Partnerships - French-Speaking Countries

French-speaking community's Digital library

The digital library of the French-speaking community is a digitisation project aiming at putting online the collections kept by national and heritage libraries from French-speaking countries.

The project, initiated by the BnF, is conducted in the context of the Network of the digital libraries from French-speaking countries (RFN) born in February 2006. It then gathers the national libraries of Belgium, Canada, France, Luxembourg, Quebec and Switzerland; the Biblioteca Alexandrina joined the network in April 2006.

To begin with, these institutions chose to focus on press digitisation. They also set up the main principles of the network:

  • no exclusivity for the search engine;
  • free access of public domain items;
  • guarantee that the digital files remain in the public domain;
  • guarantee by national libraries that the version of the document put online is exhaustive and authentic.

The Summit of French-speaking countries that took place in Bucharest in September 2006 planned the project of a digital library of the French-speaking community on the schedule of heads of states and governments.

Since 2007, the network has been entering a second phase of development. With the support of the International Organisation of French-speaking Countries, it started an awareness and information campaign among the professionals of national and heritage libraries from French-speaking countries. About 50 persons representing these libraries participated in the symposium on « Libraries from French-speaking countries in the digital era » organised in Brussels, opening up the network to libraries of Southern countries.

A gateway prototype including a range of samples representative of French-language newspapers and periodicals will be presented in Quebec on the occasion of the World Library and Information Congress in August 2008 and of the Summit of French-speaking countries in October 2008.

There are currently 24 libraries members (2013, Aug.).

The BnF is deeply involved in the work achieved by the Network of the digital national libraries from French-speaking countries:

  • Gallica and the digitisation program of the French press is one of the components of the gateway;
  • the BnF provides its support to Southern countries so that they can rebuild their press collections and put them online;
  • the BnF takes part in the training program mainly organising in Spring 2008, a workshop intended to professionals involved in a digitisation project.

Documentary resources on Franco-Quebecan relations

The Bibliographic Inventory of Franco-Quebecan Relations, created in conjunction with the National Library of Quebec (Bibliothèque nationale du Québec) is aimed at establishing an inventory of documents concerning the relations and exchanges between the French and Quebecan society and each society’s influence on the other. The inventory has its own website, which offers a chronology and introductory texts on the history of Franco-Quebecan relations. It also provides access to the bibliographic database, which covers various types of publication, for some of which the complete texts are available.

Thursday, September 19, 2013