The ARTFL Project MAT CIFNAL User Manual Comments

La Bibliothèque Bleue de Troyes

The Bibliothèque Bleue de Troyes represents a long and storied tradition in popular French print culture. Spanning more than 250 years and involving the publication of mass-produced, inexpensive books that were sold to peasants for pennies by colporteurs (peddlers), the Bibliothèque Bleue was comprised of texts ranging from the practical (recipes, almanacs, and how-to books) to the pious (hagiographies, prayer books, and other religious instruction) and to the entertaining (fiction, romans de chevalerie, songbooks, burlesque), providing a unique insight into the popular culture of 17th to mid-19th century France. The most significant collection (some 2570 volumes) of Bibliothèque Bleue material can be found at the Médiathèque du Grand Troyes, whose digitzation efforts - digital page images of some 623 separate imprints - form the basis of the Bibliothèque Bleue Online.

The texts of the Bibliothèque bleue were printed on poor paper stock and cheaply produced, and so the works exist in varying states of decay today. As a result, our digital page images differ wildly in quality and readability from one work, and often from one page, to the next.  We have done our best to correct text passages deemed illegible by our data entry contractors, but printing errors, smudges, tears, and holes in the source pages of the Bibliothèque bleue force us to leave many lacunae in the digital texts. Due to wide variation in acceptable orthography at the time of these texts' publication, they have also not been checked for spelling errors, both those that exist in the source texts and those that may have entered the texts during data entry. We recommend searching the collection with the “Similarity Search” option selected.

SEARCH the Bibliothèque Bleue Online

A cooperative effort between the Médiathèque du Grand Troyes,The ARTFL Project of the University of Chicago and the Collaborative Initiative for French and North American Libraries (CIFNAL), the Bibliothèque Bleue Online is comprised of the full text and page images of 252 Bibliothèque bleue titles, encoded using the TEI-Lite data specification and loaded under PhiloLogic. Additional texts, recently furnished by the Bancroft Library at the University of California-Berkeley, bring the total number of titles in ARTFL's collection to 284. Additional information about the history of theBibliothèque Bleue Online project is available from the Center for Research Libraries here.



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