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International news in 2010

“Profession Culture” hosting program: candidates selected for 2011

The “Profession Culture” program’s Selection Committee, which met on 9 December 2010, has selected seven applicants to complete residencies BnF as part of this program to host foreign professionals. They are as follows:

Main list
  • Brazil: Mrs Vera Miranda-Faillace, librarian, National Library of Brazil
    Study in view of a codicological description of the National Library of Brazil’s books of hours
  • Ivory Coast: Mr Antoine Anoh, librarian, Bibliothèque nationale de Côte d’Ivoire
    Study of the Ivory Coast sound collection held by BnF’s Audiovisual Department with a view to its digitization
  • Italy: Mr Cosimo Chiarelli, lecturer in the history of photography, University of Pisa
    Research in view of the “Vertige du Corps” exhibition: Pisa 2011 and BnF 2012
  • Mali: Mr Saadou Traoré, researcher and librarian
    Cataloging the Timbuktu collection held by BnF
  • Poland: Mrs Urszula Dragonska, librarian, National Library of Poland
    Preparation of metadata with a view to the digitization of prints by Jean-Pierre Norblin de la Gourdaine
Supplementary list
  • Poland: Mrs Malgorzata Bilozor-Salwa, librarian, Prints Department, University of Warsaw
    Study on 17th century Parisian leaflets, lampoons, and posters
  • Romania: Mr Gabriel Leanca, researcher, Faculty of History, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University
    Research on “Moldavia and Wallachia in the Geography Society’s collections (late 18th-early 20th century)”

[December 2010]

Signature of a new agreement between BnF and Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec

Bruno Racine, Chairman of BnF, and Guy Berthiaume, Chairman of Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, sign the cooperation agreement in the presence of the Prime Ministers of Quebec and France

Bruno Racine, Chairman of BnF, and Guy Berthiaume, Chairman of Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, sign the cooperation agreement in the presence of the Prime Ministers of Quebec and France

BnF and Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec signed a new cooperation agreement at the Hôtel Matignon on 26 November in the presence of the Prime Ministers of France and Quebec.

The two institutions have been developing complementary areas of expertise in the scientific and cultural fields for more than ten years. This approach will be extended to include hosting professionals and researchers, producing joint exhibitions, itinerant cultural activities, organizing symposiums, joint publications, etc.

The world’s leading two French language libraries also intend to increase access to the resources they are responsible for preserving: expanding the website on France-Quebec relations since 1760, shared projects within the framework of the French-speaking Digital Network (Réseau francophone numérique/RFN), skills exchanges in the area of web archiving, and pooling remote question and answer services for Internet users.

Finally, the two partners will launch new initiatives. Maps of New France will be at the heart of a cataloging and digitization program supported by editorial tools liable to help users understand changes in the way the continent is represented. Another new facet of their collaboration is spreading knowledge of French youth literature in Quebec and of Quebec youth literature in France. In particular, the two institutions will endeavor to highlight annual selections of French and Quebec titles in their respective areas and on their web portal.

This new agreement points to the desire of these two leading libraries to further cement their historical links and diversify their joint action to promote their documentary heritage.

[December 2010]

Profession Culture 2011: call for applications from foreign professionals

Between 2004 and 2010, as part of the “Profession Culture” hosting program put in place by the French Ministry for Culture and Communications (Ministère de la culture et de la communication), BnF will have hosted more than 50 foreign professionals: librarians, conservators, catalogers, musicologists, incunabulists, numismatists, iconographers, sound librarians, educationalists, sociologists, etc. During their stay, “residents”, who are supported by a BnF tutor, are able to carry out in-depth research within their fields. This leads to the formation of close relationships between institutions based on knowledge-sharing.

“Profession Culture” residencies last an average of three months. “Residents” are provided free of charge with individual accommodation in Paris, and receive a scholarship of €1,000 a month. “Residents” (or their institutions) must pay for return travel from their country to Paris.

If you are interested in this program, please e-mail your application to
Your application should include the following:

  • a CV (including in particular your date of birth, current position, personal address, and address of your institution)
  • a letter of intention proposing a robust research project related to BnF’s collections and departments
  • your availability (first or second half of 2011, specifying which months)

Potential residents must be able to understand, read, and write French.
Please also send a copy of your application to your country’s French Embassy or Consulate (marked “Programme Profession Culture”) for the attention of the Service de Coopération et d’Action Culturelle.

The deadline for the receipt of applications is Monday, 1 November 2010.
The Selection Committee will meet in early December 2010.
Successful candidates will be hosted from January 2011.

BnF at the IFLA 2010 congress

BnF will be attending the next World Library and Information Congress organized by IFLA in Gothenburg (Sweden) from 10 to 15 August.

This year’s selected theme – “Open access to knowledge – promoting sustainable progress” – responds to the critical challenges faced by all libraries, regardless of size or location. Two major Swedish figures have been chosen to introduce the work of the congress: Jan Eliasson, former Chairman of the UN General Assembly, will give a speech on “The power of the word: communication and access to information in a globalized world”, while novelist Henning Mankell will speak on the subject “To be able to read and write – a question of dignity”.

The BnF delegation, led by Gérald Grunberg, representative for international relations, will play an active role at the congress within its governing bodies (Pascal Sanz) and its divisions and section standing committees.

BnF will not be running an exhibition stand this year, but will instead be communicating through a number of lectures in topical areas defined in its strategic plan. Communication subjects will include the renovation of the Richelieu Library (Site Richelieu) (Lucile Trunel and Sébastien Gaudelus), the digital library (Emmanuelle Bermès), preservation of heritage collections (Fabienne Le Bars, Philippe Vallas, and Christiane Baryla), and describing and providing access to collections (Françoise Bourdon, Françoise Leresche, and Philippe Cantié). Viviana Quinones will propose the first twinning network for children’s libraries.

The congress will also provide an opportunity to share experience with some 3,500 participants expected to attend in Sweden: how can we best respond to our audiences today, what plans are there to develop remote services, and what are other libraries doing to pursue sustainable development?

Running alongside this event will be the annual meeting of the Conference of Directors of National Libraries (CDNL) and a meeting of the steering committee of the French-speaking Digital Network attended by BnF Chairman Bruno Racine. An extraordinary session is also planned on the situation in Haiti and help that has been provided there.
The Gothenburg conference will be the ideal opportunity to further anchor BnF’s presence on the French-speaking, European, and world stage.

[August 2010]

France donates 500,000 books to the Library of Alexandria

[April 2010]

BnF celebrates the Francophonie

Through its unique offering of French language documents published in France and around the world, BnF is now one of the Francophonie’s most active operators. The goal of spreading the global influence of French as a major language of cultural diversity is fully aligned with the library’s mandate. This mandate is also fulfilled by pursuing cooperation and solidarity within the framework of preferred partnerships that give rise to two important meetings in March:

  • 20 March: celebration of the Journée internationale de la Francophonie. In conjunction with the Association for the International Circulation of French Language Books, Journals and Other Works (Association pour la Diffusion Internationale Francophone de Livres, Ouvrages et Revues/ADIFLOR) and the General Delegation for French and the languages of France (Délégation générale à la langue française et aux langues de France/DGLFLF), BnF is organizing a French dictation and collecting new books to send to libraries in Cambodia, and in particular those with which BnF has launched a major program to digitize French language heritage collections.
  • 25 March: at the initiative of BnF and with the participation of the International Organisation of la Francophonie, the heads of the national or heritage libraries of 16 French-speaking countries will meet at BnF for the second French-speaking Digital Network summit.
    On the agenda: network governance, the North/South balance, increasing the availability of French language materials on the web, and solidarity with Haiti.

[March 2010]

Europeana Regia: a European project to digitize royal manuscripts

The aim of Europeana Regia is to reconstruct the bulk of European royal manuscripts from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance in a virtual library.
By 2012, the project will enable both researchers and the general public to access rare and valuable documents via platforms such as Gallica, Belgica, Manuscripta Medievalia, and Europeana.

Europeana Regia involves five European libraries:

  • the Royal Library of Belgium
  • the Bavarian State Library
  • the Herzog August Wolfenbüttel Library in Germany
  • the University of Valencia Library in Spain
  • BnF, which is managing the project

Three sets of manuscripts which are currently scattered throughout Europe will be digitized with financial support from the European Commission: the Carolingian manuscripts, the manuscripts of the Louvre library at the time of Charles V and Charles VI, and the library of the Aragonese kings of Naples. This amounts to some 900 manuscripts recounting the political, cultural, and artistic history of Europe.

[March 2010]

BnF gets involved in Haiti

Following emergency relief, various libraries and associations are making a commitment to help Haiti rebuild and reopen libraries and archives which were very badly hit by the earthquake, including in particular Bibliothèque nationale d’Haïti and Bibliothèque Haïtienne des Pères du Saint-Esprit.

BnF’s activities will unfold in two directions:

  • helping rebuild and reopen libraries in conjunction with the French Embassy and the Haitian heritage and cultural network
  • contributing to the reconstruction of reading materials and collections
    BnF is preparing a large book donation which will be sent as soon as local infrastructure is secure. Furthermore, the creation of a Haitian digital library will continue and intensify within the framework of joint efforts by BnF and Bibliothèque et archives Nationales du Québec (BaNQ), which have long been involved on the ground in Haiti, to develop the French-speaking Digital Network.

[February 2010]

“Profession Culture” hosting program: candidates selected for 2010

The “Profession Culture” program’s Selection Committee, which met on 18 December 2009, has selected nine applicants to complete residencies at BnF as part of this program to host foreign professionals. They are as follows:

  • Germany: Mr Stefan Kröger, librarian at Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, already hosted in 2009, will continue his work on the collection of mock-ups of sets held at the Opera Library
  • Canada: Mrs Carole Gagné and Mrs Nathalie Lussier, librarians at Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, will be hosted together at the digital legal deposit section, where they will cooperate on web site archiving
  • Cambodia: Mr Sin Sotea, librarian at the National Library of Cambodia, will undertake to compile a directory of Khmer documents held in France as part of the Franco-Cambodian project to digitize ancient Khmer collections
  • United States: Mr Joseph Dennis, assistant professor at Davidson University, will be hosted by the Manuscripts Department where he will study heritage documents from the Pelliot A and B Chinese collections
  • Hungary: Mr Gabor Balazs, researcher, will undertake to write authority records relating to printers and booksellers under the ancien régime in Hungary and ancient Hungarian documents, within the Retrospective Inventory Department
  • Mali: Mr Saadou Traoré, librarian at the Institut Ahmed Baba in Timbuktu, returns in 2010 to continue work already undertaken on describing Timbuktu manuscripts
  • Russia: Mrs Anna Petrova, musicologist at the Saint Petersburg State Conservatory, will continue to study the Russian portion of the Montpensier collection in the Music Department
  • Russia: Miss Anna Isaeva, researcher in the Rare Books Department at Moscow State Library, will work on incunabula at the Rare Books Reserve (Réserve des livres rares) with a view to creating a catalog of French incunabula held in Moscow.

Each resident is hosted by a BnF department and supported in his or her project by a member of library staff specializing in the field in question.

[January 2010]

Friday, November 22, 2013