440 Occitanie titles to leaf through: with Gallica, the treasures of the press of yesteryear are accessible in one click

440 Occitanie titles to leaf through: with Gallica, the treasures of the press of yesteryear are accessible in one click

A very intuitive site that makes it easy to search and discover old titles. Midi Libre – MICHAEL ESDOURRUBAILH

Magazines, gazettes and daily newspapers from the region's past are now accessible on Gallica, in digital version. More than 2.5 million digitized pages can be browsed for free online. A way to explore the past and discover the territory differently.

This is an exceptional heritage now just a click away. Gallica, the digital library of the BnF (National Library of France) now lists 440 old newspapers from the Occitanie region. They are free to browse and allow "to explore the past and are aimed at everyone: historians, researchers, teachers for their educational projects, but also simple citizens curious to discover, via the press, the daily life of their ancestors", explains Magali Castillon, advisor for written heritage at Drac Occitanie.

Magazines, gazettes and daily newspapers of yesteryear… Many cabbage leaves from towns and villages in the region are now accessible. Copies dating from 1780 to the Second World War. With an absolutely incredible keyword search system.

"Save paper collections"

A feat made possible thanks to the partnership established between the State (via Drac), the Occitanie Region, the National Library of France and Occitanie Livre & Reading, whose kingpin Mélanie Marchand recounts the beginnings: "This project began in 2008 in Languedoc-Roussillon. We created a commission of around a hundred documentary establishments and extended it to the whole of Occitanie".& ;nbsp;It was at this time that the technical protocols were established. With an ambition: "Save paper collections which are often in poor condition, crumbling and were in danger of disappearing", underlines the project manager.

In the public domain after 70 years

Like books, the press enters the public domain for 70 years, as specified by French law which classifies newspapers in the category of &oelig ;collective works. Thus, the digitization of the heritage collections of the National Library of France (BnF) can only be done for royalty-free documents. 70 years is the time limit set for for the press and magazines after their date of publication. Thus, this year, it is possible to make public the newspapers published until 1954.

All thanks to the solid collaborative work of 44 partners across the entire region (departments and their archives, metropolises, urban communities, municipalities and their archives and libraries, public establishments, associations…) . A formidable library offering to date 2 540 807 pages in the digital library of the BnF, Gallica which also offers thematic subjects on its home page.

300 000 pages scanned per year

But that's the part: “old local press” that we can find the titles of a department or attached to a city. And the press used to do quite well in Occitania. A large number of titles are available in the thirteen departments of the region: L’Argus Méridional, Le Petit Méridional, L’Anti-clerical, La Brise du Soir or Midi-littoral&hellip ; and many others in Hérault; we also find the Courrier du Gard, Les Cévennes sportif, Le Courrier du Midi… and the very first in Gard: “La Presse de Nismes”. We find La Revue de l’Union aveyronnaise and de l’Union lozérien and many other titles. It’s touching, instructive, exciting… We navigate the twists and turns of the past.

And Occitanie is going fast. According to Mélanie Marchand, « since 2018, we digitize 300 000 pages per year », for an estimated cost of 100 000 € . "L’Occitanie has a head start", confirms Magali Castillon while the Ministry of Culture has just decided to create a National Press Conservatory which should see the light of day in Amiens at the end of 2029. Because by becoming a national priority, the pace of digitization is not running out of steam and new titles will be available soon.

To discover the Gallica site on the Occitanie press, you must click here. You can also do a search through the old local press by clicking here.

The royalist press against the republican press

With its partners Occitanie Livre & Lecture offers articles entitled: “Escales en presse antique”. This is a focus on the press of yesteryear. Like the press &agrav; the release to Toulouse or, à Montpellier, the white Midi against the red Midi. A decryption which tells "the birth of a committed press". And in particular how, in the second period of the 19th century, some of the most important titles of the daily press appeared.

In 1868 was created; the newspaper L’Union nationale, which defends the royalist cause replaced; in 1881 by the newspaper L’Eclair (1881-1944), no less virulent defender of a monarchical regime. Directed for almost fifty years by Alexandre Vichet, he multiplied local editions, going as far as eleven editions with the main republican opponent Le Petit Méridional (1876-1944). Copies of these newspapers are à find it on Gallica, the digital site of the BNF.

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