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Sorbonne University and the National Library of France Sign a Framework Agreement for Scientific and Cultural Cooperation

On Monday, July 19, 2021, Jean Chambaz, president of Sorbonne University, and Laurence Engel, president of the National Library of France (Bibliothèque nationale de France or BnF), signed a framework agreement for scientific and cultural cooperation. Renewing, on a broader basis, the partnership initiated in 2014 between the former University of Paris-Sorbonne and the BnF, the two institutions are set to provide their cooperation with a new dynamic, expanding in particular on research programs at the interfaces of various disciplines.

Strategic areas of cooperation

  • Reception, information and other initiatives for students

The BnF has agreed to promote the use of its reading rooms, collections and services to the student community and to Sorbonne University's professors and researchers, in collaboration with the University Library's Training Department. In this respect, the agreement enables Sorbonne University students to use the BnF, the library to participate in the university students' week, in open days, and in the training in documentary research.
This enriches research cooperation, as the BnF has a strong research policy, anchored above all in its collections, which need to be promoted. "In addition to welcoming students and researchers in the reading rooms, the library contributes greatly to the research effort that is essential to understanding our culture and our times," emphasizes Laurence Engel, President of the BnF.

  • Teaching and training

The agreement is based on the sharing of experience and skills between the BnF's scientific staff and Sorbonne University's researchers, who use its collections. Through this partnership, the BnF staff will have the opportunity to participate in courses given by Sorbonne University on the history of the collections; students will be trained in the BnF’s digital tools; and Sorbonne University library staff will be trained in the techniques of conservation, restoration, digitization and promotion of its collections. The BnF staff will also be able to benefit from specific training on the fundamentals of artificial intelligence, provided by the interdisciplinary center of Sorbonne University dedicated to AI research (SCAI).

  • Research programs

Sorbonne University and the BnF maintain close ties around two research themes identified as priorities: digital humanities, through the integration of the BnF in the Obtic project team (Observatory of Texts, Ideas and Corpora) attached to SCAI, and musicology, with the UMR IReMUS (Institute of Research in Musicology), which they share, the most quantitatively important in France in music research. This cooperation is intended to be extended to all disciplines and to give rise to new projects, particularly in connection with the themes of the multidisciplinary initiatives and institutes of Sorbonne University.

"Sorbonne University and the BnF share a strong and common interest in what digital technology brings to research. The upcoming hosting of the Obtic project team within the BnF Data Lab will enable the emergence of joint research programs in digital humanities," said Jean Chambaz, President of Sorbonne University.

  • Dissemination, promotion and communication

The two institutions are committed to communicating about their cooperation and to promoting their joint actions. This cooperation could notably take the form of co-production of conferences and symposiums, cultural events and co-publishing of podcasts or streaming.

Download the press release.

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