May 14, 2021

The New York Public Library and Bibliothèque Nationale de France Launch Partnership to Preserve and Make Accessible Cultural Heritage

From a Joint Announcement:

The New York Public Library and Bibliothèque Nationale de France this morning signed a historic agreement to preserve and make accessible collections and scholarship related to cultural heritage.

The two internationally-renowned research libraries signed the agreement and launched the partnership during a joint research symposium held at The New York Public Library’s iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. The symposium — called Engaging Shared Heritage and featuring remarks by UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay — was timed to coincide with the 73rd United Nations General Assembly session, as “Endangered Heritage” is one of the UN’s themes this year.

Cultural institutions play an incredibly important role in preserving the world’s shared cultural heritage — a heritage that is critical to our mutual understanding and growth,” said New York Public Library President Anthony W. Marx, who signed the agreement and spoke at the symposium. “It is so important that institutions work together to ensure that this heritage is not only safe, but shared with the public and understood. The primary materials that we make available support the search for truth and fact, which is arguably more important today than ever before. We are proud to take this important step with the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, and look forward to a long and productive partnership.”

“This cooperation agreement is only the beginning of a broad cooperation with NYPL ranging from digital to research programs. I’m convinced that libraries are part of the solution for safeguarding cultural heritage and patrimonial collections. This international action is essential and the BnF with the universal nature of its collections and its technological expertise is pleased and proud to cooperate with the NYPL : Working together is one of the best way to assure the preservation and the sharing of our common heritage. An heritage means much more than memory or even artistic beauty ; an heritage concerning our values”, said Laurence Engel, president of the BnF.

Specifically, the two organizations agreed to:

  • Share existing digital images and metadata for use online and by researchers
  • Digitize collections strategically around areas of mutual interest related to heritage
  • Develop content partnerships, with curators from both organizations collaborating and utilizing collections at the two libraries to do research and write essays around heritage
  • Launch short-term fellowships with a focus on areas of mutual interest
  • Plan and host a series of research symposia

Read the Complete Announcement

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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