BM Lyon finding-aids online

FYI France: digital libraries — BMLyon finding-aids online

The Bibliothèque Municipale de Lyon’s fine website offers an
increasing number of increasingly-useful services, for the
multimedia and digital information and online worlds.

For example they just have mounted archival finding-aids: not an
easy task for any institution, but one which nowadays any
institution anywhere can do — the tools described below are in
XML EADS, via new (2003) French software PLEADE —

“The Bibliothèque municipale de Lyon holds numerous
collections of private archives and manuscripts. Here we
provide numerous research tools which enable you to
navigate through these collections…” [tr. JK] (Ressources, Archives)

The two manuscripts finding-aids mounted online, so far, are as
follows: [anyone interested in the criminological work of Michel
Foucault, or for that matter in criminology of any sort, or in
the French Revolution, will be interested in the first –]

* Manuscrits du fonds Alexandre Lacassagne, 1843-1924

“Manuscript collections in 203 categories including
correspondance, and scientific, medical, sociological,
and philosophic notes. This collection includes an
important body of criminological work, also numerous
analyses, scientific works, and works concerning
Jean-Paul Marat…

“Alexandre Lacassagne was one of the principal founders
of criminology, medical jurisprudence, and criminal
anthropology. An eminent and erudite savant, he was
interested in the problems of society, notably those
related to criminology and psychological deviance…

“In February 1921, at the close of a long career,
Alexandre Lacassagne, medical jurisprudence specialist,
professor at the Faculty of Medicine of Lyon, and medical
expert witness, gave his manuscript and printed works
collection to the city of Lyon. This comprised a total of
nearly 12,000 documents, in two distinct groups: a unique
library of documents concerning the French Revolution
doctor Jean-Paul Marat — about 760 works — and a
collection of studies in medicine, philosophy, and the
humanities and social sciences…”

— and — botany, the history of silk, early 19th c. science —

* Manuscrits du fonds Matthieu Bonafous (1793-1852)

“Matthieu Bonafous (1793-1852) was a Lyonnais agronomist
known for his work on silk culture. He was the author of
numerous works on various agriculture questions. He was
director of the Jardin des Plantes of Turin, a member of
the Académie des Sciences, Belles-Lettres et Arts de
Lyon, and a correspondant of the Institut de France…

“The collection is composed of bound manuscripts and
archival boxes containing original documents. It includes
memoires, treatises, reports, summaries, press clippings,
notes and letters — also poem transcriptions, journals,
collections of illustrations — on themes including silk
culture (mûrier, soie and vers à soie), rice and corn,
botany and agriculture, zoology, medicine, physics,
biochemistry, travel accounts, scientific and personal
correspondence, and Latin literature concerning rural

The BM Lyon also offers, online now, “Les inventaires d’Archives”:

— “Archives littéraires” —

* Fonds Jean-Pierre Spilmont (1967-1999)
“Born in 1937, Jean-Pierre Spilmont lives in Savoie.
Author of essays, novels, poetry and plays, producer of
radio shows…”

* Fonds des éditions Paroles d’Aube
“…the complete collection of the periodical Aube
Magazine (1978-1998)…, examples of books published in
various series (Noces, Traces, Les Echos du Soir), …
the publishing house Espace Pandora, author files…”

— “Archives d’artistes et de photographes” —

* Fonds Gabriele Di Matteo (1957- ..)
“… ‘E il topo’ and ‘Biografie immaginarie’…

* Fonds Marcelle Vallet (1907-2000)
“… 5,000 photos including 1,700 negatives… the Lyon
region between 1950 and 1970…”

* Fonds Fernand Arloing (1876-1944)
“… views of the Lyon region and of the Beaujolais
(Cogny), travel reportage from Europe and North Africa…”

* Fonds Paul Grenot (1879-1911)
“… travel in Norway and Spitzbergen (1906)… the
approach to color taken after the distribution of Lumière

* Fonds Georges Baguet
“… 40 years of travel in the Third World, the Near
East, the Maghreb, Francophone Africa, developed nation
poverty such as Black ghettos in the US and northern
Ireland ghettos… residential areas of Paris and other
parts of Europe…”

— “Archives musicales” —

* Fonds Orgeret : the archives of an editor and
bookseller of Lyon, from 1897 to 2004
“… publishing and music-selling… scores, plays…
vast collections of the final Librairie Orgeret, 24 rue

* Fonds Léon Vallas (1879-1956)
“Lyonnais musicologue: manuscripts, notes, correspondance,
articles and programs and brochures, photos, posters…”

* Fonds Louis Poulin
“… 30 years of the Opéra de Lyon, 1930s-1960s…”

— “Archives politiques et sociales” —

* Fonds d’affiches de la région Rhône-Alpes
“… dépôt légal of the printers of the region, and
gift acquisitions from publishers… political posters
from 1951 to 1975…”

* Fonds de l’AGEL- UNEF
“… Association Générale des Etudiants de Lyon – Union
Nationale des Etudiants de France… 1926-1971…”

* Fonds Chronique sociale de France
“… association founded in Lyon in 1892…”

And two thoughts, this time:

* Digitizing archives, and “standards”… It is reassuring, to
see the BMLyon offering here in EADS…

In these days of one-size-fits-all data retrieval — datamining,
via commercial / proprietary / “secret” algorithms, turning up
results such as, “1-10 of about 285,000 for oulipo (0.24 seconds)”
— it is encouraging to see that some folks, at least, still feel
“standards” are going to be useful.

It’s not that Google isn’t useful… not that it isn’t marvelous
and magnificent, in fact, and in fact *extremely* useful…

But one size does _not_ fit all: not all searches on “French
Revolution” — as the former président of the BdeF put it
succinctly, in his, “‘The Scarlet Pimpernel’ crushing
‘Quatre-vingt-treize'” — nor all searches, as Information
Overload becomes Information Inundation, with home-scanning plus
omnipresent handhelds plus terrorism paranoia now virtually
guaranteeing that we’ll _all_ be drowning in bits & bytes very
soon. For that matter find me someone who isn’t already…

We’re going to need filters, folks: maybe not the old ones we
knew and didn’t love — not the old publishing industries, or
government censors, or peer-review committees, maybe, the old
authorities — but something new, then, to perform the ageless
“winnowing chaff from wheat” task for us.

Or maybe Google will tell us precisely how and why, and for how
much (?), retrieval #1 turned up on top of those 284,999 other
possibilities… unlikely that they’ll tell us, though, and
anyway they’ll say we wouldn’t understand…

Standards such as EADS, then, are for nous autres. They are one
of the Common Man & Woman’s means of verifying authenticity,
veracity, relevancy — and of filtering, of winnowing down the
now-soaring altitudes of our digital in-baskets.

If folks can settle upon ways of describing and grouping items
which are “relevant” — particularly methods which are public,
and _not_ “commercial / proprietary / secret” — well, that’s why
trains run well, and airplanes don’t crash, and buildings don’t
fall down, and money works in different countries. So maybe
“standards” will work for digital information too.

Private enterprise can do much of our data-filtering work for us.
But private enterprise cannot be allowed to monopolize, de jure
or de facto, or the system will not work: that would be “market
imperfection”, and sooner or later any such system will run down
— 2d Law of Thermo — as on the occasion when, for example, the
digital information torrent truly becomes a globalized flood, and
the system simply becomes overwhelmed.

The following data retrieval is questionable enough:

“1-10 of about 285,000 for oulipo (0.24 seconds)”

— but by the time that reads,

“1-10 of about 285,000,000,000 for oulipo (0.24 seconds)”

— which it may do soon, under pressure from all those new bits
added to the pile by increasingly-omnipresent scanning & texting
& other new data collection methods, massively-distributed now —

— well, at that point we’re all going to really wonder, as some
of the French have regarding their Revolution, whether some of
the retrievals further down in the pile might not have some
relevance too, commercial “secrecy” reassurances notwithstanding.

So we’re going to need standards, and filters. Félicitations,
then, to the archival community — the French at the BMLyon, here
— for standing by “standards”, the effort will be appreciated..

* Lyon, speaking of nous autres and “something different”

Within France there are worlds, and Lyon is one of them. The
Dordogne is another… Clichy sous Bois, too, but also Nice,
Rennes, St. Jean Pied de Port, Annecy, so many…

One great virtue of online digital information is its revelation
of these worlds-within-worlds, to foreigners and perhaps even to
the French themselves: touring through the online “archives”
described above can show the subtle differences between life en
province and life in Paris, differences rarely appreciated by
anyone physically located far from both.

So if you want to know “France”, you can do so via the official
information still generally disseminated from a “centre” which is
a northern Global City megalopolis increasingly unlike all other
cities in the country. But truly to appreciate both the depth and
the breadth of “France”, now, you have to get out of Paris.

The BMLyon archive helps you do that. Lyon was a border-town for
so long, the Tijuana or Vancouver holding back the tide and
profiting from it — in the traffic from Savoie, “foreign”
until 1860! — and with Italy just across the way. Lombard
bankers ran Lyon as wildly, in Parisian eyes, as towns were run
in the US Wild West, yet the nobility up in Paris would borrow
Lyonnais money. And Lyon was on the “wrong” side in revolutions.

Yet Lyon gave France among its best in cuisine, and chocolate,
and much of its Roman tradition: archives and history there can
show much, about France, not found in Paris.

So, visitez the BMLyon archive: it’s a “different” view of
France, perhaps, and now it’s available everywhere, online.

Croix-Roussien, moi, more or less…


FYI France (sm)(tm) e-journal ISSN 1071-5916

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Diesen Blogbeitrag zitieren
Klaus Graf (2007, 16. Oktober). BM Lyon finding-aids online. Archivalia. Abgerufen am 17. Juni 2024, von

Autor: Klaus Graf

Historiker und Archivar, Blogger

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