French Books on India is an exciting digital project led by members of the CLAS French Section, which has grown to become a valuable e-library and collaborative web resource. Originally developed as an online bibliography of French-language writing on India published from 1754 to the present-day, it has now been consulted by almost 1200 visitors in 51 countries (see screencap, left, for a glimpse of recent visitor locations).
The first version of French Books on India (FBI) was published by University of Glasgow French and German Publications in 2011 and an expanded version went live on 11 May 2011. It is the result of nearly five years’ work by a group of CLAS staff and external collaborators: Ian Magedera, Kate Marsh, Corinne François-Denève, and Mircea Itu.
FBI is part of the major AHRC-supported project, Peripheral Voices and European Colonialism in India 1750–1962, which aimed to highlight the corpus of French-language books about India found in French and European libraries. The result was a 1100-item bibliography with bilingual annotations covering 18 genres, ranging from anthropology to travel narratives. Specialists at the Bibliothèque nationale de France then made a decisive contribution by adding hyperlinks to the list allowing users not only to see titles, but to read the books themselves via Gallica.
Establishing and maintaining these electronic resources is always a collaborative venture and French Books on India has benefitted from the invaluable support of Katie Palmer on the University’s web team. On the content side, an international team of annotators and staff from the Institut français de Pondichéry are constantly expanding the resource. Revolvermaps, a free-to-use app, has provided accurate web statistics and geotagging to show in great detail the points on the globe where users have accessed the resource.
Congratulations to the project team!