June 15, 2003 issue. This file presents an archive copy of the issue of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which was distributed via email on June 15, 2003.
Versions of the following have appeared online regularly, since 1992, as a feature of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which is distributed for free via email every month except August. Ejournal subscriptions may be obtained via email request to: email@example.com
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The Ecole Nationale des Chartes just posted the following to the Web, of interest to anyone who uses their excellent resources --
[This is the Paris school, founded in 1821, so valuable for its work on behalf of students of history, librarians, rare book aficionados, paleographers, fans of illuminated manuscripts: the art of interpreting the rare ancient document begins here --
"The purpose of the Ecole Nationale des Chartes is the explanation and use of all documents which might serve our knowledge of history. The school educates scientific personnel charged with the conservation of patrimony, in libraries, archives, museums, monuments, and archeology collections. The many disciplines which combine in the historical method prepare professionals in the collection, conservation and communication of different types of documents."]
-- the latest, from the Ecole:
"The Ecole des Chartes just has completed a new feature for its publications, ELEC / Editions en Ligne de l'Ecole des Chartes, which presents the digital publications of the Ecole. These resources are available free of charge to anyone at:
"They are of different types: databases, research tools, fulltext resources, article collections, conference publications... In addition to publications already issued, you also will find three new items:
1) "Catalog of Diocesan Architects of the 19th and Early 20th Centuries", by Jean-Michel Leniaud, professor at the Ecole nationale des chartes, A new version of this work, which first appeared in Les cathédrales au XIXe siècle, by Jean-Michel Leniaud (Economica, 1993)."
nb. The building of modern France... Historians, architects, and also just tourists - on - their - way - over will benefit from this list, and its description of local French architectural activity of the Belle Epoque:
Who did the work on the Ecole des arts et métiers at Aix - en - Provence?... And why does it look like the château at Foncolombe, or does it?... And what else was built by Henry Labrouste besides the bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève and the Bibliothèque Nationale, and where can more be obtained about him, and them?...
The entry for Labrouste, for example, provides:
"Répertoire des architectes diocésains du XIXe siècle Jean-Michel Leniaud
"Accueil | Feuilleter | Architectes | Bibliographie | Index de personnes | Index de lieux | Rechercher |
n. Paris, 1801, d. Fontainebleau, 1875.
"Il est admis à l'école des Beaux-Arts en 1815, où il est l'élève de Vaudoyer et de Lebas. Il remporte le Grand prix de Rome en 1824 sur un projet de cour de cassation. Il séjourne en Italie avant de revenir en France en 1830. Il ouvre un atelier libre où furent élèves Lassus et Boeswillwald. En 1832, il devient inspecteur des travaux de l'école des Beaux-Arts sous la direction de Duban. Il est nommé membre de la commission des monuments historiques, de la commission des arts et monuments en 1848 ; architecte diocésain de Rennes, il y construit le séminaire; il est chargé de la cathédrale le 30 janvier 1854. Il est par ailleurs l'auteur de la bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève (1843-1850) et fut architecte de la Bibliothèque nationale, de 1855 à sa mort. Il est devenu membre du coseil des Bâtiments civils et de l'Institut en 1867."
-- and the other two new Ecole des Chartes online resources --
2) "The Edict of Nantes and Its Antecedents (1562-1598)", a critical edition assembled by students at the Ecole des Chartes, under the direction of Bernard Barbiche, professor at the Ecole, with the collaboration of Isabelle Chiavassa. A digital edition of these pacification edicts, which were promulgated during the Wars of Religion of the 16th century -- includes a previously-unknown edition of the Edict of Nantes.
3) "Conferences at the Ecole Nationale des Chartes" -- Texts from conferences organized throughout the year at the Ecole.
nb. Several wonderful online images are included in the above:
-- "théâtralité emphatique" is a massive understatement, here...
-- Les Grecs sur l'herbe...
-- an image, and I suppose this entire conference, offering a really interesting chance to appreciate the immense differences, and difficulties, involved in making the transition from the stage to the screen...
-- for anyone seeking a really wonderful portrait of V. Hugo...
-- any Sarah Bernhardt fan will love the "emoting" going on in this last one...
"And since May the catalog of the library of the Ecole has been accessible online at:
"And 'Theleme, Techniques pour l'historien en ligne : etudes, manuels, exercices' has been expanded during the last few weeks with the addition of a Guide to the Publication of Texts from the Modern Era (16th-18th c.),
"and a Guide to Indexing, both by Bernard Barbiche,
nb. the above two both offer interesting insights into the methodology of French scholarship and professional practice in these areas.
"and Olivier Guyotjeannin's bibliographies of medieval diplomacy and medieval diplomacy have been updated."
Note: The ideas that "text" might be a thing independent of its "support", and that the "document" might include things other than printing or the written word on paper, have been difficult to internalize: for the 20th century as they were for the 19th, when Victor Hugo had one of his characters proclaim "ceci tuera cela" -- and as they must have been for any prior era which has seen a "transition in media" of any sort.
Now, in the 21st century, the most recent transition appears to be complete. Digital media appear to be pervasive, the "texts" which they purvey inundate us daily, the "supports" which carry them have faded "transparently" into the woodwork, as predicted.
But there is a chaos, in all of this, rather than an order. We do not see through our information glass at all, some times, much less clearly. Our information overload inundation causes Congressional hearings, now, to deal with the "spam" which takes up over half of our email, and the "viruses" and "worms" which gnaw through our information systems.
And the information, or more accurately the undifferentiated "data", just keeps coming: our latest model cars carry more processing power in them than our office information machines of recent personal memory did... and our newest motorcycles offer GPS guidance systems...
Historical approaches help. The difficulty, these days, lies in finding schools which combine them with real working knowledge of the latest information systems techniques. The users know how to do this: the gum-chewing 14 - year - old who downloads her iPod Aguilera songs to her flipphone for sending to a friend's "mix" while she chats in realtime, oral or written, and incidentally finishes up a school multimedia presentation on her laptop, understands all this... Perhaps if we wait for her to grow up...
But in the meantime the rest of us could use a little enlightenment, or at least some shafts of insight, as to how Society has coped with previous "transitions in media". The Ecole des Chartes is, by virtue of its position alone, providing this: qua history institution devoted to "information", they know much about the handwritten and illuminated and printed "documents" of our past. And now they are "going digital", as well, nevertheless holding onto the best of the past as they do so...
Some hope, then, for continuity: a little chaos occasionally is a good thing -- "a little revolution, now and then", as Jefferson put it -- although perhaps not as much as we now have with digital information overload...
But it would be a shame and very expensive if, going forward, armed with our new iPods and flipphones and multimedia Infotainment tricks, we could not learn at least a bit from our past as well. The mess of digital media and output which we face now is not our first encounter with an Age of Incunabula, after all. Hopefully the Ecole des Chartes will help.
FYI France (sm)(tm) e-journal ISSN 1071 - 5916 * | FYI France (sm)(tm) is a monthly electronic | journal published since 1992 as a small-scale, | personal experiment, in the creation of large- | scale "information overload", by Jack Kessler. / \ Any material written by me which appears in ----- FYI France may be copied and used by anyone for // \\ any good purpose, so long as, a) they give me --------- credit and show my email address, and, b) it // \\ isn't going to make them money: if it is going to make them money, they must get my permission in advance, and share some of the money which they get with me. Use of material written by others requires their permission. FYI France archives may be found at http://infolib.berkeley.edu (search fyifrance), or http://email@example.com/ (BIBLIO-FR archive), or http://listserv.uh.edu/archives/pacs-l.html (PACS-L archive) or http://www.fyifrance.com . Suggestions, reactions, criticisms, praise, and poison-pen letters all will be gratefully received at firstname.lastname@example.org . Copyright 1992- , by Jack Kessler, all rights reserved except as indicated above.
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