FYI France

File 3: Ejournal and archive

by Jack Kessler,

May 15, 2014 issue. This file presents an archive copy of the issue of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which was distributed via email on May 15, 2014.

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3.00 FYI France: Ejournal and archive

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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:

Here this file is one of a number made available -- hopefully attractively, all in one place, and relevant to libraries and online digital information work in France and Europe -- as part of FYI France (sm)(tm), an online service to which anyone can subscribe for 12 months by postal mailing a check for US $45, payable to Jack Kessler, to PO Box 460668, San Francisco, California, USA 94146 (site licenses also are available): please write your email address on the front of your check. And you can pay via PayPal, on the FYI France homepage:

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FYI France : libraries new & ancient


F riends recently have asked for the 2-3 best resources on libraries in France, digital libraries and the rest. Several good short introductions to French libraryland always are available, a few kept current by being reissued in updated editions. My own favorite among these is,


Supporting the above resource, then, and repaying well many hours of enjoyable reading, is the following magisterial yet accessible, illustrated, and interesting, multi-volume work -- this is a resource available from any good library, but also a treasure for any French-libraries-aficionado personally to own and read simply for pleasure at home --



I developed an enduring fascination for French libraries only late in life -- in my forties, when I returned to school for a career-change, in 1989, and to study The Digital, then-new, and I discovered the French in of all places the forefront! A favorite historian E. Leroy Ladurie joked that in technology his people were dinosaurs, "but such congenial dinosaurs", he said...

On the contrary, I myself found: I'd experienced the sad state of Hexagone telephony myself in the 1960s -- but by the 1990s French telephony was better than our own in the US, and their Minitel provided commercial applications and images and general public access, all well in advance of our own still hidebound and dinosaur-ish US "NSFNet testbed" of 1992.

So I studied the French, and to my amazement discovered new ideas in French institutions older than our own by centuries, in some cases by millennia -- the France Télécom workers, agile and intelligent and excited, who helped rig an Internet connection from La Croix Rousse to Sausalito via Brussels -- or the BMLyon people, one day working on scanning and digital access projects, another conserving their vast ancient manuscript collection including an item gifted from Charlemagne and Einhard's library, 1200 years before.

The expanse, of such concerns -- the breadth, and the depth -- the cultural richness it all represents -- the wonderful and terrible history it has seen, and endured...

Two good "reads", then -- the two best I've found among many, anyway -- for anyone who knows some French and has an interest in them, their elegant language, the Internet, libraries, digital information, and information generally & specifically Outside of the anglophone-world.

Happy Summertime!


Jack Kessler,



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 on the Internet 
at (PACS-L archive), 
or Suggestions, reactions, criticisms, 
praise, and poison-pen letters all gratefully received at .
        	Copyright 1992- , by Jack Kessler,
	all rights reserved except as indicated above. 




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1.00 FYI France: Print Libraries in France
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3.00 FYI France: E-Journal and Archive
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5.00 FYI France: Book-Dealers in France
6.00 FYI France: Calendar
7.00 FYI France: Discussion and Debate
8.00 FYI France: La Francophonie
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11.00 FYI France: Translation Services
12.00 FYI France: Bibliographies / Resource Lists

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M. Eiffel

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Last update: May 15, 2014