French Libraries Online

(See also the updated version)

++++++++++++++   FYI France - Lettre d'information   ++++++++++++++
++++++++++++++        rédigée par Jack Kessler       ++++++++++++++
++++++++++++++         (version WWW par Gef)         ++++++++++++++

From: Jack Kessler <>

                French Libraries Online (Selected)

                As of: June 15, 1995

by:     Jack Kessler

        ** Remarkable new developments, including an extensive and
        expanding overview of Bibliothèque de France resources (with
        impressive images!), may be found at :
        probably the best first-step introduction to the current
        state of France and the French online.


A) Libraries
        1) Minitel "kiosk" libraries
        2) Minitel "V23" Direct-Dial Libraries
        3) telnet (ie. from the Internet)
        4) WEBsites, Mosaic "home pages", etc.
        5) President's Report, Conseil Supérieur des Bibliothèques
B) Fulltext
        1) anonymous ftp sites
        2) gophers
        3) Fulltext archives
C) Discussion
        1) Electronic Conferences
        2) Usenet: a warning note

A) Libraries

1) Minitel "kiosk" Libraries.

These now may be reached from nearly anywhere via Minitel. Minitel is
generally available in Europe. Free MAC or DOS diskettes for Minitel
may be obtained in the US and Canada from voice telephone 800-MINITEL
-- they will fax you a form -- or via telnet from anywhere to Access policies do change from time to time. Access to
all of this is very IN-expensive:

3615 BMLYON     Bibliothèque Municipale de Lyon
3614 BMDIJON    Bibliothèque Municipale de Dijon
3614 BIB        Bibliothèque Municipale de Grenoble
3614 BIB38      Grenoble, Bibliothèque Municipale de
3614 BIB38 code ECH  Echirolles, Bibliothèque Municipale de
3614 BIB38      Pont de Claix, Bibliothèque Municipale de
3614 MADOC      Bibliothèque Professionelle de France Télécom
3614 MEDVIL     Médiathèque, Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie
3614 NANCY      Bibliothèque Municipale de Nancy
3614 VDP14      Vidéothèque de Paris
3614 VINBIB     Vincennes, Bibliothèque Municipale de
3615 ABCDOC     Archives, Bibliothèques, Centres de Documentation
3615 BIBNAT     Bibliothèque Nationale (info. -- no opac, yet)
3615 BMLIM      Limoges, Bibliothèque Municipale de
3615 BPI        Bib. Publique d'Information (Centre Pompidou, Paris)
3615 BRISE      Bibliothèques de St. Etienne
3615 DASTUM     Phototèque Dastum, Breton culture
3615 MARSEILLE  Marseille, Bibliothèque Municipale de
3615 MIRADOC    Bibliothèque Université de Metz
3615 VDP15      Vidéothèque de Paris
3616 DOCTEL     La Documentation Française
3617 BIUP       Bibliothèque Inter-Universitaire de Pharmacie
3617 CCN        Catalogue Collectif National des Publications en
                Série (national union catalog project, serials)
3617 PANCA      Pancatalogue (national union catalog project, books)

2) Minitel "V23" Direct-Dial Libraries.

The following French library services are among a quickly increasing
number which may be reached by a telephone call, either from a Minitel
which can do so (European terminals can, but North American Minitel
service distributed per the above cannot), or using a V23 modem,
available in European computer stores. French scholars will be pleased
to see a number of famous resources appearing here. Even cheese
connoisseurs will find something familiar. Public librarians everywhere
will be pleased to see some very tiny and obscure institutions
appearing here, and they might note the extraordinary breadth of the
French "Bibliothèque Municipale" (not quite a "public" library, but
the closest thing) offerings online:             Achères, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Albertville, Bibliothèque Municipale d'             Amiens, Bibliothèque d'             Angers, Bibliothèque Municipale d'             Annemasse, Bibliothèque Municipale d'             Annonay, Bibliothèque Municipale d'             Arles, Bibliothèque Municipale d'             Avignon, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Bayonne, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Beauvais, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Béthune, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Bonneuil sur Marne, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Bourg les Valence, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Bourgoin Jallieu, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Brest, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Caen, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Canejan, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Cannes, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Carbon Blanc, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Cestas, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Challans, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Chamonix, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Charenton le Pont, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Chateau Arnoux, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Chenove, Bibliothèque Municipale de        Chilly-Mazarin, Bibliothèque de             Clamart, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Combs La Ville, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Commentry, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Concarneau, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Conflans Ste. Honorine, Bibliothèque Municipale de             La Crèche, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Digne, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Epinay sous Senart, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Epinay sur Orge, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Feyzin, Bibliothèque Municipale de             La Flèche, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Flers, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Gaillac, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Gap, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Grand Quevilly, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Gravelines, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Le Haillan, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Hendaye, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Herouville, Bibliothèque Municipale de        IRCAM, Institut de Recherche et Coordination
                        Acoustique/Musique, Centre Pompidou, Paris             Levallois, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Limours, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Livry Gargan, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Lodève, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Loudeac, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Ludres, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Meylan, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Mimizan, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Moirans, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Moissy Cramayel, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Molsheim, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Montfermeil, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Montigny en Gohelle, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Morlaix, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Neuville sur Saône, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Niort, Bibliothèque de             Nogent le Rotrou, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Olivet, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Oullins, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Plouzane, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Pontivy, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Pontoise, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Privas, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Ramonville St. Agne, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Rezé, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Ris Orangis, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Rive de Gier, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Romans sur Isère, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Rumilly, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Rungis, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Sallanches, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Salon de Provence, Bibliothèque Municipale de             St. Cloud, Bibliothèque Municipale de             St. Genis Laval, Bibliothèque Municipale de             St. Jean de Braye, Bibliothèque Municipale de             St. Junien, Bibliothèque Municipale de             St. Lô, Bibliothèque Municipale de             St. Marcellin, Bibliothèque Municipale de             St. Maurice l'Exil, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Ste. Geneviève des Bois, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Sceaux, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Tarare, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Tarbes, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Thouars, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Tourcoing, Médiathèque de             Vence, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Vendôme, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Le Vesinet, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Villefranche sur Saône, Bibliothèque Municipale de             Viry Chatillon, Bibliothèque Municipale de

3) telnet (ie. from the Internet)        Bibliothèque Universitaire de Caen; username :
                        Bibliotheque or Library
FRMOP22.CNUSC.FR        Centre National Universitaire Sud de Calcul,
                        Montpellier, provides access to PANCATALOGUE and
                        SIBIL and numerous other French services, account
                        required (fax, in French, to 67-52-37-63, at
                        Montpellier); also available via Minitel (see above)
                        or French Transpac #134022271494 (account required)
IFBIBLI.GRENET.FR       Instit. Fourier, St.Martin d'Hyères, login bib
LIMVX4.UNILIM.FR        Université de LIMOGES, user id: GRACE
STROPH.UNIV-ST-ETIENNE.FR  Université de St. Etienne; Username: brise;
                        At %PAD-I-COM, enter <return>
CRISV2.UNIV-PAU.FR      Université de Pau; login: grace
FRPOLY11.POLYTECHNIQUE.FR  Ecole Polytechnique, Paris: at userid screen
                        hit <enter>, type DIAL VTAM, at Menu des
                        Applications screen type DIAL VTAM. (tn3270 only).
FTP.IRCAM.FR            Ircam-CNRS library catalog -- login: libquery -- to
                        switch to english, type: l=e

4) WEBsites -- W3, WWW, Mosaic "home pages", etc. Ministère de la culture et de la francophonie,
Paris -- excellent features on art exhibitions, the prehistoric cave
discoveries, the Bibliothèque de France, all with impressive images --
a good starting point for discoveries of the online presence of France
and the French. an authoritative-looking list of
French W3 servers, current count totals many dozens, including lots of
pure scientists and hi-tech researchers and private firms and
universities, and the capacity to find servers using maps, and: Banque de Données Socio-Politiques
-- French representative of the CESSDA / Council of European Social
Sciences Data Archives and the ICPSR / Inter-university Consortium for
Political and Social Research; Centre Interuniversitaire de traitement de
l'Information -- U.René Descartes, Paris; Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, Paris; Catalogues Collectifs nationaux des
bibliothèques du CNRS-SHS, Grenoble; Centre National Universitaire Sud de Calcul,
Montpellier, including access to the SIBIL catalog (550,000 French, 1.3
million Swiss, bibliographic records), and in theory the Pancatalogue
(this link didn't work when I tried it); Conseil Régional d'Aquitaine-Bordeaux; Rennes 1, includes many well -
presented and well-organized resources, including the archives of the
BIBLIO-FR e-conference; Direction des Musées de France; Ecole Centrale, Paris; Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon; Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris; Ec.Nat.Sup.des Mines de Paris; Ec.Nat.Sup.des Télécommunications, Paris; ESCA / European Speech Communication Assoc; Ecole d'Architecture de Marseille-Luminy; "Georgia Tech Lorraine" (truly one of
the great W3 / WEBsite / URLs so far, n'est-ce pas y'all?); ICP / Institut de la Communication
Parlée, Grenoble; IEP / Institut d'Etudes Politiques, Lyon; INA / l'Audiovisuel, Bry-sur-Marne; INIST-CNRS / Institut de l'Information
Scientifique et Technique, Vandoeuvre-les-Nancy; INRIA / Insitut National de Recherche en
Informatique et Automatique; IRCAM / Institut de Recherche et Coordination
Acoustique / Musique, Paris; LIRMM / Labo. d'Informatique, de Robotique, de
Micro-électronique de Montpellier; Maison des Sciences de l'Homme
d'Aquitaine-Bordeaux; Reseau NAtional de Télécommunications pour
la Technologie, l'Enseignemenet et la Recherche, Paris; REDOC / Reseau Documentaire de
Grenoble -- acces aux bibliothèques / catalogues / documents électroniques; U.d'Orléans, including "Les chateaux de la Loire"; Centre de la Vielle Charité -- Musées, etc.; WebLouvre -- including "peintures célèbres,
mini-expo sur l'art mediéval, mini-visite de Paris".

As with the Internet generally, it is nearly impossible to keep up with
the phenomenal growth of French online resources. The Minitel's own
"Guide de Services" now lists nearly 20,000 services, while published
accounts claim more than 25,000 currently in operation; and these
numbers don't begin to account for the many online services which rely
on the omnipresent Minitel "boxes" found throughout France -- and
Minitel "V23" norm emulation software now found throughout France and
increasingly elsewhere -- to act as simple terminals for their
connections. Many new library services (see the list at item 2), above),
use this latter function -- un-tabulated and un-indexed -- so that until
libraries go into the marketing business no one really knows how many
online French library services there are.

5) President's Report, CSB

a) complete printed text, in French:

Rapport du Président (Michel Melot) Pour L'Année 1993 (Paris :
Association du Conseil Supérieur des Bibliothèques, 1994). ISSN 1157-
360. 128 pages. Available from: Association du Conseil Supérieur des
Bibliothèques, Palais Garnier, 8 rue Scribe, 75009 Paris. A 1994
report also is available.

b) complete electronic text, in French:

1) Par ftp anonyme:
2) Par gopher: rubrique "OPAC" puis "rapport du CSB"
3) Par mosaic par l'URL file:// (ou csb.txt)
4) Par mosaic a travers la page du "reseau documentaire de grenoble"
dont l'URL est

B) Fulltext

Fulltext French may be reached and read online now, in addition to the
bibliographic citations and pointers traditionally offered by online
libraries. A small selection of what is available in materials of
interest to French scholars follows:

1) anonymous ftp sites (online text archives)            INRIA/ Rech.en Informatique et Automatique          INRIA in Sophia Antipolis             Univ. Rennes1 ("gopher" in French!)            /pub/etext/ota/french// contains Molière's Don Juan
                        fulltext (Oxford Text Archive version) and Queneau's
                        Exercices du style fulltext (OTA version)        /pub/cch/french// contains Molière's Don Juan
                        fulltext (Oxford Text Archive version) and a French
                        wordlist in ascii             "Association des Bibliophiles Universels" files,
                        including fulltext (sgml marked-up?) of texts by St.
                        Augustine, Plutarch, Jules Verne, Th. Moreux, and E.
                        Dubreucq, and other things relevant to fulltext.            IRCAM / Institut de Recherche et Coordination
                        Acoustique/Musique, Centre Pompidou, Paris              Ecole Normale Supérieure

2) gophers (interactive index plus archiving)

CIRIL Centre Ressources Informatiques de Lorraine (Nancy)
CITI Centre Traitement de l'Information (Lille)
Cité Collégiale (Ontario, Canada) <>
CITI2 Universite Rene Descartes (Paris) <>
CNUSC Centre National Univ.Sud de Calcul (Montpellier) <>
CRIHAN Centre de Ressources Informatiques de Haute-Normandie (Rouen)
EMBNET Bioinformation Resource <> (not strictly
        a "non-hi-tech-scientific" resource, but one possessing
        one of the better tongue-in-cheek electronic addresses)
ENST Ec.Nat.Sup.des Télécommunications (Paris) <>
Ecole Normale Supérieure (Paris) <>
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Suisse) <>
French Embassy, Washington D.C. <>
Genethon (Human Genome Research Center, Paris) <>
Institut d'Etudes Politiques (Lyon) <>
IMAG Institut d'Informatique et de Mathématiques Appliquées de
        Grenoble <>
INRIA la Rech.en Informatique et Automatique
INRIA/inria-graphlib : a Computer Graphics service of INRIA
        < 71> Institut Pasteur (Paris) <>
IRISA Institut de Recherche en Informatique et Systèmes Aléatoires
        (Rennes) <>
Ministère de la culture et de la francophonie (St. Quentin en Yvelines)
UREC Unité Reseaux du CNRS (Paris) <> (the CNRS' network)
USHS Univ. des Sciences Humaines de Strasbourg) <>
Univ.Jean Monnet, CIT (St-Etienne) <>
Univ.Jean Monnet, CRITeR (St-Etienne) <> Lyon I <> Nice-Sophia Antipolis <> Pau et des Pays de l'Adour <> Rennes I <> Savoie (Chambéry) <> Valenciennes <>
Univ.s P. & M. Curie-D. Diderot (Paris) <> Montreal, Littératures (Québec, Canada)
        < 7070> (GOPHER LITTERATURES is
        a relatively recent effort to establish a truly comprehensive
        gopher devoted to online humanities resources in French. It has
        an ambitious structure, not yet filled, but at least a
        promising effort to follow for anyone interested in online
        humanities.) -- Grenoble-net, maintained at the CICG / Centre
        Interuniversitaire de Calcul de Grenoble, which gives you a
        software package entitled "G.R.A.C.E (Gestion du Reseau
        Automatisé de Catalogues En-ligne)", and a "help" feature
        wonderfully-entitled, for a "help" feature, "B.I.P.E.D.
        (Bulletin d'Information Pour Etudiants en Détresse)". See
        particularly the following, in path 8.Catalogues de
        Bibliothèques (OPAC) et Autres Serveurs Documentaire../:
        1.Catalogues des Bibliothèques de la Region Grenobloise/,
        and 2.Catalogues des Bibliothèques Françaises/ -- [this
        gopher currently is being discontinued in favor of]

3) Fulltext archives

There are many interesting and frustrating issues associated with
fulltext archiving, among them issues of copyright, democratic access
to texts, and markup. This last currently is the most controversial
fulltext issue on the nets: archives exist which have no markup
whatsoever -- volunteer contributors merely type in the texts -- and
there are archives with full SGML / Standard Generalized Markup
Language encoding -- enabling textual analyses which some never will
use but which is indispensable to others. Proponents of both approaches
are fierce in their advocacy, and they fight a lot online.

Online fulltext appears to be an inevitable trend, however, whatever
are to be the niceties which accompany it eventually. (There is talk of
texts presented with more than just SGML, after all: multimedia, and
"interactive text", using techniques like Internet Relay Chat and
Virtual Reality -- people now are working on a VRML / Virtual Reality
Markup Language -- are waiting in the wings.) The trend is propelled by
both the increasing popularity of the networks, and the increasingly
untenable finances of the print publishing industry. One way or
another, print publishing quickly, albeit reluctantly, is "going online".

a) The Oxford Text Archive

One of the largest and most rigorous online fulltext general archives
still is the Oxford Text Archive, assembled and maintained at that
university's computing center by Lou Bernard. At the moment the OTA
contains over 50 French fulltexts, from Sartre to Froissart to the
Chanson de Roland. References to the OTA, with its informational files,
may be found online easily at several sites using gopher's veronica
index, and OTA holdings are cataloged on the online bibliographic
service RLIN. The OTA ftp archive adress is

b) Georgetown

A comprehensive effort to keep track of the many thousands of local
online fulltext projects currently being pursued on isolated computers
all over the world is that of Georgetown University's CPET / Catalog of
Projects in Electronic Text. There are many gopher references to CPET.
The CPET telnet address is, login CPET.


FRANTEXT is an online database of 3241 texts, taken from 2330 works of
French literature dating from the 16th century, including a large
group of non-literary works from the 19th and 20th centuries. The
corpus was assembled for the purpose of compiling word-occurrences --
there are 183 million of them -- for French dictionary research.

The database is administered by the Trésor Général des Langues et
Parlers Français, 27, r.Damesme, 75013 Paris, telephone or
Mme. Evelyne Martin at, fax This is a division
of the INALF, the Institut National de la Langue Française, a unit of
the CNRS. The FRANTEXT database software is STELLA -- Système de
Textes En Ligne en Libre Accès -- and has its critics and defenders.
An enthusiastic proponent of STELLA-searching may be found in:

Jacques Lemarignier, "Le point de vue d'un interrogateur sur FRANTEXT:
FRANTEXT à la Bibliothèque Publique d'Information", in Les banques
de données littéraires, comparatistes et francophones, edited by
Alain Vuillemin, Limoges: Presses de l'Université de Limoges et du
Limousin, 1993, ISBN 2910016-17-X.


In North America, FRANTEXT is available -- with an entirely different
interface and "PhiloLogic" client software -- under the name of "ARTFL /
project for American and french Research on the treasury of the French
Lanuguage". ARTFL offers many new and exciting things as part of its
joint U.of Chicago / CNRS effort, including online analytical tools, and
databases of: Provençal poetry, Segond's French and other Multilingual
Bibles, and Jean Nicot's Thresor de la langue française (1606).
Imaging experiments are under way to mount: Diderot's Encyclopédie, 9
editions of the Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française, Montaigne (and
Dante) editions and variants, the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, and the Plan
Turgot (1739). See Mark Olson, director: email,
telephone 312-702-8488. ARTFL is at or

C) Discussion

The best -- most managable, disciplined, up-to-date -- method for
getting and staying current with French networking is to subscribe to a
good "e-conference". Normally this will gain you a dozen e-mail
messages per week on a subject of your interest, and a whole list of
international correspondents with whom you can discuss issues and of
whom you very usefully can ask questions.

1) Electronic Conferences

In most cases, an e-mail message to the address shown, saying, exactly:

        subscribe <conference name> <Yourfirstname> <Yourlastname>

will obtain a subscription. Subscriptions are free.

ADBS-INFO       "Association Française des Documentalistes et
                Bibliothécaires Specialisés"; subscribe to adbs-info-
       ; for ADBS members, un-moderated.
BALZAC-L        "French literature and culture"; subscribe to balzac-l-
      ; French/English; 250 subscribers.
BIBLIO-FR       "Bibliothécaires Français"; subscribe to biblio-fr-
      ; in French; 400 subscribers,
H-FRANCE        "List for French history scholars" (formerly FRANCEHS);
                418 subscribers; subscribe to
                listserv@VM.CC.PURDUE.EDU ; in French and English.
LAW-FRANCE      "The law of France"; new on March 18, 1995; subscribe to
        with "Subject: subscribe".

There are others. The most useful tool for locating professional online
discussion of a particular topic is the list maintained by Diane Kovacs,
of Scholarly Electronic Conferences (there are many thousands more which
are un-scholarly -- Ms. Kovacs and her team perform an invaluable
filtering service). The Kovacs list, now on its 7th edition (1994),
is available in many places online. Most usefully here, it is
available from the University of Caen -- telnet login
bibliotheque -- complete with a French interface and keyword searching
by subject (in English), title, and moderator's name.

2) Usenet: a warning note

Usenet groups I personally do not recommend, although it is good to
know that they exist. My problem is the lack of editorial control on
Usenet, and my own busy schedule and impatience. It is important to
realize, though, that France and the French have a Usenet presence.

The following is from a March 1993 general online announcement, from, who should be consulted for
more information: "...send a note to 'fr-news-distribution@grasp1.univ-', preferably in french indicating you are searching for a feed.
Messages arriving to this address will be sent to the
distribution newsgroup as well as to the peer mailing-list. To subscribe
to the mailing-list send the command "sub fr-news-distribution First
Lastname" to the address <>. More
information, as well as an INN groups creation script can be retrieved
by anonymous ftp to in pub/faq/fr.If you don't have
ftp access, will furnish the same service."

FYIFrance e-newsletter        ISSN 1071-5916

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