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Gallica Digital Library Charter: 1997 - 2007

Gallica is the name of the digital library of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BnF). Launched in 1997, it can be accessed from anywhere in the world over the Internet.
As of April 2006, Gallica offered:

  • 90,000 volumes in image format (digital photographs of pages),
  • 1,200 volumes in searchable text format,
  • 500 sound recordings, and
  • 80,000 still images.

Since March 2004, there have been more than one million document searches every month. A complete success, Gallica is the only major library in the world to offer such an extensive online collection. Nonetheless, institutions around the world have steadily increased the number of similar online digital programs. In light of this trend, it is important that Gallica distinguishes its collections and services for the benefit of its various audiences. That is the purpose of this charter.


The BibUsages Project is a recent study of online digital library use. Its results show that Internet users want access to:

  • hard-to-find and out-of-print materials; and
  • full texts and extensive image collections.

Today, Gallica is used by researchers, professionals, and enthusiasts. Its materials appeal to a wide variety of audiences. For example, educators use Gallica as a valuable learning tool. They appreciate the added value that both full-text and image-illustrated collections offer. In addition, they note the symbolic significance of the cultural heritage easily accessed through this digital library.

Although already very successful, Gallica must continue to grow and evolve. Enhancements to this invaluable resource must result from a balance between supply and demand.

How do you determine this balance? Until now, Gallica has created excessive layers of documentary knowledge. To find a more effective balance for the future, it will be necessary to return to Gallica's sources: the original BnF collections. From this perspective, Gallica is not a digital library of contemporary works that may or may not appear on the shelves of BnF. Rather, it is a digital library focusing on the wealth of printed materials, manuscripts, and audiovisual collections already available in BnF.

Today, coordinating Gallica within the network of its partner libraries poses a major challenge. Meeting this challenge and bringing together physically separated collections in a virtual digital space has many benefits: varying resources become more consistent; new, previously unimagined research possibilities emerge; connections between collections are uncovered; and an expanded view of cultural heritage develops. These are just some of the reasons why cooperation among national libraries is important. Cooperation can, therefore, lead to:

  • links to collections already digitized by partner libraries specializing in certain fields; and
  • a sharing of roles between numerous institutions and BnF: other libraries create detailed directories for specialists of a particular field, while BnF provides the corresponding texts. The whole process unfolds on the Internet for the greatest benefit to all.

What Gallica Offers

Gallica is the online digital library service created by BnF, a national library focusing on research. Its different lines of development are based on the following principles:

  • Gallica is an encyclopedic digital library constructed from existing library collections. Those collections consist of printed materials (books, journals, newspapers, printed music, and others), graphic materials (engravings, maps, photographs, etc.), and sound recordings. Using the Internet, you can search for rare and primary source materials, or out-of-print and hard-to-access documents that might otherwise be completely inaccessible: this is an essential element and benefit of Gallica services. As a research tool for communicating scholarly knowledge, Gallica complements online exhibitions and learning, providing great opportunities to discover France's and humanity's scholarly legacy.
  • Gallica is at the forefront in the field of document conservation, employing a unique working plan in this area. Soon, digital media will replace silver film archival formats, such as microforms, at BnF. For all its documents in danger of physical damage, digitally archived materials will then be searchable from within BnF. In certain cases, this conservation policy will overlap the Gallica document policy. Gallica will work within the framework of that conservation policy, although it is not Gallica's goal to systematically place the entire BnF library collection online.

A library of primary literature

Gallica is a means of accessing the literary and graphic dimensions of cultural heritage.

It offers the public thematic bodies of knowledge centered on one or more library collections. Those collections span several BnF departments, each presenting a different type of document access. Users must be able to work on hundreds of documents within a given subject area, therefore Gallica wil provide groups of documents on a given author, current of thought or subject.

Its aim, once again, is not to place entire library collections online. Gallica does not attempt to present an exhaustive range of library materials.

Without taking for granted what has been Gallica's main strength-- its collections of authors' works--this digital library emphasizes another dimension of its collections. Every large research library has the responsibility to develop innovative new ways on of spreading knowledge, especially with regard to commercial publishing. Gallica's new focus is meeting this challenge.

Gallica reflects BnF's printed collections, which have entered the library system in a number of ways. These resources are rich, yet do not consist of a "classic" body of authors constructed from a purely academic perspective, as one would find in certain universities and research units. Gallica must offer bodies of research documents gathered from library materials that characterize the BnF collections, materials that are still underused. A certain portion of the 19th-century press represents one of the best examples. In this case, accessibility takes precedence over the rare nature of the works. Hence, more emphasis must be placed on "collections of sources" (as historians would see it) that are hard to access today, yet relevant to a wider public.

The body of authors included in the new Gallica system makes up the collections of sources. Each collection now has a manageable size and provides ample research material. Today, Baudelaire is easier to find than Sully-Prudhomme. One of Gallica's goals, therefore, is to offer literary periods not only of "major authors," but also lesser-known authors. Gallica will accomplish this like no other online tool, opening new avenues of research.

To meet this goal, Gallica will use primary source material whose symbolic importance is linked to BnF. For example, although parts of the photographic collections of Eugène Atget, Charles Nègre, and Charles Marville, as well as the engravings of Jacques Callot and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, have been republished in book form, BnF has archived the most important of those collections. It will be beneficial to treat image collections and sound recordings in the same way as philosophers and writers, by including learning tools that help increase understanding of a period or movement. Only an institution like BnF can follow this kind of approach. It will strengthen the concept of "bodies of knowledge" and bring consistency to BnF's offerings, which mostly interest those who search for materials from an historical perspective.

The process of selecting bodies of knowledge means that the presentation and content of Gallica will change during the year 2005. When you search Gallica in the future, you will have a number of access levels: topic, title, author, and, possibly, library collection. You will also be able to combine search criteria. As with Internet search engines, Gallica will allow you to search for more than just title and author.

A library of research tools

Research tools include classic dictionaries, directories, bibliographies, and similar materials.

There is a strong demand for the digitization of research tools, such as dictionaries and special catalogs, especially materials that are out-of-print. The digitization of dictionaries within Gallica is limited to the image format as it currently exists. A simple technical solution using the image format, however, can now meet a large part of the demand: "Tables of Contents" allow readers to navigate among the current headings on each page (for example, ARAN – ARAP- ARAS).

This is an appropriate solution to consider in 2004 from a technical point of view. It can then be expanded to apply to specific Gallica objectives:

  • creating a list of the main existing titles to include in Gallica,
  • creating a supplementary list of new titles to include, based on the criteria explained above, and
  • developing special work schedules within the production chain.

The priority is to offer the main French bibliographic tools out-of-print since the 16th century, from La Croix du Maine to Lorenz, and including the complete digitization of the Bibliographie de la France since 1811. With this program, BnF will meet the needs of the library network as well as researchers.

Languages and Geographical Reach: mainly collections from France in the French language

Gallica focuses primarily on works about France, in the French language, and published in France.

This focus distinguishes BnF from other similar libraries in other countries. BnF collections, nonetheless, have included foreign documents for centuries. This will be taken into account to avoid creating research boundaries that are too rigid.

Historic collections of manuscripts, rich in diverse languages, must be preserved despite Gallica's new focus on French language collections. The French language dominates the enhancements to Gallica. However, Gallica will regularly include foreign-language materials contained in BnF collections, especially when they complete or significantly add to the body of knowledge, or their absence degrades overall consistency. We will select first editions or landmark translations that are, in general, in the public domain. The proportion of these works will be decided on a program-to-program basis.

The same reasoning applies to the geographical reach of Gallica and its openness to Europe and the rest of the world, depending on the nature of the collections.

Time period covered: a rebalancing of BnF collections, emphasizing the early modern period

Technical and legal constraints make it necessary for Gallica to emphasize the French 19th-century portion of the collections in two ways:

  • as a period of rapid growth in French intellectual output, and
  • as a golden age for the critical analysis of other centuries, especially the Middle Ages.

The 19th century witnessed the rapid development of large scholarly collections that published and distributed new archival sources and the first complete collections of authors (in literature, philosophy, and other fields). Gallica naturally reflects this vital scholarly movement in France, especially in the field of history. To date, history collections have not been replaced, except for the republication of classic works.

The 19th century was also a great period for the organized distribution of scientific knowledge and political thought, not only through academic journals, but also through analytical surveys and dictionaries: this dimension will appear more prominently in the new Gallica. This is also true for geographical movement and the empowerment of the social sciences, both fundamental in increasing the influence of French schools of thought.

The BnF collections have their origins in much earlier times. Collections of materials from the early modern period, especially from the 16th to 18th centuries, need to be given the emphasis they deserve.

Following detailed analysis of digitized collections by subject area, the following needs to be affirmed:

  • The vast majority of Gallica is in the public domain, in accordance with its role as a repository of French cultural heritage.
  • A rebalancing of collections with an emphasis on the early modern period (16th to 18th centuries) is necessary.
    Based on the principle explained above, this does not involve seeking an ideal coverage of the landmarks of intellectual thought and art. Rather, this rebalancing means filling scholarly gaps and furthering the digitization of research sources, such as the BnF collection of religious criticism published during the Ancien Régime (France before French Revolution of 1789). Special attention will be paid to the 17th century collections. Materials from the 16th century will also be supplemented by adding to Gallica incunabula (early printed books) analyzed in a database of iconographic materials developed by the BnF Rare Book Reserve (Réserve des Livres Rares).
  • The good coverage of the French Revolution in books puts into perspective the gaps discovered in the period from the end of the 18th century to the turn of the 19th century. The 19th century, especially its second half, requires additional resources. This is particularly true for history and political science because certain collections and sections are currently missing from Gallica (Commune and others).

The 20th century will be approached mainly through academic journals, especially those focusing on philosophy, literature, and art. Finally, Gallica will build collections on World War I, in which interest has recently been revived.

Subject areas

Imbalances between subject areas are apparent. The aim is not to correct imbalances systematically, but to do so in a way that reflects both the importance of the collections (including those of special collections departments and research interests.

Subject areas
Subject Total volumes Monographs Periodicals Periodicals Titles Images and Sound Recordings
Total 66 246 52 764 13 482 417 78,840 images 30 hrs. of sound recordings
Dictionaries, Bibliographies, History of the Book 1 041 451 590 20 0
Philosophy 3 000 2 559 441 10 0
Religion 2 616 2616 0 0 45,000 images (Dun Huang)
Histoiry 13 130 9 659 3 471 72 11 040 images
Géography, Ethnology 4 247 2 593 1 360 19 10,130 images Sounds recordings
Sociology, Education 731 705 26 3 0
Law 3 124 2 993 131 5 0
Economics 2 540 2 053 487 19 0
Political Science 7 502 6 321 1 181 105 Sounds recordings
Science, Technology 11 594 9 296 2 592 55 500 images
Language, Linguistics 1 408 737 671 21 0
Literature 14 000 11 658 2 342 79 Sounds recordings
Fine-arts, Architecture 605 492 107 1 4 470 images
Music, Performing Arts 600 537 63 8 7 700 images Sounds recordings
Arts de vivre (Leisure & Lifestyle) 108 88 20 1 0

Currently, Gallica covers three subject areas particularly well:

  • History,
  • Literature, and
  • Science.

History and literature are major themes in the BnF collections, while the sciences are in high demand from the research community.

These subjects do not have to be re-examined, since they have reached the critical level at which digital collections become useful for research. Although it may be necessary to control the growth of these three subject areas, they must continue to be developed.

By contrast, certain smaller collections, such as linguistics, are already well balanced.

In the near future, Gallica will further develop under-represented subject areas, including philosophy, religion, and political science.

The arts will also be expanded based on joint projects with the Institut National de l’Histoire de l’Art (INHA) and the wealth of materials held in the main BnF departments of this general subject area: Music; Engravings and Photography; and Performing Arts.

Two priority collections

The digitization of academic journals and newspapers

Academic journals are now in high demand. Gallica is committed to systematically filling the gaps (missing issues) and adding the most important titles to the production chain in response to growing demand.

But, this plan can only be carried out if technical progress is made allowing full access to the journals (navigation within tables), a type of access that must be improved in Gallica.

The daily press is another scholarly and technical field essential to Gallica. The daily press of the 19th century remains difficult to access, although it represents a source of primary importance in research. Only a limited selection of titles is available because the digitization of works from Théophraste Renaudot to Hubert Beuve-Méry, ideal for research, has not taken place.

Technical solutions for the historic large-format daily press are being studied in an ambitious plan to launch about 3 million pages in 2005. This will represent a major step forward in promoting French language and culture around the world. This plan must not, however, negatively affect the ongoing enhancement of Gallica. It will require additional resources. The rebalancing of time periods discussed above is in addition to the digitization of the 19th-century French daily press; that rebalancing is part of the continuing expansion of Gallica.

The digitization of images and sound recordings

It is highly beneficial to link together the expansion of BnF's collections of printed materials, images, and sound recordings.

There will exist connected groups of digitized texts and images that Gallica will offer as unique research tools. This will allow valuable interdisciplinary studies, which are still too few in number. Digital technology offers new opportunities in this area. For example, connecting printed music collections to sound recording archives will strengthen interest in their conservation.

The image and sound recording collections selected for digitization must be consistent with the function of Gallica as a digital research library. This involves carefully planning access to these materials, reorienting their presentation, and increasing the amount of materials, while maintaining an appropriate numerical balance between images and text.

This effort must be clearly distinguished from the separate development of the BnF image bank, which has a commercial purpose and is managed by BnF's Reprographic Department (Département de la Reproduction).

Gallica and Publishing

Gallica is a large online research library. BnF will continue its pioneering work in making large numbers of texts, images, and sound available via the web, while allowing other institutions to create technical and scholarly added value.

Gallica's policy is significantly different from that of commercial publishers. All the materials on the site are royalty-free (mostly in the public domain), printable, and downloadable for strictly private use.

BnF is often asked to create collections of authors' works using electronic publishing. BnF approaches these requests in the following way:

  • As a co-publisher of, for example, hard-to-access materials or manuscript or image collections acquired by BnF.
    An example is the case for the publication of the letters of Romain Rolland. When BnF publishes these kinds of materials, it must determine whether they fit into Gallica or should be made available on the BnF Web site in an area dedicated to online publications.
  • For other materials, commercial publishers take responsibility, without the involvement of BnF.

More and more publishers are offering dictionaries in the CD-ROM format, such as the Grand Dictionnaire Universel du XIXe Siècle, by Pierre Larousse. Investing in the text format is costly. This is why BnF will improve online access and pay special attention to digitizing dictionaries and research tools. At the same time, it will put online, in image format, a number of out-of-print resources.

Finally, BnF is planning to collaborate with academic journal publishers to place their materials online. Journals represent a major strength of Gallica, making a close collaboration with journal publishers easy to organize. A similar cooperation has been planned for press publishers of current newspaper titles.

Gallica and Research

Gallica is in a position to forge partnerships with various research organizations.

BnF cannot respond to all the offers from numerous research teams to collaborate on different database projects for rare documents, each requiring project-specific methods. When such collaboration is possible, the roles can be divided. For example, in the case of manuscripts:

  • digitization of the materials by BnF,
  • transcription and annotation carried out by the research team, whether a BnF team or an outside research group, and
  • indexing and navigation designed and customized by BnF based on the needs of the researchers; the basic materials then become available in Gallica, while research results appear on the Web site of the research team.

Similarly, Gallica will develop digital databases offering specific access to BnF's iconographic collections, such as Mandragore (for Medieval illuminated manuscripts). These databases have special directories aimed at research. Gallica will contain the digitized text of the manuscripts, as well as relevant incunabula (early printed books).

The future design of the Gallica Web site will include links to these iconographic collections. In this way, Gallica strengthens its primary mission as a repository of digital documents.

Networking Digital Materials With Other Libraries

Identifying earlier projects

The French Ministry of Culture (Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication) maintains a database of ongoing digitization projects. At this time, the resources listed are quite varied.

The ministry's Department of Literature and the Promotion of Reading (Direction du Livre et de la Lecture) is seeking to increase the visibility of projects focusing on France's literary heritage. In the process, it would like to develop closer ties to projects that could involve the Subdepartment of Libraries of the French National Ministry of Education (Sous-Direction des Bibliothèques of the Ministère de l’Education Nationale). BnF's expertise in France's literary heritage puts it in a unique position to participate in this particular cataloging project.

Two avenues of cooperation

Today, the prospects for joint digitization projects lead us in two directions:

  • the online consolidation of related and complementary collections:
    • Philidor Collection of baroque music, divided between Paris and Versailles,
    • Dunhuang manuscripts, in cooperation with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and
    • La France en Amérique/France in America project studying the influence of France on North American culture, in close partnership with the Library of Congress (USA).
    These projects involve coordinating different Internet portals between the participants. Other kinds of joint digitization projects are taking shape with a number of scientific libraries holding national heritage trust collections. The individual responsibilities and fields covered have been divided between the institutions and BnF. New types of Web site navigation have simplified this division.
  • document sharing between Gallica and teams of specialists to allow more comprehensive access to documents (creation or reuse of tables of contents, special directories, etc.).
    BnF's partnership with the Cellule Mathdoc documentation system, for mathematics journals, well illustrates this kind of complementary document access. Beginning with the Journal de Mathématiques Pures et Appliquées, Cellule Mathdoc (a joint research unit of the Université Joseph Fourier-Grenoble, CNRS) is contributing to indexing of journal literature in Gallica. This is available on the Mathdoc Web site, which has a direct link to Gallica documents. Sharing roles in this way is certainly the most promising path for Gallica, which creates high expectations among its users because of its past successes and the continuity guaranteed by a national institution.

Special treatment must be reserved for regional history, which remains important from the point-of-view of regional cooperation and corresponds to the first "avenue" discussed above, by which Gallica will bring together related collections.

The success of academic journal programs covering 19th-century learned societies creates new possibilities for enhancing the value of French national heritage trust collections distributed between BnF and municipal libraries (as well as archives).

We emphasize the:

  • recent digitization project of the Bibliothèque Municipale de Troyes for chapbook collections, distributed among numerous libraries, and the
  • collection of rare materials on World War I, held by the Bibliothèque de Documentation Internationale Contemporaine (BDIC), the Bibliothèque Nationale Universitaire de Strasbourg (BNUS), and BnF.

Current Status and Planned Enhancements by Subject Area

Dictionaries, Bibliographies, History of the Book

Current status
Volumes 1,041 volumes, including 451 monographs, usually in several volumes, and 20 academic journals, amounting to 590 volumes
Dictionaries and Encyclopedias 210 volumes: examples are, Dictionnaire Historique et Critique, by Pierre Bayle; Encyclopédie, ou Dictionnaire Raisonné des Sciences, des Arts et des Métiers, by Denis Diderot and Jean d'Alembert; Grand Dictionnaire Universel du XIXe Siècle, by Pierre Larousse; and Dictionnaire des Dictionnaires, by Paul Guérin.
Bibliographies and Catalogs 241 volumes: examples are, Dictionnaire des Ouvrages Anonymes, by Antoine-Alexandre Barbier; Les Supercheries Littéraires Dévoilées, by Joseph-Marie Quérard; Manuel du Bibliophile, by Gabriel Peignot; Correspondance de Plantin: Œuvres du Bibliophile Jacob; and Advis pour Dresser une Bibliothèque, by Gabriel Naudé
Academic Journals 590 volumes (20 titles) divided between general knowledge journals (such as, Revue Encyclopédique and Magasin Encyclopédique), bibliophile journals (such as, Bibliophile Ancien ou Moderne and Bulletin du Bouquiniste), and literary journals (such as, Journal Littéraire de la France).
Special Features 16th-century Lyon printings from the Bibliothèque Municipale de Lyon.
Planned Enhancements
  • Regular supplements of missing volumes, especially for the Bibliographie de la France; there are also plates for the Encyclopédie, as well as monographs and journals, covering all titles in the public domain (up to 1934).
  • History of the book and bibliography supplements, focusing on historic reference materials to build a coherent bibliography of French works available online to researchers and library professionals, a resource currently lacking (cf. Direction du Livre et de Lecture: Plan d'Action pour le Patrimoine Ecrit/Department of Literature and the Promotion of Reading: Action Plan for the Literary Heritage of France).
  • incunabula (early printed books), illustrated using engraved wood, will be digitized as a priority, with the aid of ICONO XV, a system developed by the Rare Book Reserve (Réserve des Livres Rares)
  • publisher catalogs, which must be subdivided by period, author, and subject area, similarly to scientific materia
Planned Improvements Priority: specific specifications for improving the search functions for dictionaries that do not exist on the market in digital format. In 2004, specifications should make it possible to navigate by current title (ARAN-ARAP-ARAS).
Targeted 2008 Volumes

2,300 printed volumes

To Monitor in the Same Subject Area (this heading will be updated regularly based on the progress of projects)
  1. Bibliothèque Humaniste Virtuelle, developed by the Centre d'Etudes Supérieures de la Renaissance (Center for Advanced Study of the Rennaissance) in Tours, France: classic works of the 16th century, as well as religious and scientific resources.
  2. Digitization of regional incunabula, a project led by the French Ministry of Culture's Department of Literature and the Promotion of Reading (Direction du Livre et de la Lecture, Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication)
  3. Book sales catalogs, preferably annotated editions (in cooperation with the Ecole Nationale des Chartes, which is developing a descriptive database for the Ile-de-France region).
  4. Reprints and digital versions of Larousse dictionaries:
    • Reprint: Grand Dictionnaire Universel du XIXe Siècle by Pierre Larousse. - Geneva; Paris: Slatkine, 1982.
    • CD-ROM (image format with uncorrected optical character recognition [OCR])


Current Status
Volumes 3,000 volumes, of which 85% are monographs
Languages French (61%). Other languages include German (19.2%), Italian (8%), and English (7.1%).
Time Period Covered Mostly 18th (22.2%) and 19th (32.7%) centuries.
  • Ancient philosophy: collection of uneven quality to be supplemented with major French translations now in the public domain
  • Medieval philosophy: occasional supplements based on the strengths of the manuscripts
  • Modern philosophy: uneven coverage of 16th century; good coverage of 17th century; and wide gaps in the 18th century, to fill in the same manner as for ancient philosophy.
  • Philosophy of the 19th century: very good coverage of French philosophers whose works are in the public domain.
Academic Journals 2 titles are currently available: Revue Philosophique de la France et de l'Etranger and Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale. Coverage is complete, within the limits of copyright.
Special Materials -
Planned Enhancements
Supplements The Gallica philosophy collection will be refocused on philosophy in the French language (including non-French philosophers who have written in or translated works into French), providing links to libraries outside France for the remaining material.
  • Some journal titles and works by major authors
  • Emphasis on the early modern period, especially the 16th and 18th centuries; for the 18th century, from the point of view of the 2005 BnF exhibition on the Enlightenment.
  • Increased exposure of lesser-known and hard-to-find authors of the early modern period, but also including earlier (end of Middle Ages) and later (beginning of 19th century) authors.
Collections Digitization of a selection of lectures given by Gilles Deleuze (recordings of lectures given between 1979 and 1984 at the Université de Paris-VIII).
Planned Technical Improvements For the Deleuze lectures (an exception in terms of copyright), BnF will obtain special approval from copyright holders to include the material in the Gallica audio server.
Targeted 2008 Volumes

5,000 printed volumes

To Monitor in the Same Subject Area

Progress of the R.-P. Droit/L. Ferry project led by the French Ministry of National Education (Ministère de l'Education Nationale) (collection of philosophy works).


Current Status
Volumes 2,616 volumes, focused on Judeo-Christian works (especially Christianity)
Languages 150 volumes in ancient languages (Latin and Hebrew), the remainder in French.
Time Period Covered Works focused on the 16th, 18th, and 19th centuries.
Tools No tools are currently available (copyright issues)
  1. Bible collection (4%): editions prior to 1600, some early modern period translations (Isaac Lemaistre de Sacy, Théodore de Bèze, and Clément Marot), and modern period editions (Ernest Renan and Augustin Crampon). This collection is incomplete.
  2. Christian doctrinal writings (24%): Patrology (incomplete), taken from the French & Italian Book Before 1700 series, will not be completed because of the existence in the database of the digitized version of Migne's Patrologie. Theology is well covered, especially the Middle Ages. Biblical exegesis, particularly multireligious (modern criticism of the Tora and works by Saint Bernard, Luther, and Calvin), is mostly from the early modern period, with a few works from the positivist period.
  3. Christian practices (12%): sermons, catechisms, meditations, devotions, prayers and other spiritual writings with no associated exegesis or doctrine
  4. History of Christianity (22%): history of the Catholic Church and of other churches, liturgical texts (missals [book of common prayers], Book of Hours, and catechisms), and missionary work
  5. Doctrinal and controversial works (29%): 75% of these materials are on the period of the French Revolution. Very incomplete for Renaissance Protestant writings, as well as internal Catholic Church controversies of the 16th, 17th (Jansenism), and 18th (the Enlightenment) centuries.
  6. Other religions (4.5%): overall scanty, covering mainly Judaism (25%) and mythology (25%).
  7. Freemasonry and esotericism (1.5%): mainly 19th-century treatises on esotericism and historical studies of Freemasonry and its role during the French Revolution.
Academic Journals Bulletin de la Société d'histoire du protestantisme ; Acta sanctorum ; Journal ecclésiastique.
Special Materials Digitization of Dunhuang manuscripts is in progress (P. Pelliot collection) and will partially restore the Buddhist collection: 45,000 images. The breadth of this collection goes beyond the field of religion.
Planned Enhancements
Supplements Double the Gallica religious collections, focusing on two main themes:
  • religions other than Christianity and
  • writings on Protestantism and religious controversies of the 17th and 18th centuries. A project on Jansenism is at the planning stage in collaboration with the two libraries, Bibliothèque Municipale de Troyes and Bibliothèque de la Société de Port-Royal.
Finally, Freemasonry will be handled as a second phase, thanks to a large collection in the BnF Department of Manuscripts (Département des Manuscrits).
Collections There is a proposal to digitize Géographie Sacrée, by Bourguignon d'Anville, which amounts to about one hundred maps from the 17th and 18th centuries.
Planned Technical Improvements For religions other than Christianity, Gallica plans to create tables of contents corresponding to the page numbering in non-Latin characters.
Targeted 2008 Volumes

5,000 printed volumes


Current Status
Volumes 13,130 volumes
Languages and Time Period Covered See belows
Tools 853 volumes, or 6.5% of total:
  1. Historical dictionaries, from Jean-Baptiste Ladvocat to François-Xavier de Feller; general biographies from the 19th century (Michaud, Gustave Vapereau, and others). A selection of special works, based on time period (for example, antiquity) or subject (such as Dictionnaire Historique des Institutions Moeurs, et Coutumes de la France, by Pierre Adolphe Chéruel) and biographical dictionaries by region or topic (such as Protestants). Deficiency in the 17th and 18th centuries
  2. Bibliographic tools: French regions (Lasteyrie) or other geographic areas (Bibliotheca Sinica). Outside field: archive inventories
  3. Related disciplines: genealogy (Annuaire de la Noblesse and Nobiliaire Universel) and heraldry (Armorial Général de France, by Charles d'Hozier) comprise two small, yet coherent collections (theme: the printed collections of Hozier). Numismatics and sigillography: few documents available.
Sources 5,511 volumes, or 42% of total (antiquity: 250; Middle Ages: 87; early modern period: 3,700; and modern period: 343):
  • Memoirs, cartularies, etc.: memoirs and personal letters for the period 1589-1870; large collections: Bibliothèque Latine-Française, by Charles-Louis-Fleury Panckoucke, Collection des Mémoires Relatifs à l’Histoire de France, covering the Middle Ages, and other works
  • Period-specific, contemporary information resources (factual relationships and almanacs): large collections (Collection des Documents Inédits sur l’Histoire de France). The remainder (administrative documents) refers to local history, through regional estates and collections on large cities (such as, Histoire Générale de Paris).
Studies 3,306 volumes, or 25% of total (mainly French):
  • works by scholars of the modern period: 300 volumes, of which 36% concern general knowledge (such as, human history, history of France since its origins, and history of cities), while 50% concern the modern period (retrospective studies on the discovery of the "two Indias" and Africa)
  • pre-1850 historical monographs. Two themes: general analyses (the large analytical surveys of Jules Michelet and François Guizot) or thematic studies; and local history of the Middle Ages and the early modern period.
Academic Journals 72 titles, nearly all in French, including:
  • major historical journals (12 titles): Revue Historique, Revue de Synthèse Historique, Bibliothèque de l’Ecole des Chartes, and others
  • learned societies (10 titles): Bulletin Monumental, Revue des Etudes Grecques, and others
  • local learned societies (40 titles), covering France's regions: Ile-de-France, Aquitaine, Lorraine, Bretagne, and Poitou-Charentes.
Special Materials
  • 498 numismatic materials from the Basile Collection
  • 5,248 engravings from the Destailleur Collection
  • 3,737 photographs, by Eugène Atget
  • 1,555 photographs from the Media Library of French Cultural Heritage and Architecture (Médiathèque du Patrimoine et de l'Architecture)
Planned Enhancements
Supplements Three themes:
  1. Focus on national heritage collections, including tools such as Gallia Christiana; genealogical collections; and journals in the public domain, including Gazette des Gazettes
  2. Regional history programs, especially the digitization of learned society journals (from Auvergne, Bourgogne, and other regions)
  3. Rebalancing of the modern period, excluding the French Revolution, and the early modern period around BnF's collection of rare materials, whether for graphic or printed materials (colonial history, World War I, mazarinades, the reign of Louis XIV, etc.).
Collections Several collections could be envisaged for the near future:
- Digitization of drawings from the Gaignières Collection, beginning with 1,056 topographical documents
- Collection of images from the French Revolution, by migration from existing video disks, if possible
- Digitization of 35 volumes of color coats-of-arms by Charles d'Hozier
- World War I collection (front-line newspapers), in partnership with BNUS and BDIC
Planned Technical Improvements Links to regional portals
Targeted 2008 Volumes

20,000 printed volumes; graphic materials to be counted.

To Monitor in the Same Subject Area
  1. Digitization of the journals Bibliothèque de l’Ecole des Chartes, Annales, and Matériaux pour Histoire de Notre Temps, as part of the social sciences program of the Subdepartment of Libraries of the French National Ministry of Education (Sous-Direction des Bibliothèques et de la Documentation, Ministère de l'Education Nationale); this work will be carried out by the Service Commun de la Documentation (SCD), Université Lumière, Lyon II.
  2. Digitization of archival inventories, with the participation of Archives de France, to which the ARCHIM image database will be added
  3. Digitization of academic journals by publishing houses, such as Ecole Française d’Athènes
  4. Digitization of a collection on prehistoric times by the organization Pôle International de la Préhistoire
  5. Digitization of materials on the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region, led by the Université Charles-de-Gaulle - Lille 3
  6. Digitization of image databases, under the auspices of the French Ministry of Culture (Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication).

Géography, ethnology

Current Status
Volumes 3,953 volumes, including 1,360 volumes of periodicals, amounting to 19 titles
Languages and Time Period Covered See below
Tools Few bibliographic tools are available: only three titles for ethnology
Text Sources 53% from two main groups:
  • Travel journals (1,842 volumes). Digitized as part of BnF "Voyage en ..." presentations. France (25%), Africa (40%), and Italy (9%). Time period covered: mostly the 19th century.
  • Travel guides (264 volumes), from "Voyages en France." A satisfactory collection.
  • Geography (244 volumes), in four subgroups:
    1. monographs, including Elysée Reclus (51 volumes);
    2. modern works: Cosmographies, Miroirs du Monde (Cassini and Pontus de Tyard: 67 volumes) ;
    3. documents on the history of geography;
    4. topographical dictionaries by Adolph Joanne (54 volumes).
  • Ethnology (240 volumes): ethnological and anthropological monographs on Africa and America: a series from the Smithsonian Institution on Native American civilization in North America and works by Maurice Delafosse, Fernand Foureau, Henri Duveyrier, and others.
Academic Journals Fifteen journals on geography and ethnography (including L'Ethnographie; Bulletin de la Société d'Anthropologie; Annales de Géographie de Paris; and Revue Maritime et Coloniale), as well as four titles specializing in travel (Journal des Voyages, Tour du Monde, Exploration, and Nouvelles Annales des Voyages)
Special Materials Particularly rich in special materials, these include:
  • 2,826 maps from the Bourguignon d'Anville Collection, digitized as part of BnF's "Voyages en France" and "Voyages en Afrique" presentations. Those of Italy will follow.
  • 5,260 photographs of Africa from the Société de Géographie
  • 1,183 images from the Musée de l'Homme (Museum of Man)
  • 30 hours of sound recordings from Archives de la Parole (130 from France and 17 from Africa)
Planned Enhancements
  • Digitization of the newsletters of French geographic societies (Lyon, Lille, Normandie, and other areas), overseas French companies, and French institutes, which connect the theme of colonial history with Aix-Marseille
  • Supplements to European folklore collections
  • Rebalancing of travel journals, placing emphasis on France and America.
Collections The La France en Amérique/France in America project, which studies the influence of France on North American culture, has been validated (1,500 documents, including about 600 in phase 1)
In the medium-term, this collection will be accompanied by two other collections:
  • digitization of sea chart (portolanos) collections conserved in BnF's Department of Maps and Charts (Département des Cartes et Plans) (500 documents)
  • enhancements within the framework of upgrading the Salle Ovale, the reference room of the Richelieu Library of BnF, will emphasize image collections (celebrations, family events, professions, etc.)
Planned Technical Improvements There are two areas to develop as a priority:
  1. indexing by geographic name
  2. extension of zoom function to all map materials
Targeted 2008 Volumes

6,000 printed volumes; graphic materials to be counted.

To Monitor in the Same Subject Area
  • Digitization project on the New World, led by the Bibliothèque Municipale de La Rochelle, and on Canada (AD of Charente-Maritime – SHAM-CAOM).
  • Digitization project for travel guides, developed by the Max Planck Institute. The same project is also being led by INHA.
  • Digitization of the periodical L'Homme by the Service Commun de la Documentation (SCD), Université Lumière, Lyon II, as part of the social sciences program of the Sous-Direction des Bibliothèques et de la Documentation.

Sociology and Education

Current Status
Volumes Sociology : 231 volumes
Education : 500 volumes
Languages Sociology : 95 % French
Education : French
Time Period Covered Sociology: second half of the 19th century, focusing on the development of sociology in France
Education: 18th and 19th centuries
Tools Education: four dictionaries, including the Dictionnaire de Pédagogie et d'Instruction Primaire, by Ferdinand Buisson
  • Sociology: Sociological, statistical, and demographic studies, related to economics.
  • Education: 360 volumes, bringing together numerous educational projects, texts from foundations, and educational manuals and methods. NB: science manuals are covered under sciences
  • Sociology: 217 volumes. Emphasis on essential collections in French sociology (works of the founding fathers)
  • Education: 94 volumes. Essays on educational methods and the history of pedagogy, as well as the institutions and philosophy of education.
Academic Journals
  • Sociology: Année Sociologique
  • Education: 2 titles - Journal de l'Education and Annales de l'Education du Sexe ou Journal des Demoiselles
Planned Enhancements
Supplements Sociology: Journals, such as Bulletin de l'institut Français de Sociologie and International Review of Sociology, and additions to the collections of major authors
Collections Education: three collection proposals for the medium-term:
  • iconography of the school
  • first series of wall maps by Pierre Vidal-Lablache,
  • treatises on education (lecture technique)
to review with education historians, especially for journals
Planned Technical Improvements Sociology: Establish ties to philosophy and economics in the future Gallica design
Targeted 2008 Volumes
  • Education: 1,000 printed volumes; graphic materials to be counted
  • Sociology: collections supplemented as resources permit


Current Status
Volumes 2,519 volumes
Languages Mostly in French
Time Period Covered Mainly 18th (31%) and 19th (41%) centuries
  • 11 volumes of bibliographies, including Bibliographie du Droit des Gens et des Relations Internationales, by Strupp; Sources Bibliographiques Recueillies en vue du Congrès International de Droit Commercial d'Anvers, by Albert Nyssens, and Bibliotheca Juris, by Johann Neumann.
  • 28 volumes of dictionaries (such as Dictionnaire de Droit et de Pratique, by Claude-Joseph de Ferrière, and Encyclopédie des Huissiers ou Dictionnaire Général et Raisonné de Législation, de Doctrine et de Jurisprudence en Matière Civile, Commerciale, Criminelle et Administrative, by Marc Deffaux and AdrienHarel)
  • Law before 1790: 631 volumes. Main resources: Recueil des Anciennes Lois Françaises, by François-André Isambert
  • Law after 1790: 605 volumes. Starting with Archives de la Révolution Française, a particularly rich resource for judicial reform projects and specific legal codes – cf. Code de la Législation Forestière
Collection of critical analysis and legal doctrine 1,718 volumes.
There is an overall focus on the major treatises of ancient law commentators, especially those of criminologists: Daniel Jousse and Pierre-François Muyard de Vouglans; Agostino Barbosa and Ostiensis (canonists); and Dayoz and Denis Gothofredus (glossators). The collection essentially consists of French jurists (such as Gui Pape, Loisel, and Pothier), but also includes Italian (such as Balde and Bartole), English (such as Bentham), and German jurists (such as Pufendorf).

Two areas have been developed in Gallica:
  • law of armed conflict, law of nations, and international law: 539 volumes, centered on the works of commentators and jurists, and serial publications, review works and sources concerning French law and the history of French diplomacy, such as Recueil des Traités de la France. Maritime law.- Public law
  • Canon law: from antiquity to the Renaissance.
Academic Journals 131 volumes, comprising 5 titles: Revue de Législation Ancienne et Moderne Française et Etrangère; Nouvelle Revue Historique de Droit Français et Etranger; Revue Historique de Droit Français et Etranger; Revue Générale de Droit International Public; and Le Conservateur, Revue de Droit International.
Planned Enhancements
Supplements It will be beneficial to supplement in the long run:
  • law sources from the modern period, now very incomplete, especially for source books (such as Corpus Juris Civilis), legal orders, and customary law, for which a directory will be created from the Bibliographie des Coutumes de France, by André Gouron and Odile Terrin
  • works of major French jurists and translations of the works of jurists outside France, while avoiding repeating what has been covered elsewhere.
  • specific legal codes (for example, insurance, intellectual property rights, and local law).
Collections Digitization of Bulletin des lois (a gift from the Ecole Nationale d'Administration/ENA) – first section to be completed by 2008
Planned Technical Improvements As for dictionaries, Gallica is considering the development of specific kinds of access to Bulletin des Lois: tagging material and the use of tables.
Targeted 2008 Volumes

3,200 printed volumes

To Monitor in the Same Subject Area
  • Bibliothèque Universitaire d'Aix-en-Provence (Domat, Brillon, Bourjon, Janety, Mirabeau, and Courrier de Provence)
  • Bibliothèque Interuniversitaires Cujas: German law, source books on civil and canon law, and French legal doctrine in the modern period.
  • Bibliothèque Universitaire de Bordeaux and Bibliothèque Universitaire de Nancy: legal works of local interest
  • Geneva Public and University Library (Bibliothèque Publique et Universitaire de Genève): French criminal law specialists of the 18th century
  • ACRPP (Association for Conservation and Photographic Reproduction of the Press): digitization of Moniteur Universel and assessment of Recueil des Arrêts du Conseil d'Etat and Bulletins des Arrêts de la Cour de Cassation is in progress.


Current Status
Volumes 2,540 volumes
Languages Mostly in French
Time Period Covered Mainly 18th (46%) and 19th (52%) centuries.The French Revolution is well represented.
Tools 28 volumes: Classic French works from the 19th century on the free-market economy: Dictionnaire de l'Economie Politique Contenant l'Exposition de la Science, by Charles Coquelin and Gilbert-Urbain Guillaumin; Nouveau Dictionnaire d'Economie Politique, by Léon Say and Joseph Challey; Dictionnaire du Commerce, de l'Industrie et de la Banque, by Yves Guyot and Artur Raffalovitch; and Dictionnaire des Finances, by Léon Say.
Sources 1,615 volumes:
  • Surveys: surveys of prefects of the Empire, as well as workers.
  • Statistics: Statistique de la France, a large and little known Gallica collection; Statistique de l'Industrie de la France; and Bulletin de l'Institut International de Statistique.
  • Demography: 128 volumes, including Bertillon.
Critical analysis 410 volumes. Chronologically, the best-represented works are those on free-market philosophy of the 19th century and the French economics school, as well as social economics of the same period.
Academic Journals 19 titles, or 487 volumes including Journal des économistes, le Bulletin de l’Institut international de statistique, les Annales de statistique, la Revue d’économie politique and Archives de statistique.
Planned Enhancements
Compléments ponctuels Supplementary material will be added to subject areas addressed by major texts on free trade and capitalism, neoclassical economics, the physiocrats, and Marxist theory, as well as texts and sources on international trade, the French colonies, and the development of banks and stock markets.

A more balanced collection than that of law, this field will need its strengths to be supported by additional sources and academic journals. Refocusing of French works (particularly of the modern period, excluding the French Revolution; and filling gaps in the early modern period).
Targeted 2008 Volumes

3,000 volumes of printed material

To Monitor in the Same Subject

Digitization of Revue Economique by the Service Commun de la Documentation (SCD), Université Lumière, Lyon II, as part of the social sciences program of the Sous-Direction des Bibliothèques et de la Documentation.

Political Science

Current Status
Volumes 7,851 volumes
Languages and Time Period Covered Mainly France
Tools 58 volumes. Inconsistent collection of 19th-century works. A number of dictionaries, such as Dictionnaire de l'Administration Française, by Maurice Block, and bibliographies, such as Bibliographie Saint-Simonienne, by Henri Fournel.
Sources 4,949 volumes (French Revolution and the 19th century)
  • Satirical writings (from political leaders, militants, thinkers, advertisers, and journalists), to continue for the early modern period
  • Activist documents: about 5% (pamphlets, propaganda flyers, speeches, and convention proceedings)
  • Social, political, and legislative debate (political memoirs, official and private correspondence related to public policy and political processes, and official document source books; parliamentary debates, memoirs and administrative reports, non-statistical surveys, and individual projects), such as Plaidoyer pour Louis XVI, by Lally-Tollendal; and Projet de Réorganisation Militaire, by Le Général Davout.
Texts and Critical Analysis
  • Texts (1,112 volumes): established and seminal works on political theory. Well covered themes: governance, utopias, slavery, pauperism, racism, anti-Semitism, women's rights, and the French colonies during the French Revolution. French political currents of the 19th and turn of the 20th centuries--from the counter-revolution (de Maistre and Bonald) to nationalist currents (Deroulède and Barrès) and socialism--are well represented.
  • Critical analysis (202 volumes): documents (often from universities) related to the birth of political science in France (such as those of Emile Boutmy) and texts on social issues and the history of political parties.
Academic Journals 105 titles, or 1,181 volumes: academic journals (Annales de l'Ecole Libre des Sciences Politiques); journals of opinion (such as Mercure de France and Ami du Roi et de la Religion). The time period covered for journals of opinion is limited to the era of the French Revolution, for which there is a large amount of digitized material.
Special Materials Political speeches (such as those of Paul Déroulède and Raymond Poincaré), recorded as part of the work of the Musée de la Parole (Museum of the Spoken Word).
Planned Enhancements
Supplements Rebalancing of collections emphasizing the 16th , 17th and 19th centuries, particularly in the following ways:
  • fill in the gaps in satirical writings of the early modern period
  • in general, add additional materials to primary sources, which is the specialty of Gallica (hard-to-access materials)
  • acquire missing issues for digitized journal titles, and digitize Mémoires de l'Académie des Sciences Morales and Politiques.
Collections Currently in progress:
- a program on the workers' movement from 1870 to 1940, in collaboration with Codhos (Collectif des Centres de Documentation en Histoire Ouvrière et Sociale), to add activist documents to the collection (about 500)
- digitization of 26 important titles of the French daily press of the 19th and turn of the 20th centuries, representing about 3 million pages – cf. file below.
In addition, it would be beneficial, in the medium-term, to digitize Archives Parlementaires.
Planned Technical Improvements -
Targeted 2008 Volumes

9,000 volumes of printed materials

To Monitor in the Same Subject Area

Digitization of Revue Française de Science Politique by the Service Commun de la Documentation (SCD), Université Lumière, Lyon II, as part of the social sciences program of the Sous-Direction des Bibliothèques et de la Documentation.

Digitization of the French daily press of the 19th century

BnF has undertaken the digitization of 26 important titles of the French daily press of the 19th and turn of the 20th centuries, amounting to about 3 million pages, which constitutes the largest online collection of newspapers in the world. Gallica lacks a full spectrum of contemporary history in this area of sources on the written press from Emile de Girardin to Georges Clemenceau.

The following titles will be included: Le Temps, Le Figaro, L'Humanité, La Croix, Le Petit Parisien, La Presse, Le Matin, L'Action Française, Le Petit Journal, L’Aurore, La Justice, Le Constitutionnel, Le Gaulois, Le Siècle, Le National,Le Rappel, L'Intransigeant, L’Univers, Gil Blas, and La Lanterne.

This program will be carried out over a period of five to seven years.

These titles will be digitized strictly according to Gallica digitization policy. This involves processing, above all, issues of these titles now in the public domain. For copyrighted material, there must be case-by-case agreements with the press publishers holding the copyrights. These agreements are aimed at possibly cooperating with the publishers' own online programs, which, in general, cover recent years.

This flexible practice protects the interests of both parties:

  • BnF, whose mission is to offer the public free access to the written cultural heritage of France, now in the public domain, in BnF's libraries as well as over the Internet, and
  • press publishers that commercially offer contemporary copyrighted materials.

The following program has been planned:

  • The first phase involves the digitization of the primary source material of BnF. This digitization will be carried out in image format, recreating for the reader the original appearance of the material for online access.
  • The second phase concerns additional techniques for accessing volumes and navigating within documents.
    To date, Gallica offers access to the different issues of a journal volume through its bibliographic record. This record contains a chronological list of the individual documents available and presents tables of contents digitized in searchable text format (when they exist). This means of access to well organized titles, appearing quarterly or more frequently, cannot be used for newspapers that have digitized material covering more than 50 years.
    • It is, therefore, necessary to allow for chronological access to documents, such as the system used at the Austrian National Library's Austrian Newspapers Online ( the website visitor selects a title, then navigates within a calendar to gain access to the desired issue in the desired year.
    • Access to subjects treated in the newspapers must now be addressed. New solutions must be identified to deal with the usual lack of tables of contents. Today, it is possible for website visitors to search all the text using a single keyword (article titles and content), thanks to OCR technology.

Sciences and techniques

Current Status
Volumes 11,594 volumes (including psychology, psychiatry, psychoanalysis, and physical anthropology)
Languages and Time Period Covered Mainly 19th century (61%), while the 18th and 20th centuries represent 11% and 10%, respectively.
Distribution of Subjects (in volumes) General science: 1,859; mathematics: 704; astronomy: 364; physics: 838; chemistry: 1,288; earth sciences: 166; paleontology: 139; life sciences: 266; botany: 699; technology: 734; medicine: 2,879; psychology: 137.
Tools 389 volumes:
  • Dictionaries: 50 titles, 357 volumes – the major reference works in mathematics, physics, chemistry, medicine, and technology are available. For example, Dictionnaire Encyclopédique des Sciences Médicales, by Amédée Dechambre
  • Bibliographies: 20 titles, 32 volumes, such as Bibliothecae Medicinae Practicae, by Albrecht von Haller, and Bibliotheca Botanica, by Carl von Linné.
Sources 419 volumes, from the mid-17th to the mid-19th centuries, mostly from the fields of medicine and technology because of the abundant material on these subjects: scientific expeditions and missions (such as those of Bory de Saint-Vincent); official reports and proceedings of meetings and exhibitions; official government reports on the state of science; scientific studies; legislation on scientific practices; and architecture aimed at scientific research and studies.
Texts and Critical Analysis
  1. Studies and treatises: 7,977 volumes: writings on pure science. There are two priorities: works of the masters now in the public domain (such as Paré and Kepler) and thematic collections from the golden ages of various disciplines: astronomy of the 17th century, botany of the 18th century, and weights and measures during the time of the French Revolution.
  2. Works for general distribution: 511 volumes – 1) popular works: collection almost complete for 80% of the 19th century 2) works for basic and professional education, based on recommendations of an expert panel on the development of science education (publication of reference manuals according to official programs).
Academic Journals 55 titles, or 2,592 volumes: serial publications from the French Academy of Sciences and other equivalent institutions in Europe; periodicals for the general public, such as Les Causeries de la Science, or specialists: Annales de Physique et de Chimie and Journal des Mathématiques Pures et Appliquées, digitized in partnership with Cellule Mathdoc.
All disciplines are covered, except earth sciences.
Special Materials 489 images, mainly from partner institutions: Museum d'Histoire Naturelle and Musée de l'Homme (Museum of Natural History and Museum of Man, respectively)
Planned Enhancements
Supplements It will be necessary to:
  • fill gaps in astronomy, earth sciences, and psychology.
  • supplement the Encyclopédie Méthodique, by Charles Joseph Panckouke, which will be systematically put online.
  • supplement thematic collections, such as those on Georg Ernst Stahl and phlogiston theory in the 18th century and collections on vacuums and vapor
  • complete works by both scholars and major popularizers of the 19th century, such as Louis Figuier and Camille Flammarion, and educators, such as Girardin.
  • Collections on the spread of technology
  • Image collections in the sciences must be expanded: volume to be decided
  • Scientific journal collections, in particular: Revue Rose, Revue de Médecine, Revue de Chirurgie, and Cosmos.
Planned Technical Improvements
  1. Links from Gallica to digitized titles appearing on other digital library sites to avoid repeating material.
  2. Allow the integration of images into scientific texts already digitized.
Targeted 2008 Volumes

18,000 printed volumes; graphic materials to be counted.

Joint digitization: proposed partners
  • Conservatoire Numérique des Arts et Métiers (CNAM), a digital library for the history of science and technology, extremely rich in World Fair collections (partnership agreement in progress)
  • Bibliothèque Interuniversitaire de Médecine, BnF associate
  • (partnership agreement in progress)
  • Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, BnF associate (partnership agreement in progress)
  • Bibliothèque Henry Ey, in psychiatry (Sainte-Anne Hospital, Paris)
  • Institut Pasteur, Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, Ecole des Mines, all BnF associates: agreements must be developed for access to journals.

To Monitor in the Same Subject Area
  • Centre de Recherche en Histoire des Sciences et des Techniques (CRHST) (Center for Research in History of Science and Technology): digitization of printed works, including collections on the history of herbal medicine and Lamarck manuscripts, conserved in the museum.
  • Gallavardin Collection on homeopathy: Université Claude Bernard Lyon I (BnF associate)

Language and linguistics

Current Status
Volumes 1,408 volumes
Time Period Covered Balanced coverage, thanks to the digitization of Archives de la Linguistique Française and Philological Tools, completed title by title
Répartition Généralités : 1859 vol., mathématiques : 704 ; astronomie : 364 ; physique : 838 ; chimie : 1288 ; sciences de la terre : 166 ; paléontologie : 139 ; sciences de la.vie : 266 ; botanique : 699 ; technique : 734 ; médecine : 2879 ; psychologie : 137.
Tools 142 volumes of language dictionaries.
  • Historical dictionaries of the French language (60 volumes) are part of a complete and consistent collection, including Dictionnaire de Trévoux; Dictionnaire de l'Ancienne Langue Française, by Frédéric Godefroy; and Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française
  • Other languages, mostly Greek and Latin, including the most important titles of the early modern period: Thesaurus Linguae Graecae, by Henri Estienne, as well as more recent titles, such as Glossarium Mediae et Infimae Latinitatis, by Charles du Fresne du Cange.
Texts 595 volumes: balanced collection built around three themes: classic linguistics (88 volumes), texts relating to the French language (279 volumes), and other languages (228 volumes), together offering a representative image of the evolution of languages. Linguistic works of the turn of the 20th century, which are still subject to copyright: beyond the scope of Gallica.
Collection focusing on the regional languages of France, including several hard-to-access texts, beyond those of the association Félibrige (champions of the Provençal language).
Significant collection of African language materials and the works of major French orientalists.
Academic Journals 671 volumes, including 21 titles, a remarkable, yet little known, collection: Revue des Langues Romanes, Litteratur für Germanische und Franzosiche Philologie, Revue de Phonétique, and Romania, among other titles.
Special Materials Sound recordings from Archives de la Parole.
Planned Enhancements
Compléments ponctuels
  • as a priority, Gallica will rebalance collections of regional language materials by digitizing language tools and literary works, starting with the most representative collections of BnF: Breton, Basque, and Occitan.

Supplement will be linked to regional learned society journal programs. - Gallica will strengthen the historical dimensions of this linguistic collection, beyond the classic texts of Gilles Ménage and Claude Favre de Vaugelas.
  • Other collections will enjoy occasional limited supplements.
Collections Gallica will proceed:
  • in the short-term, with digitization of Archives de la Parole, by Ferdinand Brunot
  • in the medium-term, with digitization of the major orientalists, currently dispersed among the various oriental manuscripts and printed materials of BnF. Planned enhancements.
Planned Technical Improvements Gallica will develop specific specifications for improving search functions, especially for dictionaries that do not exist in digital form on the market. In 2004, specifications should make it possible to navigate by current title (ARAN-ARAP-ARAS).
Targeted 2008 Volumes

2,000 volumes of printed materials and sound recordings


Current Status
Volums 14,000 volumes, 86% of which are monographs and 14% periodicals
Languages 90% in French. Emphasis on authors writing in French and texts in other languages translated into French.
Time Period Covered Mainly 20th century (48%) [19th-century texts and also older texts known for their 19th-century editions]; 18th century (17%), especially the period of the French Revolution. 17th (13%) and 18th century (13%)
Tools Digitization of a limited number of special bibliographies, focusing on Ronsard, Bossuet, Voltaire, and others.
  • Sources and memoirs: 4% - autobiographies, literary journals, literary correspondence, and a small number of letters
  • (often copyrighted).
  • Narrative (novels and prose): 26% - under-representation of Medieval novels; gaps in translations of Greek and Latin novels of the 16th century, while the emergence of the short story is well covered; gaps in the 17th and 18th centuries, with regard to the great novels (L’Astrée) and serials, such as Bibliothèque Universelle des Romans; very good representation of the different novel styles of the 19th century, from the Balzac novel to the popular novel. For prose, the collection is well covered from Boccace to Maupassant, with major translations for works written in other languages.
  • Poetry: 17% - poetry schools, from the Pleiades to symbolism, are well covered
  • Theater: 17%. 16th-century representation is coherent; good coverage of the 17th century; the 18th century is too focused on the French Revolution; the 19th century is disparate, outside the major playwrights.
Critical analysis
  • Treatises and essays: 3.3%.
  • Critical analysis: 9% of collections, divided between literature, historical literature, and biographies.
Academic Journals 79 titles, including 2,342 volumes, divided into general journals (debates and political and cultural news), literature review journals, and literary criticism.
Special Materials Some isolated sound recordings: voice recordings of some major authors, such as Apollinaire and Barrès. Special presentations of authors and their bodies of work: Proust, Zola, and Voltaire (with manuscripts)
Planned Enhancements
Supplements Two priorities:
  1. Coverage of the Ancien Régime, with special attention paid the Middle Ages, especially monographs: additions of major authors; focus on printed sources related to esthetic debates; memoirs; and primary source materials in the history of literature
  2. Increase the number of journals, up to 25% of the collection, emphasizing those of the 20th century.
  • a collection of Baroque literature built around l’Astrée, by Honoré d'Urfé, which BnF will digitize. Researchers at the University of Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV) will provide works of critical analysis, as co-publishers.
  • the Bibliothèque Bleue (17th- to 19th-century chapbooks) collection, in partnership with the Médiathèque de l’Agglomération Troyenne (a network of media libraries)
  • a collection on the literature of youth, focusing on either illustrated books or storytelling.
Planned Technical Improvements -
Targeted 2008 Volumes

20,000 volumes of printed materials

To Monitor in the Same Subject Area
  • Biblioteca Tolosona: digital library project on Toulouse authors of the 17th and 18th centuries, in collaboration with the Université Toulouse-le-Mirail/Bibliothèque Interuniversitaire de Toulouse
  • Revue d’Histoire Littéraire de la France: planning in collaboration with CNRS.

Fine arts and architecture

Current Status
  • Fine arts: 369 volumes of printed materials.
  • Architecture: 236 volumes, of which 226 volumes on civil architecture and 10 on military architecture
The weakness of this collection is in part because of a delay in processing materials in this subject area, which largely display an image quality generally incompatible with the TIFF formats used to digitize printed materials.
Time Period Covered
  • Fine arts: Mainly the 19th century (325 volumes), far outstripping the 18th century (27 volumes)
  • Architecture: 50% from the 18th century and 50% from the 19th century
Tools Two bibliographies, including Bibliographie Méthodique et Raisonnée des Beaux-Arts, by Ernest Vinet, and eight dictionaries, such as Dictionnaire Portatif de Peinture, Sculpture et Gravure, by Antoine-Joseph Pernety, and Dictionnaire Raisonné du Mobilier Français, by Eugène Viollet-Le-Duc.
Sources Les Catalogues des Salons des Beaux-Arts of the 19th century (48 volumes) and isolated letters: Lettre à Théophile Gautier, by T. Rousseau; Lettres de Eugène Delacroix; and more specialized studies concerning institutions: Ecole des Beaux-Arts (Fine Arts Academy), competitions, and more.
Projets d'Architecture (29 volumes), to review in cooperation with INHA.
Texts and Critical Analysis For the fine arts, there is a mixed collection consisting of:
  • Classics on the history of art: works by Vasari, Alberti, Cousin, Michel de Marolle, Quatremère de Quincy, Winckelmann, and others.
  • Art criticism, largely authors such as Diderot, Baudelaire, and Gautier
Treatises on architecture: 139 volumes (for example Palladio, Le Pautre, Durand, Claude Perrault, Ledoux, Maizières, Peyre, Vignole, Belidor, Pierre Chabat, César Daly, Abbé Laugier, Nicolas Le Camus de Mézieres, and, in particular, Eugène Viollet-Le-Duc)
Academic Journals 107 volumes of Gazette des Beaux-Arts. Works recently digitized include Nouvelles Archives de l'Art Français and Memoranda from meetings of learned societies of the departments of the University of Paris-Sorbonne, Fine Arts Section.
Special Materials Digitization of 1,061 images from the Lequeu Collection.
In addition, 58 manuscripts are available through Gallica, including illuminated manuscripts contained in the Mandragore database (3,276 images).
Architecture: 133 images from the Boullée Collection, essentially materials on city planning.
Planned Enhancements
Supplements Emphasis will be placed on digitizing multidisciplinary documents, including the major art journals. Trade shows are well represented and will continue to be digitized.
Collections -
Planned Technical Improvements -
Targeted 2008 Volumes
  • Fine arts: 3,000 printed volumes; graphic materials to be counted.
  • Architecture: 1,000 printed volumes; graphic materials to be counted.

To Monitor in the Same Subject Area
  • Digitization of La Revue de l'Art by the Service Commun de la Documentation (SCD), Université Lumière, Lyon II, as part of the social sciences program of the Sous-Direction des Bibliothèques et de la Documentation.
  • Digitization programs led by the Institut National d'Histoire de l'Art (trade shows, classic works on the history of art, Gaignières, celebrations, etc). (partnership in progress)
  • Digitization of trade show photographs by the Archives Nationales

Music and the performing arts

Current Status
Volumes Music: 600 volumes
Time Period Covered 51% from the early modern period, 12% from the period of the French Revolution, and 37% from the modern period
Tools There are no bibliographies and no dictionaries
Source Material
  • Music
    • Source books and printed music: mainly from the early modern period. Operas, opéra comique, ballets, and musical entertainment (246 volumes). A joint digitization project, with the Bibliothèque Municipale de Versailles, covering a large part of the Philidor Collection has contributed to the richness of this Gallica collection. Vocal music (85 volumes), mainly from the period of the French Revolution and, to a lesser extent, the Rennaissance.
    • Lyrics without musical accompaniment: mainly revolutionary songs and songbooks from the 19th century.
  • Performing arts: see the collection of plays described under "Literature." This area is insufficiently covered and must be reviewed.
Studies and Musicologies
  • Biographies and the history of music: 57 volumes, with two series representative of the whole--Biographie Universelle des Musiciens, by François-Joseph Fétis, and Biographisch-Bibliographisches Quellenlexikon des Musiker und Musikgelehrten, by Robert Eitner. This material is supplemented by individual biographies (Haydn, Rossini, and others).
  • Studies and musicologies: 144 volumes, mainly publications from the 16th and 17th centuries on instrumental technique and composition (Descartes, Kircher, Aaron, and others), supplemented by texts by Couperin, Rameau, Rousseau , Berlioz, Wagner, and others.
Academic Journals Eight periodical titles, representative of both musical literature and music criticism: Revue Musicale, France Musicale, Journal de Musique, Tribune de Saint-Gervais, and others.
Special Materials
  • collection consisting of 7,691 portraits of musicians
  • songs digitized as part of BnF's "Voyage en ..." presentations
  • digitization of Galeries Théâtrales (performing arts) – lithographic plates published between 1796 and 1843.
Planed Enhancements
Supplements It will be beneficial to:
  • supplement periodical titles, including special titles (Musica, in partnership with INHA; Chronique Musicale; Revue Musicale; Le Théâtre; and Comoedia) and more general titles to assess the influence of music and the performing arts on social life (Lettres, by Loret; La Gazette, by Theophraste Renaudot; and Journal des Débats)
  • supplement existing series of notebooks and treatises on music theory
  • enhance a now small collection on the performing arts in topics such as performance troupes, actors and actresses, and the history of theater.
Collections There are several collections:
  • digitization of the Philidor Collection, especially volumes of the Toulouse-Philidor Collection and Galeries Théâtrales
  • digitization of a collection on celebrations, conserved mainly in the Department of Performing Arts (Département des Arts du Spectacle) of BnF
Planned Technical Improvements -
Targeted 2008 Volumes

2,000 printed volumes; graphic materials to be counted

To Monitor in the Same Subject Area

Plan by the Institut de Recherche sur le Patrimoine Musical en France (CNRS) to put online the Euterpe database, which is a directory of representations of music and musical instruments in art. This challenge partially readdresses a BnF project to digitize the Pomme de Mirimonde Collection, for the part of the collection to which BnF holds the copyright.

Leisure and lifestyle

Current Status
Volumes 88 volumes and 15 volumes in the process of being uploaded.
Language Mostly in French.
Time Period Covered Mainly the 19th (43 volumes) and 18th centuries (23 volumes).
Monographs This collection is divided into:
  • 12 volumes of leisure and lifestyle guides (by the Baronne d'Orval and Antoine de Courtin, for example)
  • 34 volumes on gastronomy and home economics (such as works by Apicius and Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, and the cookbook Menagier de Paris)
  • 28 volumes covering games, sports, and leisure activities
  • 29 volumes on fashion
Academic Journals One title: Le Journal des Dames et des Modes
Special Materials -
Planned Enhancements
Supplements This very incomplete collection has suffered from the focus, to date, on the classic works of philosophy, literature, history, and other areas. It must be regularly supplemented with reference bibliographies and relevant primary source materials from BnF, especially collections from the Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal (Arsenal Library), which is developing a thematic collection of materials on the history of daily living.
Collections Thematic collections of engravings will be used, as part of the image collections of the Salle Ovale, the reference room of the Richelieu Library of BnF. A collection of clothing can also be planned for.
Planned Technical Improvements -
Targeted 2008 Volumes

1,100 printed volumes; graphic materials to be counted.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


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