French universities have just released their manuscripts and archives union catalogue : Calames


Calames (Catalogue en ligne des archives et des manuscrits de l'enseignement supérieur) gives access to the description of the collections of more than 40 libraries across France : university libraries, research libraries, learned societies. [1]

Calames has been designed by a working group [2] whose members are EAD experts from libraries and librarians and engineers from ABES (Agence bibliographique de l'enseignement supérieur [3]). It has been entirely developped by ABES, using generic XML tools and Web standards (AJAX, XQuery + SQL, XSLT, CSS).

Some Features :
- simple and advanced search ;
- scan of indexes (with autocompletion : "Find-as-you-type") ;
- results filtering through facets ;
- inheritance of controlaccess, dates and languages ;
- flexible views of data (the user freely chooses which <c> to display and print) ;
- tree display and browsing ;
- tagclouds (subjects and persons) ;
- precise URL (one per <c>) ;
- display of thumbnails and links to digital materials

Calames has two data sources :
- Le Catalogue Général des manuscrits des bibliothèques publiques de France (CGM-BPF), a series of printed catalogues published from nineteenth century until late twentieth century. Le CGM-BPF is being digitalized.
- Palme, "répertoire national des manuscrits littéraires français du XXe siècle", hosted in MARC at BnF until 2007. Palme has been converted in EAD by BnF.
Calames contains subsets of both corpus. They will be searchable as a whole through the national gateway CCFr :

Beyond these legacy data, libraries will use Calames to catalog the rest of their collections, through a Web interface developped by ABES. This online cataloguing tool extends XMAX (the Internet Explorer plugin version of XMetal) with specific functionalities :
- partial editing of massive EAD files ;
- linking to authority records hosted in Sudoc [4] (the French universities bibliographic union catalogue) ;
- linking and inclusion of EAD files ;
- exports (native XML/EAD, HTML, PDF, UNIMARC in MarcXML, Dublin Core, RDF) ;
- data quality control (using Schematron) ;
- one-click indexing and publishing of finding aids
- ...


Contact us for any question or suggestion : manuscrits @

How to pronounce 'Calames by ABES' ?
. Calames : [kalam]
. ABES : [abɛs]

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[1] Full list at this address :