The Bibliothèque Nationale (which is both the French national library and a museum) in Paris, France, announced on 6th July, that it was seeking partners for the digitisation and enhancement of its collections. Bruno Racine, the president of the Bibliothèque Nationale announced the historic step during a press conference in Paris.
The Bibliothèque Nationale has identified 12 areas for which they are seeking partners, including books from 1470 to 1700, another collection of up to half a million French publications in the public domain, the French press from 1780 to 1940, 78 RPM records, medieval and modern manuscripts, photos and French films up to World War II.
The Bibliothèque Nationale currently has a digital library, Gallica, that holds 1 ½ million documents, and this partnership programme is expected to more than triple its size.
This is a very important announcement because eventually researchers will be able to view books online without having to travel to Paris. France was Scotland's ally during several wars with England, and the alliance (the Auld Alliance) dates back to a treaty between John Balliol and Philip IV of France in 1295, so many early books are particularly important for students of Scottish history.
For more information about the Bibliothèque Nationale's announcement, read Le Monde's article in French or a Google translation in English.
(First seen in the Anglo-Celtic Connections blog).