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Paul Smith

print this A Single Entrance for Access to Heritage Data at the French Ministry of Culture

During the mid-1970s, the French Ministry of Culture pioneered the use of computerised data bases in the management of research findings on the architectural heritage. Today, there are some 250 different on-line documentary sources, managed either directly by the Ministry or by public cultural establishments under its authority. In 2005, the Ministry launched a concerted project to federate these different sources of heritage information and to give access to them via a "guichet unique", a single entrance which is easily identifiable and easy to use by the general public, thanks to its dedicated "intuition" search engine. At present, version 1 of this entrance already gives access to some 14 data bases, and no fewer than two million documents, many of them with pictures. Version 2, comprising advanced research facilities, will encompass a total of 32 on-line resources. A practical demonstration of the site will accompany the presentation.

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