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François Grudé de la Croix du Maine Issues the First French National Bibliography


In 1584 French scholar and bibliographer François Grudé de la Croix du Maine published in Paris Premier Volume de la Bibliothèque du Sieur de la Croix-Du-Maine. Qui est un catalogue général de toutes sortes d'Autherus, qui on escrit en François depuis cinq cents ans & plus.

This was the first French national bibliography.

"The authors, numbering three thousand, as the title states, are arranged in the aphabetical order of their first names, but a list of their surnames is given in the preliminaries. Their short biographies are followed by the lists of their works and bibliographical data, as far as known to the author. Vol. II, a subject index, and vol. III, Latin works by French authors never appeared as Grudé was assassinated [as a Protestant sympathizer in 1592.

"The work contains an auto-bibliography of several hundred works on French history of which none has survived, earning Grudé in some quarters the title of impostor" (Breslauer & Folter, Bibliography: Its History and Development [1984] no. 29).

Grudé also included a proposal for a Royal National Library with a number classification system similar to the modern decimal classification system. On p. 511 of his book there is a woodcut which may be the earliest printed representation of a bookcase.

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