FYI France

File 3: Ejournal and archive

by Jack Kessler,

July 15, 2016 issue. This file presents an archive copy of the issue of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which was distributed via email on July 15, 2016.

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Versions of the following have appeared online regularly, since 1992, as a feature of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which is distributed for free via email every month except August. Ejournal subscriptions may be obtained via email request to:

Here this file is one of a number made available -- hopefully attractively, all in one place, and relevant to libraries and online digital information work in France and Europe. Please email suggestions for improvements to me at






I n France "digital libraries", like all things there, have histories, some of them very ancient, including histories which are very much alive & influential today.

At an overseas conference the deference, even awe, shown a young French monk, by other French attendees, can be a fascinating thing to observe, for others in the audience from different traditions.

Standing back one thinks immediately of Thailand, or Japan or China, or other places where the "culture" surrounding technology is so "different" -- with Steve Jobs, then, let us for a moment "Think Different", about the contexts of technology --


So, for example, Ganagobie: this is a modern Benedictine abbey "reconstructed" in the valley of the Durance, in France, in 1992. It has an online-presence, and a library, and is a modern place living by some very ancient rules in some very modern ways... a Website, a Facebook Page, email and other online access...

"The Library of the Monastery [tr. JK]

"The library of the Monastery of Notre Dame is a rich collection of about 100,000 books, 5 kilometers of shelves and classified by themes...

"Carved into the rock of the mountain and on several levels, the library is arranged and conceived to ensure for the books constant levels of temperature and humidity, allowing for their conservation in the best conditions.

"8,000 livres anciens, from the 12th to the 18th centuries, constitute one of the library's attractions.

"The works are principally religious, but many themes are represented in the collection of this library. For instance the provençal collection is very often consulted by researchers.

"The digitization of the catalog of the library, under way for several years, allows for reliable inventories and workable use of the resources of the library.

[And an important note:] "The library of the monastery is strictly private. There is no access available to the general public during a visit."


It is difficult to find such a strange mixture of the old and the new, the deeply religious and the New Age secular, in the USA, which still for the most part is the place "inventing" the Internet.

But anyone interested in France needs to know its history: the place was ruled by its Church very thoroughly for a thousand years, and Ganagobie makes for some fascinating cultural comparisons -- the old with the new, the still deeply-religious together with the supposedly value-free "new" digital technologies, cultures which combine compared with cultures which values "walls of separation", different approaches for different folks...

Very nice photo -- gives you the idea --


W3 (library):
W3 (abbey):
Address: Monastère Notre Dame de Ganagobie, 04310 Ganagobie
t. (0), fx. (0)






And a Cardiac-Interlude Note:

Longtime readers will excuse, I hope, my "missed date" last month on the regular issue of this FYI France ejournal -- first such lapse in going-on 25 years of continuous publication. It was a cardiac-interlude, as I've now explained to several of you who have written: not a heart attack altho nearly-so, my aging cardio-pulmonary system now re-issued in, "a new and more perfect edition, corrected and amended by the Author" -- or if not by Him personally then at least by some very talented surgeons...

Not only has the attack-risk been ducked, I now can see & hear & taste & smell & feel & even think better, all just about 25% more precisely, than I did pre-op: "Yes, that is one of the interesting side-benefits of our procedure...", one carefully-understating surgeon explained -- I went from 60% efficiency to 100%, and additional oxygenated blood is a Good Thing... in many respects... including simply the cardiac... Each of us, then, polutropon, hos mala pola planchthe, I suppose -- and a month for magical-thinking, as Joan Didion so aptly put it.

So Trader Vic used to say of his peg-leg, "If someone ever offers you one of these, son, tell him 'no'..." But for a heart-bypass-operation say "yes": the alternative is lots worse -- and afterward you'll be able to see all the leaves on distant trees, every one of them.

The news from Nice is sad, and now from Istanbul scary -- interesting times -- still, tho, hopes for a Happy Summer to you all nevertheless!







FYI France (sm)(tm) e-journal ISSN 1071-5916
      |         FYI France (sm)(tm) is a monthly electronic
      |         journal published since 1992 as a small-scale,
      |         personal experiment, in the creation of large-
      |         scale "information overload", by Jack Kessler.
     / \        Any material written by me which appears in
    -----       FYI France may be copied and used by anyone for
   //   \\      any good purpose, so long as, a) they give me
  ---------     credit and show my email address, and, b) it
 //       \\    isn't going to make them money: if it is going
                to make them money, they must get my permission
in advance, and share some of the money which they get with me. 
Use of material written by others requires their permission. 
FYI France archives are in various places on the Internet, i.e. 
at (PACS-L), 
or Suggestions, reactions, criticisms, 
praise, and poison-pen letters all gratefully received at .
        	Copyright 1992- , by Jack Kessler,
	all rights reserved except as indicated above. 




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Last update: July 16, 2016