15.433 new on WWW: BNF treasures, World Bank Gateway

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty (w.mccarty@btinternet.com)
Date: Fri Jan 04 2002 - 06:00:01 EST

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 15, No. 433.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

       [1] From: NINCH-ANNOUNCE <david@ninch.org> (293)
             Subject: Treasures of the BNF

       [2] From: NINCH-ANNOUNCE <david@ninch.org> (83)
             Subject: World Bank's New Development Gateway Includes Culture
                     & Development Site

             Date: Fri, 04 Jan 2002 10:47:54 +0000
             From: NINCH-ANNOUNCE <david@ninch.org>
             Subject: Treasures of the BNF

    News on Networking Cultural Heritage Resources
    from across the Community

               Treasures of the Bibliothque Nationale de France

    >Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2001 10:56:51 -0800
    >From: Jack Kessler <kessler@WELL.COM>

    FYI France: Bibliothque Nationale de France online treasures,
    of the French and some other cultures

    There now are some truly remarkable things
    available online: among which the Bibliothque Numrique of the
    Bibliothque Nationale de France, at,
    Currently the BNF's Bibliothque Numrique is showing no less
    than 23 fascinating exhibits / sites / nodes -- each with images,
    text, notes, bibliography, some with sound, all in the true
    French multi - faceted style, and all very useful for initiation
    of students as well as further exploration by scholars, into any
    of the fields concerned --

    * Graphisme(s) -- the "graphic arts"

    * L'art du livre arabe -- the Arabic language, the Moslem
    religion, the books of Islamic civilization

    * Contes de fes -- "fairytales"!, beautifully illustrated --
    beating Saul Zaentz at his own "Lord of the Rings" game -- this
    "French release" came out first...

    * Brouillons d'crivains -- manuscripts!, their history and
    creation and circumstances and use -- imaged originals from
    Vale'ry, Hugo, Zola, Flaubert, Proust, Sartre, Perec, others

    * Mai^tres de la bande dessine europenne (also in English) --
    comicbooks!(?)... remember that this is Europe and that, there,
    comicbooks are not all just "Superman" -- from the Middle Ages to
    Japanese Manga, heros and anti - heros, Tin-Tin and Obelix and
    much more


    * La BD avant La BD (also in English) -- "the prehistory of comic
    books"? -- stained glass, anything graphic which "tells a story",
    "le rcit en squence", "sound" too -- fascinating for fans of
    multimedia and "the return to orality" la Walter Ong and
    Milman Parry, and "transitions in media" / "ceci tuera cela"...


    * Paris, les travaux et les jours -- daily life in The City of
    Light, in early - last - century (that would be the 20th, folks)
    photos, from the archives of L'Aurore - Le Figaro


    * Reza, photographe visionnaire -- the expatriate Iranian
    photographer - as - artist, online -- images, "from the Bosporus
    to the Great Wall of China, from the Phillipines to Central Asia"
    -- "a full look at humanity amid the turbulence which agitates
    the world"


    * Utopie, la que^te de la socit idale (also in English) --
    to my American pragmatist's mind a frightening tour through the
    perennial tendency to be dissatisfied with reality -- Plato and
    Bosch and Thomas More and other devotees of "l'universel",
    "dreams, and nightmares" -- with stunning images


    * Bresdin, Robinson graveur -- the "Chien - caillou" (from James
    Fenimore Cooper, _The Last of the Mohicans_), of the 19th century
    -- a beautiful presentation of this engraver's art online

    * Marcel Proust, L'criture et les Arts (also in English) --
    currently some say "In Search of Lost Time"?!... some titles defy
    translation... and should not be translated... "Remembrance of
    Things Past" does a much better job, I myself think, if you're
    going to do it... -- anyway, here the BNF and the Muse d'Orsay
    combine their respective treasures and talents, on this topic
    * Boulle, architecte des Lumires -- those great, round,
    rather funny and space age - looking buildings shown in all the
    art and architectural history books -- Enlightenment rationality
    and the totalitarian tendencies of same run amok, in a stunning
    online presentation


    * La Page -- the history and construction of the written and
    printed "page" -- a fascinating and visually stunning look at the
    mechanics of a medium -- a must - see for any fan of "the book as
    a thing", or of "graphics", or for any devotee of computer and
    Webpage "screen design"


    * magnum, Essais sur le monde -- stunning photography -- from
    Coca Cola cans, to young rock - throwers in the Gaza streets, to
    bloody footprints in the snow at Grozny, to wonderful red
    umbrellas -- "Magnum" is not _all_ fashionplate ladies in floppy


    * Tous les Savoirs du Monde -- that magnificent exhibition
    mounted at the opening of the new BNF building at Tolbiac --
    "...since the invention of writing, how have civilizations
    assembled knowledge, to conserve it, to share it, to transmit
    it?" -- from Sumerian tablets to "The Illustrated London News"
    and Queneau


    * Le Ciel et la Terre (also in English) -- cosmology,
    cosmography, and a truly wonderful online presentation of one of
    the greatest of BNF treasures, the 14th century Catalan Atlas


    * Splendeurs persanes (also in English) -- Persia -- "The Five
    Poems of Nezm" -- illustration, and the written word, as a
    high art form

    * Petits pomes photo-graphiques (also in English) -- "abstract
    photography" -- for one of those days, or long nights, when life
    online seems to have become a little too "linear"...


    * Tal Coat -- "Pierre Tal Coat (1905-1985), painting, design, and
    engravings..." -- prompting the rhetorical question whether the
    Internet might become an at - least - initial medium of diffusion
    for the aspiring graphic artist, as it already has for the
    aspiring musician and writer? Cutting out Kahnweiler...

    * Face a face (also in English) -- portraits! -- photographic,
    but also non- -- what it means to depict the human face


    * Le Livre de Chasse de Gaston Phe'bus -- elegance / decadence in
    the illustration of the book -- in some things, when you reach
    the summit the only way is down -- for many this item is the
    apex, anyway, of the book illustrator's art -- perhaps the best
    way to enjoy it is to suspend all political judgments and just
    relax back into it, as - superbly - presented here online --
    another of the greatest of BNF treasures


    * Le roi Charles V et son Temps -- "1000 enluminures du
    Dpartement des Manuscrits" says a great deal, when speaking of
    the BNF -- a tour of this site offers perhaps the best way
    available to introduce anyone to, or remind anyone of, the French
    14th century and the art of the manuscript -- the extraordinary
    15th century Bruges Froissart (FR 2643), the Catalan Atlas, the "Petites
    Heures de Jean de Berry", the "Gaston Phbus", the "Brviaire
    de Martin d'Aragon", all in sumptuous detail


    * Naissance de la Culture Franc,aise -- where it all began -- the
    original exhibit, both online and as generously presented at the
    Library of Congress by the BNF, was reviewed here in the FYI
    France ejournal issue of January 15, 1996 -- the exhibit
    transported across the Atlantic and showed proudly to the
    Americans everything from the "Bible du comte Rorigon, Tours,
    vers 835" marked "Latin 3" in the BNF De'partement des
    Manuscrits, and the actual / reputed throne of the "bon roi
    Dagobert", to the manuscript of Zola's "J'Accuse!" scrawled in
    angry script -- French treasures, a one - stop introduction to
    the history of France, and one of the earliest examples of a
    major online Internet digital library exhibition



    A few details, and reactions, on and to the latest of these BNF
    exhibits to have been mounted: also a couple of suggestions of
    perhaps general application --

    * Graphisme(s)

    This is a remarkable exhibition of and about the graphic arts,
    originally shown at the BNF Tolbiac from September 18 to November
    25, 2001. Anyone wishing to see, or to show others, a one - stop
    introduction to what "graphics" are all about, need only click
    and watch and listen. From the online exhibit:

              "It must be noted that the term 'graphics', as used by
              professionals in the field, does not designate anything
              universally accepted, either in current usage or in the
              dictionary. Doubtless the multitude of formats which
              graphics supports, its 'presentation', explains this
              situation in part. To this must be added the small
              consideration which people normally accord to everyday
              objects. All this leads to a reticence to recognize, and
              therefore to appreciate, a visual art which is a part of
              our daily lives..."

              "How then to reflect upon an object of study which has
              received so little definition? The exhibition proposes to
              consider graphics as a vast territory ranged between
              'pure' typography, on the one hand, and 'pure' image on
              the other. It groups graphic work into large collections
              corresponding to the principal functions of the art and
              the different usages to which we put it..."

    The methodology of the online version of this exhibit is a
    fascinating tour de force in the use of the online medium:

    Under five "functional" rubrics,

    ** Attract the attention
    ** Mount it
    ** Identify it
    ** Describe it
    ** For the screen

    the virtual exhibit scrolls through the series of graphic works,
    originally presented in the "real" exhibition, in a very
    interesting demonstration of one great advantage offered by the
    "virtual" over the "real":

    -- as anyone who ever has attended a crowded Paris exhibition can
    attest, the crowds and conviviality -- the noise -- and the
    accidents of layout and presentation of a large art show can
    distract. A tourist, particularly, risks being so overwhelmed by
    the strangeness and excitement of "being in Paris", and all those
    French accents and labels in French on things, and being in a
    giant new space such as the BNF Tolbiac or the Louvre or the
    Muse'e d'Orsay or wherever an exhibit is being presented, that
    s/he risks losing sight of and any chance at understanding a
    complex exhibit. And Paris exhibits _always_ are complex -- never
    just "the pictures", always the context and the story and the
    philosophy underneath and some sort of "presentation innovation"
    folded in as well -- nothing capable of being absorbed quickly,
    in a foreign crowd, while you are wondering if it really will be
    snowing outside by the time you exit and whether the kids will
    make it back to the hotel from wherever they are to meet you in
    time for dinner...

    -- online, instead, the relaxing linearity can be very
    reassuring. Not only are you in the comfort of your own office or
    home -- no crowds or French accent distractions swarming around
    -- but the mysteries of "le graphism" can be viewed in line, in
    an order much despised by many graphic artists but so needed by
    their customers and clients and the grand public.

    So in this particular BNF Tolbiac Bibliothe`que Nume'rique
    exhibit, you click on the little double arrow pointing to the
    right and it gently scrolls you through each of the five topics,
    showing simple captions explaining the functions of graphics --
    for example,

              "Mass Communications -- the function of the poster is to
              attract attention. From the point of view of the reader,
              the reading is a forced one, a glance which has been

    -- with fascinating illustrations along the way, on which of
    course you can "click", to halt the scrolling and "focus in" to
    obtain enlargements and detailed explanations -- better than
    craning your neck over the sea of fellow - tourist heads for a
    fleeting glimpse of a little distant thing which you know to be
    "the mona lisa", and about which you know little else and you have
    no time now to look into it because it may already be snowing
    outside and the kids surely will be late getting back to the
    hotel and for all you know they may be lost, somewhere in central

    No waiting, warm, inviting bistro nearby in the "virtual"
    version, of course -- although they're working on that.

    The one suggestion which I have to make of this particular online
    exhibit is merely technical and has two points, both of general
    application to any such online exhibit I think:

    a) In my IE 6.0 browser, when I clicked on an image to see its
    detail and then hit return, I was sent back to the beginning of
    the scroll rather than to the point in it which I just had left:
    this is disorienting, and defeats the purpose of the hypertext,
    which is to be able to jump "out" to pursue a link and then
    "back" so as not to lose the thread of an argument. I am sure
    that the Javascript can be tweaked easily in some way so as to
    return a viewer to the point from which s/he left, rather than to
    the beginning of the scrolling?

    b) Also, checking Netscape -- as I always do to see whether a
    problem really is just the result of Mr. Gates' so - much -
    feared paranoia and market domination tendencies -- I find that
    in my Communicator 4.51 I cannot even get the scrolling to work.
    So maybe Mr. Case is even more grasping than Mr. Gates, or
    perhaps the Activex / Java controversy is rearing its ugly head
    here and the at - least - equally - grasping Mr. McNealy is
    involved here too... Whatever, until these three guys, and the
    rest of them, give us a unified platform on which to view this
    stuff, the BNF web staff and the rest of us too all must remember
    to take a look through _all_ the browsers, AOL's (still?) non -
    Communicator one as well, and try to please all the viewers all
    the time, before they mount these things: maybe not possible, but
    best attempts appreciated and caveats, at least, required.

    Jack Kessler, kessler@well.sf.ca.us

                  * FYI France (sm)(tm) Online Service
                  | Internet Training and Consulting
                  |* email: kessler@well.sf.ca.us
                 *| fax: 415 - 282 - 0464
                 / \* phone: 415 - 282 - 4850 (messages)
               *-----* postal: PO Box 460668
              *// *\\ San Francisco, California
              ---------* USA 94146
             //* \\* W3: http://www.fyifrance.com
             Joyeux Noe:l


    Sun Microsystems, Inc. has published the second edition of its
    popular "Digital Library Toolkit", a valuable resource for anyone
    planning a digital collection. To download a free copy, go to:




    ============================================================== NINCH-Announce is an announcement listserv, produced by the National Initiative for a Networked Cultural Heritage (NINCH). The subjects of announcements are not the projects of NINCH, unless otherwise noted; neither does NINCH necessarily endorse the subjects of announcements. We attempt to credit all re-distributed news and announcements and appreciate reciprocal credit. For questions, comments or requests to un-subscribe, contact the editor: <mailto:david@ninch.org> ============================================================== See and search back issues of NINCH-ANNOUNCE at <http://www.cni.org/Hforums/ninch-announce/>. ==============================================================

    --[2]------------------------------------------------------------------ Date: Fri, 04 Jan 2002 10:48:49 +0000 From: NINCH-ANNOUNCE <david@ninch.org> Subject: World Bank's New Development Gateway Includes Culture & Development Site

    NINCH ANNOUNCEMENT News on Networking Cultural Heritage Resources from across the Community January 3, 2002

    World Bank Creates Development Gateway Foundation Gateway Portal Includes Culture & Development Site http://www.developmentgateway.org/node/130613/

    >Date: Wed, 2 Jan 2002 17:13:37 -0500 >From: Eleanor Fink <efink@WORLDBANK.ORG> >>To: INTEROP-CULTURE@JISCMAIL.AC.UK > >Happy New Year! > >It should interest you to know that last month the World Bank launched the >Development Gateway Foundation -- an operating trust that will focus on >ICT and >the digital divide. The event was attended by representatives from over 30 >countries and organizations. > > > The Development Gateway Foundation is a not-for-profit organization whose > core objectives are to reduce poverty and support sustainable development > through the use of ICT. The Foundation seeks to create partnerships to > support ICT capacity, move ideas and innovations for ICT into prototypes > and applications that will be tested in the field, and bring the benefits > of the ICT revolution to the poorest communities -- those most affected by > the digital divide. The Foundation's four key programs are -- > > The Development Gateway portal (http://www.developmentgateway.org) > -- using the power of the Internet to connect people, knowledge, and > poverty-reduction efforts (see the Culture and Development site: > http://www.developmentgateway.org/node/130613/ > Grants and Investments -- funding ICT initiatives that narrow the > digital divide > The ICT Development Forum -- bringing people and ideas together for > discussion > The Research and Training Network -- creating opportunities in the > developing world for good ideas and people to advance > For more information on the Development Gateway Foundation, please visit > http://www.dgfoundation.org > In addition to serving as managing director of the Culture and Development > site on the Gateway portal, I will be setting up the Development Gateway > Foundation. I would very much appreciate information on how I might > obtain studies on options for structuring international grants or a survey > of grant making structures across foundations. > > If you have not had to chance to visit the Culture and Development site > yet, please do so. It now contains over 700 documents you can access on > culture including articles, policy documents, case studies and useful > websites that cover such key issues as economics of culture, cultural > policy, cultural tourism, heritage in peril, arts, crafts & media, > cultural management, heritage preservation, and documentation practices. > > > >When you visit the Culture and Development topic page, I would encourage >you to >click on "Become a member" located to the left in the member directory >box. By >doing so you will be informed whenever new content is added to the page. >You can >also add content to the site by clicking on "Add it here". >http://www.developmentgateway.org/node/130613/ > >Yours truly, > >Eleanor E. Fink >Senior Cultural Heritage Specialist >World Bank >efink@worldbank.org


    ============================================================== NINCH-Announce is an announcement listserv, produced by the National Initiative for a Networked Cultural Heritage (NINCH). The subjects of announcements are not the projects of NINCH, unless otherwise noted; neither does NINCH necessarily endorse the subjects of announcements. We attempt to credit all re-distributed news and announcements and appreciate reciprocal credit.

    For questions, comments or requests to un-subscribe, contact the editor: <mailto:david@ninch.org> ============================================================== See and search back issues of NINCH-ANNOUNCE at <http://www.cni.org/Hforums/ninch-announce/>. ==============================================================

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