The books in public provincial libraries, numbered, in 191o, over 9,200,000 vols., 15,540 incunabula and 93,986 mss., and the number of printed books was probably nearly doubled by 1928. The number in the colonies and protected States outside France is uncertain, but in 1910 was over 200,00o vols.; to this must be added the 2,428,954 vols. then contained in the university libraries, now, doubtless, more than doubled, even without reckon ing that of Strasbourg, transferred from Germany. There are over 30o departmental libraries, and as many belong to learned societies. Nearly all are administered under State control by municipalities. The collections distributed from the depots after 1803 remain State property, and the 42 libraries in which these "fonds d'Etat" preponderate are "classed" by the Ministry of Public Instruction; the librarians of these have higher qualifica tions and are less subject to local control than those of the "unclassed." They are organized by a law of 1897, and, like the universities, are subject to the inspectorate of the Ministry and its consultative commission, established in 1909. This body controls professional qualifications, and publishes collective cata logues (as of mss. and incunabula) and technical instructions.
Amongst the libraries which date from the 16th century must be mentioned that at Lyons, founded by Francois I. in 1527; it possesses 600,955 vols., 897 incunabula and 9,73o mss. (many catalogues printed).
In the 17th century were established the following libraries: Abbeville, by Charles Sanson in 1685 ; Besancon, by Abbe Boisot in 1696; La Rochelle, by the Consistoire Ref orme in 1604; St. Etienne, by Cardinal de Villeroi.
The principal libraries founded during the 18th century are the following : Aix-en-Provence (i7o5) ; Bordeaux ( 738) ; Chambery (1736) ; Dijon (I 70 I) ; Grenoble (1772) ; Marseilles (1799) Nancy (1750); Nantes (1758); Nice (2786) ; Nimes (1778); Niort (1771) ; Perpignan (1759); Rennes (1733) ; Toulouse (1782). The World War wrought very great havoc among the
libraries of the northern departments. The libraries of Arras, Douai, Peronne, Rethel, Saint-Quentin, Compiegne, Noyon, Ver dun, and many other places were wholly or largely destroyed; that of Reims was mainly removed to safety.
Nearly all the other municipal libraries date from the distribu tion of the depots litteraires in 1803. Those of Avignon, Montpellier, Caen, Rouen, Tours, and Versailles are specially important ; in a second rank come Amiens, Auxerre, Beaune, Brest, Douai, le Havre, le Mans, Orleans, Pau, Poitiers, Toulon.
The Ministry of Public Instruction has published joint cata logues of certain classes, e.g., Catalogues des mss. des biblio theques de Paris et des Departements (1885), and the Catalogue General des Incunables des Bibliotheques Publiques de la France, by Marie Pellechet and M. L. Polain (vols. i.-iii., A. H.). The old university libraries, scattered and thrown into the depots at the Revolution, were re-established by acts of 1875, 1879 and 1882, when Jules Ferry united the faculty libraries in each of the 17 academic districts in one university; civil personality, carrying financial autonomy, followed in 1896. The Bibliotheque Nationale et Universitaire, formerly the Universitats and Landesbibliothek, of Strasbourg, founded in 1871 to replace that burned in the Franco-Prussian war, is the largest provincial university library (1,700,00o vols., 1,900 incunabula, 4,759 mss., 5,000 papyri), Others are : Aix, Algiers, Besancon, Bordeaux, Caen, Clermont, Dijon, Grenoble, Lille, Lyons, Marseilles, Montpellier, Poitiers, Rennes, Toulouse. That of Nancy was totally burned ten days before the Armistice of 1919. The library profession is organized by central legislation, starting from a royal ordinance of 1839, which assigned one-third of the higher posts to trained "archi vistes-paleographes." Municipal librarians are appointed by the mayors. The prefect of the Seine appoints those of the City of Paris, since 1904 exacting certain technical training. The "classed" libraries are seeking complete nationalization, on the lines of the organization of the archives, and the establishment of a single certificate of training (Ch. Mortet, "The Public Libraries of France," in Library Assoc. Record, 1925, pp. The Association des Bibliothecaires Francais (founded in 1906, its bulletin, 1907, now forming part of the Revue des Biblio theques) actively promotes library reform.