by Jack Kessler, firstname.lastname@example.org
March 15, 2016 issue. This file presents an archive copy of the issue of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which was distributed via email on March 15, 2016.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
-- from January 2 to March 31, 2016,
at the BnF Richelieu in Paris
"The objects presented in the museum illustrate the history of the department.s collections, the manufacturing techniques used to create objects (bronze, precious metals, glass, ivory.), the history of coins and medals, whether in the West or in the East. The exhibition allows visitors to discover the following outstanding objects:
"The first two exhibition areas of the museum are dedicated to the history of the Department's collections. On the first floor, another room is dedicated to the main manufacturing techniques of pieces presented: bronze, precious metals, glass, ivory, enamels, ceramic. Collections presented in the last room focus on the history of coins, in the Western part as well as in the Eastern part of the world, and on the history of medals. The exhibition also enables the discovery of the Luynes' collection of Greek vases."
-- and consider... These are the times of Bitcoin, and Special Drawing Rights, and Globalized Finance and Currency Baskets 'n Floats and Negative-Interest and Variable Rate Mortgages and equity-invested 401k's and re-financed pensions and Monetarism, and 24/7 Forex, and many other strange & equally-disembodied forms of mediums-of-exchange and of exchange-value itself -- no longer a matter of paying a fixed price for fixed commodities, in coin, nowadays nothing is fixed, prices are relative, and we no longer even trade in "commodities", much...
So, to understand all this, consider the "coin": in our own youths, not so long ago, that symbolized stability -- we learned in school & while traveling & in business that it might be debased, or shaved, and some of us are old enough to remember back when its exchange rates were "fixed", some of us even recall times before that back when they were "floating", and ugly things like Black Markets for same, and "border controls", and street side forex-bandit exchanges, and fabulous if fluctuating "gold" values... all such evils returning to us again, now, amid today's financial uncertainties, or so it sometimes seems...
So consider the "coin"... This is a vast and very famous library "realia" collection of the pre-digital world's various means of evaluating things, and of paying for them:
"Bienvenue sur le catalogue des Médailles et Antiques
de la Bibliothèque nationale de France..."
"The département des Monnaies, médailles et antiques of the BnF, heir to the Cabinet des rois de France, is guardian of about 600,000 examples of money and medallions, and 37,000 objects of art and archeology. The current database is dedicated to medallions and objects -- camées, intailles, vases grecs, ivoires, bronzes, sculptures, lampes, cachets et sceaux, marbres, inscriptions. The entries increasingly are grouped online by category: groupings already available for consultation include, "les œuvres du Musée", parts of the bronzes and the ceramics and the ancient glass, the seals, "les jetons royaux des Valois", "les méreaux, les Padouans", "les médailles de Valerio Belli et de Mascaux".
-- and see-also the following, for more than just catalog-entries, the always-entertaining & often so-much-more informative pictures... "Of what use is a book without pictures?" asked Alice -- "The Image", per Kevin Lynch -- at each of the following, as they appear at the following URL in Gallica, simply click-on-a-picture --
"The département des Monnaies, médailles et antiques... is one of the most remarkable collections in the world, as much for its quality and degree of rarity as for the number of pieces it conserves, which offer a complete panorama of the history of money, from its invention in Lydia at the end of the 7th century BC to our days...."
"The collection of monnaies grecques contains nearly 122,000 examples in gold, silver, and bronze. This collection covers a large geographic and chronological range. It includes the very first money, struck in Asia Minor then in Greece, from the end of the 7th c. BC, the work of the coiners of cities and Greek kingdoms of the Classical and Hellenistic eras, 5th to 1st c. BC, located around the Mediterranean and in the Near and Middle East, as well as the series of provincial monies issued under the Roman Empire, end-1st c. BC to end-3rd c. AD.To these are added the coinages of non-Greek peoples such as the Phoenicians, the Achæmenid Persians, the Carthaginians, the Parthians, and those from Arabia and Iberia."
"The collection of monnaies romaines contains about 100,000 examples. This collection is composed of 23,000 examples from the Republic period -- the most important such collection in the world -- as well as 80,000 examples from the Imperial period. The coinage from the Republic begins around 300 BC and lasts until the accession of Augustus to the Principate in 27 AD. This last date make the inauguration of money known as Imperial.
"The Empire, which lasted 5 centuries -- until 476 AD in the West -- traditionally is subdivided according to its successive dynasties. Money series struck by central state authorities at Rome or Lyon or elsewhere are not considered Imperial. Local money, called provincial, which carried-on previous traditions at the same time as they often carried a portrait of the Emperor, are classified within the Greek collection. The Roman coin essentially consists of bronze and silver under the Republic, although gold occupied an increasing place, and became preponderant as a medium in the 4th and 5th centuries."
"The collection of monnaies byzantines contains about 6,000 examples in gold, silver and bronze, gifts of the byzantiniste Gustave Schlumberger, together with other gifts and recent acquisitions. It is one of the world's most important collections, after those of Dumbarton Oaks in Washington DC, the British Museum, and the Barber Institute in Birmingham in the UK. "Byzantine" is understood here according to the classical periodization among numismatists, to occur from the reign of Anastasia's I, 491-517, contemporaneous with the end of the Roman Empire of the West, 476, and up until the Fall of Constantinople in 1452. The monies struck from 491 until 1204 are presented in a printed catalog. Here online are presented the 850 later examples, 1204-1453."
"The collection of monnaies françaises contains more than 50,000 examples in gold, silver, or billon ['an alloy of a precious metal with a majority base metal content, used chiefly for making coins, medals, and token coins.' JK] This collection includes monnaies mérovingiennes, 5th to 7th c., carolingiennes, 8th-10th c., and capétiennes, from Hugues Capet to Louis XVI, as well as modern money from 1793 on, the latter from the collection Claudius Côte, a great 20th c. collector."
"The collection of monnaies obsidionales, or money struck during armed conflict sieges, contains 500 examples. These were struck because of the scarcity of money at the time, and so enabled the payment of troops and the provision of daily life necessities."
[i.e. 'Continental Currency', 'Confederate Currency'... so we didn't 'invent' these either, it seems... I wonder whether 'not worth a Continental' became a problem in France at such times too, then -- I am sure that it did... What a fascinating comparative study this would make, thinking of a universal human problem, wartime-currencies -- also nowadays, sadly, how to conduct trade & exchange among 'migrant' border camps, and inside Za'atari...JK]
-- and see-also-too, videos -- this is the Digital Era, it's all "multimedia"...
-- 'time was when such a show was worth-a-journey, but for most of us a long & arduous & expensive & maybe even perilous voyage was all that might achieve it. Nowadays, however, just point-'n-click --
And now for something almost-completely different:
From 2006 (initial planning) through 2019 -- the following are the "major phases" for this year 2016 --
-- and the following are the "major phases -- projected" for the entire time, 2006-2019 --
-- so those are the estimates... but stay-tuned, as in all such projects any & all estimates and projections will vary...
If you are planning a visit, the intrepid librarians will try their very best to keep things open & available, as well as they can, but remember always to check-ahead, again & again, for updates -- it's a big job, and those involve complications & schedule-changes, anywhere.
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 are in various places on the Internet, i.e. at http://listserv.uh.edu/archives/pacs-l.html (PACS-L), or http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/Collections/FYIFrance/, or https://list.indiana.edu/sympa/arc/exlibris-l/ (EXLIBRIS-L), or http://www.fyifrance.com. Suggestions, reactions, criticisms, praise, and poison-pen letters all gratefully received at email@example.com . Copyright 1992- , by Jack Kessler, all rights reserved except as indicated above.
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