Le Havre, located in the northwest of France, on the Seine estuary, is the leading French port in terms of both trade and container traffic. Le Havre is known throughout the world as a maritime metropolis of international stature. At the very heart of the city’s traditions and cultural heritage, we find the public library, Armand Salacrou, with its huge collection capturing the memory of the city, region and country: 100,000 books and antique documents (1,200 manuscripts, including 11 medieval texts and 36 incunabula). It was in the interest of cultural preservation and the ability to share this incredible history with the general public, that the team of curators chose the Keepeek solution following a rigorous and demanding call for tenders.
A documentary project open to world
Since 2007, the municipal library in Le Havre has been scanning thousands of remarkable documents from its cultural collections. The curators took the decision to share this collection using Keepeek software. This virtual library forms part of the dynamic Internet project established by the city. The objective is to disseminate historical content to the world. This project is part of a national commitment to opening up historical data to a wider audience.
These funds consist of:
- Manuscripts: unique and “remarkable” pieces (medieval manuscripts, iconography, navy documents, and texts concerning the history of Le Havre)
- Maps and plans: online since October in connection with the exhibition “Le Havre … Beyond the Seas”
- Photographs of Marcel Maillard (dovecotes of Normandy and France, movable and immovable objects of Normandy in the first half of the twentieth century).
Integration of document flow
This project involves integration between the Keepeek solution and other document management applications already in place.
- Initial synchronization with library software meant that tens of thousands of visuals imported to Keepeek were automatically indexed.
- A consultation website disseminates all data across the web, thereby allowing a wider audience to access and download information,
- An OAI repository allows other applications and partners to search through the Keepeek base for historical documents.
The virtual library continues to grow and expand. Through an OAI harvesting module, new documents are set to further enrich the base. Ultimately, the Keepeek database will receive the digitized resources of other cultural City services: Malraux Museum (MUMA), the Natural History Museum, the archives, and the City of Art and History department.
This project illustrates the capacity of Keepeek when it comes to integrating large projects. The flexibility of the tool and the expertise of our consultants have helped to deliver a stable and lasting solution. The success of the Le Havre Library project has been recognized by the Elected Representatives of the City of Le Havre.
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