The general catalogue of manuscript holdings in French public libraries: computerising for the future

This article presents the various steps of the process to produce a general XML-EAD catalogue of manuscript holdings in French public libraries, completed in April 2008. The process included preliminary studies, drawing up specifications, digitisation, producing an index and entries, encoding, and building a host for the catalogue. Depending on the type, the EAD files can be accessed at three separate sites –Calames, the BnF archives and manuscripts catalogue, and the collective catalogue of French manuscript holdings (see the text box on the CCFr Manuscripts interface). The EAD files are now ready for use, updating, and improvement, bearing in mind the need for coherence and interoperability (see the text box on EAD in French libraries in 2008).