School of Information
  (Previously School of Library & Information Studies)

  Michael Buckland

  Suzanne Briet, 1894-1989: "Madame Documentation"

*** New *** M. Buckland. The Reception of Suzanne Briet in the United States. Bulletin of ASIS&T April-May 2103, pages 40-41.

    Renée-Marie-Helene-Suzanne Briet, born in Paris on February 1, 1894, was a librarian, an historian, and a significant pioneer of Documentation. She was also known S. Dupuy and S. Dupuy-Briet.
    Briet was a secondary school teacher of English and History in Annaba, Algeria, 1917 to 1920, then became a librarian. She was one of the first three women appointed as professional librarians in the Bibliothèque Nationale where she established, and supervised, 1934 - 1954, the Salle des Catalogues et Bibliographies. She made available bibliographies which had previously been kept in closed stacks, organized supplementary indexing, and developed a bibliographic advisory service.
    From the late 1920s onwards Briet was active nationally and internationally in the development of Documentation. She participated in the founding, in 1931, and in the subsequent leadership of the Union Française des Organismes de Documentation (UFOD). In 1951 she became the founding Director of Studies of the Institut National de Techniques de la Documentation and, later, Vice President of Federation Internationale de Documentation (FID).
    In 1951 Briet published a remarkable modernist manifesto on the nature of Documentation: Qu'est-ce que la documentation? (French original as original is at http://martinetl.free.fr/suzannebriet/questcequeladocumentation/ and a facsimile of the original edition is available at http://martinetl.free.fr/suzannebriet/questcequeladocumentation/briet.pdf. See http://ella.slis.indiana.edu/~roday/briet.htm and the 2006 book edition noted above for an English translation, and commentary.
Briet argued that the scope of Documentation extended beyond text to evidence and she defined "document" as any material form of evidence.
    Briet visited the USA in 1951-52, examining bibliographic services, reference service, and professional education.
    Briet was a feminist, established a women's club, and was President of the Union des femmes européennes.
In 1954, at age 60, Briet took early retirement and wrote about the Ardennes region, including Arthur Rimbaud, Rimbaud's mother, and Jean, Comte de Montdejeux. Her memoires appeared in 1976. She died in Paris in 1989, aged 95.
(English version of entry by Michael Buckland for the Dictionnaire encyclopédique de l'information et de la documentation. (Collection réf). Paris: Editions Nathan, 1997, pp. 105-106.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Suzanne Renée Briet 1894-1989: Checklist of Writings. 2005. (pdf).

BIOGRAPHY
    Briet, Suzanne. Qu'est-ce que la documentation? Paris, EDIT, 1951. (See above for internet accessible versions).
    Suzanne Briet. What is Documentation? English Translation of the Classic French Text. Transl and ed. By R. E. Day & L. Martinet. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Pr., 2006. ISBN 0-8108-5109-1. Includes Preface, brief biography, annotated translation, commentary on Documentation as "Cultural technique", and a selective list of Briet's writings. www.scarecrowpress.com/ISBN/0810851091
    Briet, Suzanne. Entre Aisne et Meuse...et au delà. (Les cahiers ardennais 22.) Charleville-Mezières: Société des écrivains ardennais.
    Buckland, Michael. The centenary of "Madame Documentation": Suzanne Briet, 1894-1989. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 46, no. 3 (April 1995): 235-237.
--- [French version] -- Le centenaire de "Madame Documentation": Suzanne Briet, 1894-1989. Documentaliste: Sciences de l'information, 32, no. 3, 179-181, 1995.
    Buckland, Michael. A Brief Biography of Suzanne Renée Briet. In: Suzanne Briet. What is Documentation? Transl. & ed. by R. E. Day & L. Martinet. (Scarecrow Press, forthcoming 2005.)
    Sylvie Fayet-Scribe. Histoire de la documentation en France: Culture, science et technologie de l'information 1895-1937. Paris: CNRS Editions, 2000. ISBN 2-271-05790-6.
    Lemaître, Renée & Roux-Fouillet, Paul. Suzanne Briet (1894-1989). Bulletin d'Informations de l'Association des bibliothècaires français, 144, 55-56, 1989.
    Mary Niles Maack. The Lady and the Antelope: Suzanne Briet's Contribution to the French Documentation Movement. Preprint Library Trends 53 (Spring 2004).
    Ronald E. Day Suzanne Briet: An Appreciation. Bulletin of ASIST 33, no 2 (Dec/Jan 2007):21-22.
    Sylvie Fayet-Scribe. La table des matières (Ed. du Panama, 2007). Fictionalized history of information science, incl. S. Briet.
    Sylvie Fayet-Scribe. Connaissez-vous Suzanne Briet? Méconnue en France, célébrée aux Etats Unis. With Michael Buckland. L'accueil de Suzanne Briet aux Etats-Unis. Bulletin des Bibliothèques de France 57, no 1 (2012): 40-44. (Text).
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