CIFNAL French Pamphlet Project Receives NEH Funding

Thursday, May 9, 2013
Judy Alspach -

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has funded a one-year planning grant for the Collaborative Initiative for French Language Collections (CIFNAL) to identify, describe, and improve both conventional and online access to French revolutionary pamphlet collections.

Published often without covers and sometimes only a few pages in length, these ephemeral documents provide students, historians, and other researchers with firsthand evidence of the era surrounding the French Revolution. Due to its brevity and portability, this particular information format had the power to reach beyond the walls of libraries into the streets of Europe. Today, these essential historical documents often remain hidden from research, cloistered within special collection departments worldwide.

Funded through NEH’s Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Foundations program, the grant will help CIFNAL members and partners work toward collaborative data collection, analysis, and the establishment of standards and workflows related to cataloging existing French revolutionary pamphlet collections.

Project outcomes will include:

  • initial data gathering and in-depth analysis of existing French revolutionary pamphlet collections in the US and France;
  • engaging partners in strategies for improving intellectual control of these resources;
  • establishing a collaborative framework for further identification, cataloging, and discoverability of content; and
  • designing a strategic plan for establishing a French Pamphlet Digital Portal to improve discoverability and provide access to pamphlet collections regardless of location.

The University of Florida led the effort to apply for the grant; partners include the Bibliotheque Nationale de France, the Newberry Library, Johns Hopkins University, Brigham Young University, the University of Kansas,  Emory University, the University of Alabama, Harvard University, Yale University, the University of Maryland, and Stanford University.

For more information on this project, contact Matthew Loving or Judy Alspach.

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