Le Mans: Summer Course (2017)

Le Mans summer course - Bibliotheca Digitalis

Bibliotheca Digitalis. Reconstitution of Early Modern Cultural Networks. From Primary Source to Data

The summer course will be hosted by the City Library of Le Mans, France, and is supported by DARIAH.EU (Humanities at Scale) and the City of Le Mans, in partnership with Biblissima and the Centre d'Études supérieures de la Renaissance de Tours (Bibliothèques Virtuelles Humanistes).

This summer course is organized as part of the Biblissima partner project Humanist Libraries in the Loire Valley (BHLi).

Location : Médiathèque Louis-Aragon, Le Mans (France)
Dates : July 4-8 2017

More informations and online application


Introductory training in the application of digital methods to Early Modern Historical documents

  • Digital transformation of raw textual data
  • Extraction and indexing of onomastic and bibliographical data
  • Alignment with prosopographic and bibliographic authority files

Presentation of computation tools and methods for historical or literary analysis, focusing on:

  • Data relevance
  • Interoperability
  • Statistical and visual representations of data

This summer school for advanced humanities students, scholars, archivists and librarians is devoted to the reflection on the nature and the future of digital datasets in Humanities.

The first day will introduce the problems and goals of the summer school, with an plenary lecture on the theoretical basis of digital documents and a historical overview of the information and communication problems in Early Modern France. There will also be an opportunity for participants to present their own research projects.

Subsequent days will alternate presentations in the morning with practical workshops in the afternoons. Participants will learn how to process source documents in a digital environment using appropriate tools. A variety of sample source documents, selected from local libraries and archives collections and digitized in advance, will be available as supporting materials for the workshops. Output from the workshops will be compared with the workflow followed for the “Bibliotheques françoises” database, which documents many notable people of Maine and Anjou, as described by the late XVIth Century local writer François Grudé, sieur de La Croix du Maine.

Public lectures will close each of the three days, given by internationally-recognised experts on different aspects of the Bibliotheca Digitalis.

The Saturday morning session will permit discussion and reflection concerning the future of digital cultural heritage and of data in the Humanities.


Access to the early evening sessions, in french, is free.

July 4th – Digital sources: theoretical fundamentals


  • 9:30-10:00 - Welcome to the Médiathèque Louis-Aragon of Le Mans by Sophie Rouyer - Introduction to the Bibliotheca Digitalis Summer school (Toshinori Uetani)
  • 10:00-11:00 - From Image to Contents (Jean-Yves Ramel)
  • 11:00-12:00 - Digital text (Lou Burnard)


  • 13:30-15:15 - Old Book Collections in Maine and Anjou (Sophie Renaudin, Sylvie Tisserand, Marc-Edouard Gautier and Antoine Hamerel)
  • 15:15-16:30 - Research presentation of the participants
  • 17:00-18:30 - Public Lecture [French]
    Between Information and Communication in the French Wars of Religion (Emeritus Professor of Early modern History, University of Sheffield)

July 5th – Establishing Prosopographical data


  • 9:00-10:30 - Prosopographical data and Cultural networks in the Early Modern Europee (Aurélien Ruellet)
  • 10:30-12:00 - What’s in a Name: Text and Image for indexing Prosopographical data (Eduard Frunzeanu and Régis Robineau)


  • 13:30-14:15 - Introduction to workshops
    • Presentation of Primary sources and methods
    • Constitution of training groups
  • 14:30-17:30 - Managing prosopographical data
    • Text enrichment, prosopographical data management, mapping with online authority files (VIAF, Data BnF, etc.) and name identification
  • 18:00 - Visit to the Plantagenet City

July 6th – Establishing Bibliographic Data


  • 9:00-10:30 - Overview of Primary sources of Bibliographic Data (Rémi Jimenes)
  • 10:30-12:00 - Bibliographic data – Definition, Structure and Problems (XVIth-XVIIth Centuries) (Patrick Latour)


  • 13:30-16:30 - Managing bibliographic data
    • Establishing catalogue metadata, treatment of provenance and ownership, identification of exemplars, mapping to online bibliographic reference databases (ISTC, CERL, etc.)
  • 17:00-18:30 - Public Lecture [French]
    For a stratigraphy of the Ancient book collections : examples from the Loire counties (Pierre Aquilon, Literature honorary lecturer, University of Tours, CESR)

4e jour, July 7th – Case study : « Bibliotheques françoises »


  • 9:00-10:30 - La Croix du Maine and his world (Mark Greengrass and Toshinori Uetani)
  • 10:30-12:00 - Workflow of « Bibliotheques françoises » : XML tools and database (Pierre-Yves Buard and Guillaume Porte)


  • 13:30-16:30 - On « Bibliotheques françoises »
    • Bio-bibliographical data cross-reference and mapping with “Bibliotheques françoises” dataset
    • Visualisation and analysis of intellectual networks
  • 17:00-18:30 - Public Lecture [French]
    La Croix du Maine and the Republic of Letters (Catherine Magnien, Emeritus Professor of Literature, University of Bordeaux)
  • 19:00 - Reception at the Mairie of Le Mans
  • Evening “Night of the Chimera”

July 8th – Digital representation and data accuracy for Humanities


  • 9:00-9:30 - Humanities at Scale and Dariah-EU (Nicolas Larrousse)
  • 9:30-11:00 - Visualisation in Digital Humanities for Understanding, Cleaning, and Explaining (Jean-Daniel Fekete)
  • 11:00-12:30 - Digital Reading, Human Reading (Marie-Luce Demonet)


  • Pierre Aquilon, Literature honorary lecturer, University of Tours, CESR
  • Sandrine Breuil, Research engineer, University of Tours, CESR-BVH
  • Pierre-Yves Buard, Research officer, MRSH of Caen-Digital cluster, University of Basse-Normandie
  • Lou Burnard, Oxford, co-funder of TEI
  • Marie-Luce Demonet, Emeritus Professor of Literature, University of Tours, CESR-BVH
  • Mathieu Duboc, Research engineer, University of Tours, CESR-BVH
  • Nicolas Larrousse, Research officer, TGIR Huma-Num
  • Nicole Dufournaud, Research fellow, EHESS
  • Jean-Daniel Fekete, Research Scientist, INRIA
  • Tiphaine Foucher, PhD, École nationale des chartes
  • Eduard Frunzeanu, Research engineer, Equipex Biblissima, Campus Condorcet
  • Marc Edouard Gautier, Library curator, Médiathèque Toussaint d’Angers
  • Mark Greengrass, Emeritus Professor of Early Modern History, University of Sheffield
  • Antoine Hamerel, Librarian responsible for the Bibliothèque diocésaine of Le Mans
  • Rémi Jimenes, Temporary Lecturer and Research Assistant, University of Tours, CESR-BVH
  • Patrick Latour, Library curator, Bibliothèque Mazarine
  • Catherine Magnien, Emeritus Professor of Literature, University of Bordeaux 3
  • Guillaume Porte, Research engineer, University of Tours, CESR-BVH
  • Jean-Yves Ramel, Professor of Computer Science, Computer Laboratory, University of Tours
  • Sophie Renaudin, Library curator, Médiathèque Louis-Aragon of Le Mans
  • Régis Robineau, Research engineer, Equipex Biblissima, Campus Condorcet
  • Sophie Rouyer, Library curator, Médiathèque Louis-Aragon of Le Mans
  • Aurélien Ruellet, Early Modern History Lecturer, University of Maine, Le Mans
  • Sylvie Tisserand, Library curator, Library of the Prytanée nationale militaire, La Flèche
  • Toshinori Uetani, Research officer, University of Tours, CESR-BVH
  • Marie-Laurence Viel, Assistant curator, Médiathèque Louis-Aragon of Le Mans