The heritage of bridges and roads, digital heritage library of the École des Ponts ParisTech, in partnership with the BnF

This Wednesday, October 20, 2021, the École des Ponts ParisTech and the National Library of France are launching a new digital heritage library: The Heritage of Bridges and Roads which joins the “Gallica marque blanche” community, a device proposed by the National Library of France.

This digital cooperation mechanism makes it possible to share the know-how and technical expertise of the BnF with its partners, in order to better promote their online collections. The Heritage of Bridges and Roads is a promotion tool intended for a large public who will thus have access to collections of archives, drawings, prints and photographs unparalleled in France on the history of the School and engineers of bridges and roads but also on the knowledge of civil engineering, planning and transport since the 18th century.

The Heritage of Bridges and Roads is also enriched with documents from Gallica, the digital library of the BnF, which currently has 8 million documents. Likewise, documents from L’Héritage des Bridges et Chaussées will be available in Gallica. This collaboration also provides the opportunity to bring together, within a single digital library, the resources of the BnF and the École des Ponts ParisTech.

More than 15,000 documents of all kinds to discover

Created in 1747, the National School of Bridges and Roads (École des Ponts ParisTech), is the oldest school of civil engineers in France.

Its library was created in the 18th century from documents related to the needs of education or those of engineers. Since then, it has conserved a heritage, comprising both specialized documentation and equipment, and the production of students and engineers.

The Heritage of Bridges and Roads reflects the richness of the School’s heritage collections, presenting documents such as mission diaries (19th century) and drawings by student engineers (18th and 19th centuries); photographs of major achievements in the field of civil engineering, in France and abroad (work on the metro, lighthouses, bridges, viaducts and construction of railway lines, etc.); a corpus of 400 old course books; the review of the Annals of Bridges and Roads, technical and legal series; the minutes of the School councils (1804-1920); the collection of works by Charles-Joseph Minard, pioneer of graphic statistics; remarkable handwritten and printed documents… The digital library also offers additional resources (review articles, presentation of documents, biographical information on road and bridge engineers), in French and in English.

To support users, The Heritage of Bridges and Roads offers tools for understanding and research assistance, such as summary articles to put documents into context, on the history of the corps of bridge engineers and their School. , the evolution of knowledge and their practices, and show some of their outstanding achievements; comprehensive research guides to provide access to documentary resources and guide biographical and thematic research; a biographical database of road and road engineers; news articles on the activities of the “heritage and archives” pole of the documentation department of the École des Bridges ParisTech, in particular on new acquisitions, or presentations focusing on specific documents; large formats on subjects such as the construction of the metro; or the enhancement of the important collections on lighthouses and beacons …

Launch of The Heritage of Bridges and Roads, a digital heritage library of the École des Bridges ParisTech, in partnership with the BnF This platform is intended to be participatory for students, teachers, engineers, researchers and amateurs of heritage, invited to share their discoveries, documents and archives.