Brazilian National Library’s heritage reference has about eight thousand titles and it is the only one that offers bookshelves’ free access to users, in which the works are organized by subject. Diversified, it encloses all areas of knowledge, being composed mainly by encyclopedias - national and foreign - and dictionaries.
Among the dictionaries, the old and modern of the Portuguese language are distinguished, as for example, Diccionario da Lingua Portugueza composed by priest D. Rafael Bluteau (1789). A wide variety of dictionaries are also available for consultation in areas such as:
- foreign languages and dialects
- social sciences
- Brazilian folklore
- astronomy and astronautics
- pharmaceutical specialties (DEF)
- botany, such as the Dictionary of Brazilian useful plants and the exotic ones cultivated by Manoel Pio Corrêa.
It is also distinguished at the Heritage Reference pieces as Bibles, atlases, tourism guides - both national and international -, Brazilian constitutions, bibliographical indexes, dictionaries and encyclopedias in segments as:
- cuisine and nutrition
- History of countries, states, cities and neighborhoods, among others
- national and foreign literature
It is worth mentioning the availability of works such as Enciclopédia Saraiva do Direito, the dictionaries about Rio Antigo, the Enciclopédia dos Municípios Brasileiros, the Dictionary of the Brazilian Families, among others.
In the Reference Section the reader receives orientation concerning the research that is carried through, being directed to other sectors of the BN, and even to other libraries and heritages that may help.