated manuscripts are held in Manuscript Collections.


The extensive French holdings of British Library Newspapers provide invaluable primary documents for research, and particular efforts were made to collect ephemeral newspapers at times of revolution.


The Map Library has world-wide coverage and includes linguistic maps.


French music can be found in the Music Collections and must be consulted in the Rare Books and Music Reading Room.


French Section
The British Library
96 Euston Road
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7568
Fax: +44 (0)20 7412 7784