The Observatoire des humanités numériques is offering a new course for the second semester (6 ECTS): "From the research corpus to the digital project: an initiation by example". It is based on the new ENS-PSL research project, Archives normaliennes.
History is built on the basis of manuscripts, archives and artifacts, and the history of scientific disciplines, understood in the broadest sense (including the humanities and social sciences), is no exception. Because it has long been involved in preserving archives, the ENS-PSL plays a role in the way its own history can be written today and how it will be written tomorrow according to its choices of conservation, classification and exploitation of its own archives. But it can also aspire, by drawing attention to the archives of the École Normale Supérieure, to show that its history is not only that of an institution but of all the men and women who have been trained there and/or who have carried out their research and/or taught there.
The ENS-PSL has a long tradition of preserving some of these archives, but they are scattered throughout its libraries and laboratories. Some departments also keep archives, or even scientific instruments of historical interest, which they emphasize are invisible and difficult to preserve, even if some of these textual and material collections have been inventoried by professional archivists. On the other hand, the Caphés also keeps archives that are related to the history of science without any link with the school or its former students. On the other hand, a great number of the archives of the Normaliens are not kept at the ENS. Locating and contributing to the study of the archives of the École Normale Supérieure is therefore a project that makes sense for the history of the school and its place in society, but which does not exactly overlap with the missions of the Caphés.
The idea of the Archives normaliennes project would therefore be :
In the same way that the course "From research corpus to digital project: an initiation by example" has allowed to build and develop the Digital Viau project, the sessions of this second semester will be the occasion to lay the first stones of the Archives normaliennes project. The course will be an opportunity to work on these archives, through one or more ENS fonds, and to conduct complementary research on relevant sources outside the ENS.
As the course is a workshop, the students will be asked to define a question that could be approached from the archives of the ENS (in particular the CAPHES or the library) or from theArchives nationales and be the object of a treatment using digital tools. These archives shed light on a part of the history of teaching and research that is less well known than one might imagine. They can also be used to study the career or working methods of a researcher whose archives have been preserved.
Involving researchers from different departments and laboratories, as well as Library staff, the sessions will combine the work of researching and building the corpus with learning about the tools that allow for their digital valorization: the Omeka CMS, the Heurist database builder, online editorialization tools, and Huma-Num's Nakala warehouse service, which allows for the publication of online archives.
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