Suzanne Renée Briet: early woman librarian, Bibliothèque Nationale

Bibliotèque Nationale de France
Bibliotèque Nationale de France

Learn about Suzanne Briet through a recently established website prepared by SLIS faculty member Ron Day, in collaboration with colleagues:

Suzanne Briet, What is Documentation? (Qu'est-ce que la documentation?)
"This site now links to the entire translation of Briet's book (translated by Ronald E. Day (Indiana University) and Laurent Martinet (Paris), with Hermina Anghelescu (Wayne State University)) and to the preface and commentary on that text, as well as to Michael Buckland's biography of Briet and his selected bibliography of her works, as printed in What is Documentation?: English Translation of the Classic French Text (Scarecrow Press, 2006). Thanks to Laurent Martinet and by permission of Briet's heirs, a link to a pdf file of the original French text is now also given."
Excerpts from Buckland's biography of Briet:
"Suzanne Briet was born in Paris on February 1, 1894, but grew up in the Ardennes region of northern France... Briet qualified as a secondary school teacher of English and History, but after teaching in Algeria, from 1917 to 1920, she became a librarian. Qualifying in 1924, she was one of the first three women appointed as professional librarians in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris..."
(Michael Buckland: A Brief Biography of Suzanne Rene Briet. 2005.)

Ron Day also wrote a profile of Briet for the December 2006/January 2007 ASIS&T Bulletin: Suzanne Briet: An Appreciation - see excerpt:

"Suzanne Briet (1894-1989) was an important figure in European documentation, a movement that, in practical terms, resembled the special libraries movement in the United States, but also, in intellectual terms, anticipated information science... Briet was a professional librarian who created the reference room at the French National Library. She was known as "Madame Documentation," and she strongly identified with the documentalist movement. Her vision of documentation and documentation agencies constituted a revision of librarianship and a radical redefinition of what we consider to be documents."

See related SLIS News story:
Classic French Text on Documentation Translated by Ron Day

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Posted February 22, 2007