by Jack Kessler, email@example.com
May 15, 2015 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, 2015.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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. Please email suggestions for improvements to me at email@example.com
The Vexin: one Angevin family "prize" and so among many issues between those two, Alienor and her Henri, is located just north, and a little west, of Paris -- also then, here, an idea from researching it, about the future of research, and perhaps of all reading...
There are many libraries in & around le Vexin -- the following is just a representative selection, for more see the entries under city-names at fyifrance.com -- then next time you're off on a pilgrimage to Giverny, and if you'll be away from the crowds there and with a little reading-time to spare, consider these, nearby -- or click on them now, to see what they have online in digital-library offerings this very week --
"La Bibliothèque d'Auneuil est un service public chargé de contribuer aux loisirs, à l'information, à la recherche documentaire, à l'éducation permanente et à l'activité culturelle de tous."
[One interesting and very-French note, here: in 2004 the entity now called "Cergy-Pontoise" was "agglomerated" -- several older neighboring towns of the modern Paris-sprawl cobbled together, by the-planners -- a decade ago, but "yesterday" in French minds, history-impassioned & always seeking reasons for resisting the "experts", their own as well as any others.
["Paris et le désert français" was the title of a famous 1950s French planning text (Jean-François Gravier, 1947): well, that "désert" tenaciously has resisted centralisation dictated from the "centre", Paris, ever since... since long before, in fact, ask any Cathar... or ask any smoker, for local cafés en province in France still resent their particular prohibitions more even than California motorcyclists resent their state-mandated helmet-laws...
[So still today, in le Vexin, les Cergyssois are Cergyssois... Here, then, you will note the address-anomalies are preserved, observing the "customer is king" principle always: if an institution calls itself C-P but its address C, or vice versa, it is so-listed -- some of these may be simply bureaucratic inertia, oversight, errors -- but also there is pride, and history, and resist-the-machine, all always in-play in France, and assumptions always offend... and then mail tends not to get read or even delivered... Parisians will assure you that this never happens, but en province they just smile at that... You have to love people like Parisians, & New Yorkers, for their unique-ness, their eccentricities -- because they will not change, it's your choice. :-) JK]
Collections: 45,000 livres, 130 titres de périodiques vivants, 8,664 phonogrammes, 90 vidéogrammes, 100 séries de diapositives, 3 CD-ROM.
Collections: Électronique, informatique, télécommunication: 4,100 livres dont 40 % en langue étrangère, 130 titres de périodiques vivants et 100 titres de périodiques morts, Répertoires d'expertises 1,200 projets de fin d'étude, CD-ROM en consultation.
Collections: Administration, Droit, Lettres, Économie: 48,000 livres, 750 titres de périodiques, Vidéogrammes, Microfiches de thèses et de périodiques, CD ROM.
Collections: Biologie, chimie, électronique, géologie, informatique, mathématiques, physique, sciences de l'ingénieur: 13,000 livres, 180 titres de périodiques, Vidéogrammes, Microfiches de thèses et de périodiques, CD ROM.
Collection: 79,000 livres, 85 titres de périodiques vivants et 20 titres de périodiques mort, 11,140 phonogrammes, Fonds local 25,500 livres et brochures, Fonds patrimonial 12,000 livres imprimés à partir de 1490, documents iconographiques
"Un peu d'histoire... La Bibliothèque G. de Maupassant est située en centre ville. Elle doit son nom à un arrêt obligatoire, pour incidents techniques, du train qui emportait le célèbre écrivain de Paris à Dieppe. Guy de Maupassant eut alors tout le loisir de visiter la ville qui lui plut aussitôt..."
address: 5 rue Baléchoux, 27140 Gisors
t. (0)126.96.36.199.89, fx. (0)188.8.131.52.94
"Plus de 120 familles la fréquentent régulièrement. Dans le cadre d'une convention avec la municipalité des Andelys, tous les prêts sont gratuits. Plus de 5 000 ouvrages sont à la disposition des lecteurs."
[And they have the Château Gaillard, up on the hilltop overlooking the river...]
History of the library: [tr. JK] "The assembly of collections confiscated [during the Révolution] in the region was undertaken in 1797, by Dom Gourdin and le Carpentier. The fonds ancien is composed primarily of the collections of the libraries of the abbeys of Jumièges, Saint-Wandrille, Saint-Ouen, du prieuré de la Madeleine, and those of the chapitre métropolitain, of the avocats du Parlement de Normandie, of the Académie de Rouen, etc.
"Inaugurated on July 4, 1809, at the Hôtel de Ville, the public library was transferred in 1888 to quarters in the new musée-bibliothèque. In 1909 it received the collections of books and manuscripts of the archbishopric, both the grand and the petit séminaire. In 1917 the holdings of the Musée Corneille and of the Pelay collection, and in 1927 those of the Pavillon Flaubert at Croisset, were added.
"Significant libraries of free lending (1907 and 1929), and a children's library (1946), were established at the bibliothèque municipale. From 1961 to 1963, important improvements were realized: the new reading room offering 160 seats, and 16 kms of shelving on 4 floors. Recently a reading room reserved to the consultation of fonds anciens also was opened."
General Description: France and Monaco. Principal specialties: heraldry, history, languages, genealogy. Secondary speciality: Normandy, its history, topography, biography, iconography, anglo-norman texts, authors and noted persons (Corneille, Flaubert, Maupassant, Gide, Joan of Arc). Jansenism. Prints.
Collections: 100,000 books; 579 incunables; 7250 periodicals; 8332 manuscripts; 50,000 maps and plans; 3535 photographs; 8054 music scores...
And now a Note:
So how, nowadays, does one do "research"?
Consider "Le Vexin": even if the luxury of living there or visiting the location is available -- as the modern daily life of a place so often is not the point, and particularly in France where a complex culture and a very long history provide the always-essential context -- so on a physical visit, the local travel routes, tourist amenities, canned explanations, daily necessities, cuisine, traffic jams, crowds, noisy "guides", all in fact distract...
To Wikipedia, then: not the final research-destination, no -- never -- but increasingly always the first stop -- collectively-authored & rigorously peer-reviewed information, presented in standardized-format, with "pictures" & links, & text in many languages... Diderot's dream... And here we find --
-- and a link to a wonderful resource -- "Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library, Carte du Vexin, Beauvoisis, et Hurepoix, historical map of the Vexin region by Christophe Nicolas Tassin (1634)" --
-- and then, even better, at that Wikipedia article's version in French --
-- an even more wonderful resource -- a link to, Michel Toussaint Chrétien Duplessis, Description historique et géographique de la Haute-Normandie, Pierre-François Giffart, Paris, 1740, lire sur Google Livres -- and the link leads in milliseconds to the following wonderful volume describing Le Vexin, in online digital-recon scanned fulltext with images --
DESCRIPTION / GEOGRAPHIQUE / ET HISTORIQUE / DE LA HAUTE / NORMANDIE, / DIVISÉE EN DEUX PARTIES. / LA PREMIERE COMPREND / LE PAIS DE CAUX; / ET LA SECONDE / LE VEXIN. / ON ya joint un Dictionnaire Geographique complet, & les Cartes Geographique de ces deux Provinces / A PARIS, / Chez PIERRE-FRANÇOIS GIFFART, ruë S. Jacques, / à Sainte Therefe. / M.DCC.XL. / AVEC APPROBATION ET PRIVILEGE DU ROI./
-- and shyly down in the lower right it says, faintly-lettered so as not to distract but still proudly, Numérisé par Google"...
9/10 of "research" is education: training future scholars to do the same, now as young students, passing along the torch -- some day they will make their trek to Giverny and sample the pleasures of Le Vexin themselves, yes, but for now they are at home learning -- and such learning often is a dry task, and few things in "research" are as exciting as stumbling-across a resource like this one, reading in clear wonderfully-digitized old style fonts what someone saw and said on your subject nearly 200 years ago...
I've been reading it, excitedly... I happen to like old books, and I greatly enjoy ancient fonts & mise en page & printer's devices, and I even get excited by exquisite spellings drawn from the vast lively printing wilderness which preceded the tyrannies of spelcheck --
"...la Gaule Celtique , qui compofe aujourd'hui le Diocefe d'Evreux, & qui etoit occupée anciennement par les Peuples que Cefar nomme Eburovices..."
-- it's a thrill -- you feel as though you are there, examining the Vexin in the year 1740 yourself -- a student dreaming about all this derives immense inspiration from such a text -- and Google's masterful numérisation renders this exemplaire clearly on even a tablet or a tiny iPhone screen... GoogleBooks, and the University of Michigan which holds this volume -- 20 readers might have viewed it per decade, before, now many thousands may... that is "access"... -- are to be congratulated on their fine and inspiring work.
And so this, perhaps, is how not just research but all modern reading will take place: text composed via multiple mobiles working out somewhere in a Cloud-space -- the work, not the reader, she'll be in a coffee-shop -- online resources, images digital as well, pre-publication peer-discussion via social media, drafts to friends transmitted in milliseconds -- that last is "publication" itself, already, in the hard sciences, there nowadays print-publication taking longer than milliseconds rarely gets read -- and best of all, perhaps, the serendipity of discovering a real treasure amid the growing corpus of online "original" texts, as the digitization "retrospective conversion / re-con" efforts of GoogleBooks and others bear more and more digital fruit...
I hope they hurry, as my iPhone "fills-up" with working-papers & ebooks, my personal scribbled marginalia on everything -- my old 1960s "printed" versions all are nearly gone, crumbled to hardened, yellow, acidic dust... the far-older 1740s "printed" versions appear to be in pretty good shape still, though, so that's something...
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 http://listserv.uh.edu/archives/pacs-l.html (PACS-L archive), or http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/Collections/FYIFrance/, or http://www.fyifrance.com. Suggestions, reactions, criticisms, praise, and poison-pen letters all gratefully received at firstname.lastname@example.org . Copyright 1992- , by Jack Kessler, all rights reserved except as indicated above.
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