The Launch of Salamandre
Notes de la rédaction
Source: La lettre, no. 36, May 2013
1Two years ago, following the recommendations of its International Committee on Scientific and Strategic Orientation (COSS) and the proposal of its Libraries Commission, the Collège decided to organize the general library of the Collège de France as a heritage library, by holding the books published by and on the institutions’ professors, as well as their archives. The Salamandre project was motivated by the desire to promote these heritage and archive collections, by gradually making them available to internet users online as they are digitized.
2Salamandre is both an online catalogue and a pool of digitized heritage documents, as it meets two complementary objectives. First, it is designed to facilitate researchers’ work by allowing them, from now on, to identify the items they need online, from their workplace in France or abroad, and thus to prepare their visits to the archives. Second, it is driven by the desire to make the Collège’s rich heritage more visible: all internet users can now discover books, drawings, photographs and audio files retracing the history of the Collège de France, along with the discoveries made and the disciplines that have been taught there. These documents have become available through high definition digitization, and are systematically tagged with keywords and often enhanced with specialists’ explanatory texts.
3Several corpuses of documents, chosen for their rareness and their research value, were selected in 2011 by a steering committee comprised of several professors, librarians and archivists. This committee selected four themes: the history of the Collège de France, experimental medicine, anthropologists’ fieldwork material, the sources of the Far Eastern and Near Eastern Institutes, and humanities.
4Regarding the history of the Collège de France, Salamandre currently includes some 100 lecture series posters from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, professors' photographs, nineteenth century photographic reports on some laboratories, and a beautiful album of plans drawn up by the Collège de France architect, Jean-François-Thérèse Chalgrin (1739-1811). The platform’s description of the Faculty minutes provides insights into the institution’s debates, evolution and challenges.
5The importance of experimental medicine at the Collège de France is illustrated by two exceptional collections: a set a manuscripts by Claude Bernard (who held the Chair of Medicine form 1855 to 1878), and over 2,000 photographic plates by Étienne-Jules Marey (Natural History of Organized Bodies, 1869-1904).
6There are two types of anthropological fieldwork material. The first is comprised of copyright-free documents, such as notes taken during Claude Lévi-Strauss’s lectures by his student Jean Pouillon; the manuscripts and notes of Robert Hertz (1881-1915); and photographic campaigns by geographer Jean Brunhes (1869-1930). The platform also includes documents subject to authorization from the head of the anthropology laboratory: archives of anthropological campaigns describing rituals still practiced today.
7The humanities are represented by recordings of Michel Foucault’s lectures and by invaluable books and photographs belonging to the libraries of the Far and Near Eastern Institutes, in particular, a set of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century manuscripts, some of which are unique, and which were brought back from Korea by Professor Maurice Courant (1865-1935) and digitized with the support of the National Library of Korea; photographic campaigns that Professor Fussman conducted on archaeological sites in Pakistan; and the archives of Thomas Whittemore (1871-1950), who was the founder of the Byzantine Library and of the Byzantine Institute.
8Over the course of 2014, Salamandre will be supplemented with audiovisual archives of lectures delivered at the Collège de France by some 20 professors, such as Georges Duby, Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, Claude Lévi-Strauss and Jacqueline de Romilly.
9Salamandre was created and promoted by the DRPD (Direction des réseaux et partenariats documentaires) with the technical support of the DSI (Direction des systèmes d’information). It came into being thanks to the support of the Fondation de l’Orangerie and its generous donors, and to work carried out by the Fondation du Collège de France in collaboration with the former. The National Library of Korea and the CNRS also contributed to the digitization of certain collections.
The platform was launched on 6 March 2013, and is available on the Collège de France homepage > Bibliothèques > Salamandre.
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John SCHEID et Anne Chatellier, « The Launch of Salamandre », La lettre du Collège de France [En ligne], 8 | mars 2014, mis en ligne le 12 août 2015, consulté le 24 mars 2017. URL : http://lettre-cdf.revues.org/2060Haut de page
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