Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217
July 9, 2007
New Materials Added to "France in America" Web Site Include Documents From Confederacy, Birth of Civil Rights Movement
Also Included Are Rare Books, Papers of Wright Brothers, 28 Early Silent French Films
The Library of Congress has completed a major expansion of its bilingual "France in America" online presentation with the addition of 247 items from its collections. The presentation, at http://international.loc.gov/intldl/fiahtml/, is one of five bilingual presentations in the Library's Global Gateway Web site (http://international.loc.gov/).
"France in America" is a cooperative project of the Library of Congress and the Bibliothèque nationale de France. The first part of the site, launched in Paris in May 2005, explores the history of the French presence in North America and the interactions between the French and American peoples from the 16th to the early 19th centuries. The newly added content documents the links between France and the United States in the 19th and early 20th centuries in such areas as politics, immigration, scientific exchange, literature and the arts.
The materials added to "France in America" include rare books relating to the continuing role of France in the Caribbean, postcards and photographs from France in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and 42 English-language translations of popular French writers from the Seaside Library Folio Collection in the Library's Rare Book and Special Collections Division. Other items added to the site include the correspondence of John Slidell, the Confederacy's commissioner to France, and papers from Mary Church Terrell, a prominent African-American educator and civil rights advocate who traveled in France in 1888-1890 and kept a diary in French.
A large volume of the new material highlights the importance of contacts in the fields of aviation and motion pictures as part of the interaction between the two countries. Included are selections from the papers of Wilbur and Orville Wright that demonstrate their relations with French flight enthusiasts; selections from the Tissandier Collection on the History of Aeronautics relating to the activities of the French aviation pioneers Gaston, Albert and Paul Tissandier; and 28 early silent films produced by the pioneering French motion picture houses of Gaumont, Pathé Frères and the Société Lumière at the end of the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th century.
Introduced by historical narratives and annotations that are provided in both English and French, the collections in "France in America" are a valuable resource for teachers and students of American and French history, international relations and the French language.
"France in America" can be seen alongside other international projects at the Library of Congress Global Gateway Web site. The Bibliothèque nationale de France's version of the site is part of the larger Gallica project and can be seen at http://gallica.bnf.fr/FranceAmerique/. Building on its cooperation with libraries around the world in the Global Gateway projects, the Library of Congress (www.loc.gov) is also launching a cooperative effort to establish a multilingual World Digital Library. Information about the World Digital Library project is at www.worlddigitallibrary.org.
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