National Library of France
Additional information may be obtained from:Délégation aux relations internationales
«Profession culture» is a residency program in France for foreign professionals working in the cultural field in theirhome country. It was launched in 2003 by the Ministry of Culture and Communication (Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication), which has made it a priority in its international activities.
The program is run by the Department of European and International Affairs (Département des Affaires européennes et internationales/DAEI) wich is attached to the Ministry's Department of Development and International Affairs (Délégation au Développement et aux Affaires internationales/DDAI).
It is implemented by French public cultural institutions under the supervision of the Ministry.
The «Profession culture» programme hosts professionals from other countries in France for long period. Its watchword is mutual exchanges; it is designed for cultural professionals to offer them in-depth experience of French cultural practices. The purpose of the programme is to promote the creation of long-lasting networks of exchanges between French public institutions and their international counterparts, and, more broadly, to develop cultural relations between the participants' countries of origin and France.
Hosting an intern is often the first decisive step in setting up a partnership between the BnF and a foreign institution.
On return to their countries, interns are to apply their know-how and knowledge and create a network of French colleagues.
The program is intended to researchers, artists, writers and other professionals, preferably linked to an institution, whose research theme or area of study falls to the BnF's collections and services, its scientific works, its cultural programmes, its management methods and its development projects.
The collections of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, which originate in the 15th century, include material dating back to the beginning of writing. They are constantly being enriched by legal deposit, through which they provide exhaustive coverage of French publications, and by an ongoing acquisitions policy which brings an extremely rich and extensive collection of foreign material. The collections are encyclopædic: history, philosophy, studies of mankind, literature and art, science and technology, law, economics and politics, music and the performing arts. All formats are included: printed books, manuscripts, maps and plans, prints, photographs and posters, coins and medals, globes and atlases, music scores, sound recordings, audio-visual and electronic material.
The range of scientific and professional activities undertaken by the BnF teams is vast: definition and implementation of the documentation policy, public services – reception and document delivery, both on-site and via the Internet (Gallica digital library), compilation of reference catalogues, conservation work. A major initiative concerns new technologies and their use for harvesting, long term preservation and dissemination of information.
The cultural policy of the Library aims at promoting the collections through exhibitions, cultural events, publications and educational activities.
The BnF is engaged in a process of modernising its management, adopting a strategic approach to its development and its communication policy, and co-operating at a national and international level.
Fellows must propose a solid project based on the exchanging of knowledge and expertise within a defined framework, whose result may help to reinforce cultural links between the Library and their countries of origin.
The main criteria considered in selection process are relate to the possibility of mutual exchanges:
Duration of the residency is from 3 to 9 months.
Fellows are hosted by one of the BnF's departments and monitored by a "tutor", who is a senior library manager.
Accommodation is provided by the BnF at the Récollets International Residency and Exchange Center.
A living allowance is offered by the Ministry of Culture and Communication.
Applicants must bear their own travel expenses; they may be funded by their home institution or by alternative sources.
Applicants are selected with care and with great attention to detail. In order to ensure that the program is flexible enough to cater for original projects, the BnF gives priority to research proposals made by applicants.
This must include:
The cultural services of the French Embassies receive information about the "Profession culture" programme and distribute it to the professional establishments concerned, receive the applications and initially prepare the files. They serve as a link between the applicant's home institution and the BnF. Applications may also be sent directly to the Library, or even be requested by it; in this case the embassy is consulted.
The application dossiers are transmitted to the BnF President's office, addressed to the International Relations Department. This office completes the preparation of the files, gathering any additional information required. It situates the file according to the BnF's relations with the applicants' home institutions or countries of origin.
The application dossiers are then forwarded to the concerned departments, which assess the applicant's research proposal, according to the interest of the subject, their availability and their expertise.
An ad hoc commission, created on the initiative of the BnF's President, is formed from representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministère des affaires étrangères), the Department of International and European Affairs, the Literature and Reading Department (Direction du livre et de la lecture) of the Ministry of Culture and Communication and the BnF's Scientific Council (Conseil scientifique), as well as the Collections Department (Direction des collections), the Services and Networks Department (Direction des services et réseaux) and the International Relations Department. The commission examines the already prepared files and selects applicants, who then become known as "fellows".
Normally applications are received at the end of October every year. The selection commission meets in December, to design the schedule for the following year. If necessary, the commission may hold other meetings during the year.
The BnF may host 2 to 3 fellows at a time.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011