The old Gers press now available online

The old Gers press now available online
The old Gers press now available online

the essential
Thanks to a partnership with the National Library of France and Occitanie Livre et Lecture, the Departmental Archives of Gers are gradually digitizing and putting online the old local press.

It will soon no longer be necessary to go to the Departmental Archives to consult the most emblematic titles of the old Gers press. The heritage and cultural institution has in fact embarked on an ambitious digitization and online posting operation, in partnership with Occitanie Livre et Lecture and the National Library of France which is financing 50% of the project.

80,000 pages

“We often ignore it, but the Departmental Archives contain a very rich heritage library, composed, among other things, of newspapers published and distributed in the department and the region since the French Revolution,” recalls their director, Pascal Geneste.

Since 2021, the Departmental Archives have undertaken to digitize certain press titles, starting with those which represent a political regime or a significant historical period. This tedious work now concerns more than 80,000 pages. For Pascal Geneste, it presents a triple interest: “The digitization of the old press firstly allows it to be better preserved by avoiding delicate handling due to the often fragile formats and supports; it then allows easy access to it. from any computer with Internet access; finally, it offers varied possibilities of exploitation by a requesting population, in particular teachers and schoolchildren who can use them easily – they are easy to read sources – to illustrate presentations for example.

Actions in colleges

In certain colleges, the Department helps develop journalist residencies to enable young people to better decipher information. “With the old press accessible online, journalism training will find material for multiple examples of the processing of information in different historical periods. Reading it also allows you to immerse yourself in national history but also – and above all! – in local history, that of the department, the canton, even the commune… And what can we say about advertisements and their evolution!” indicates Pascal Geneste who specifies that “the 19th and 20th centuries really correspond to the development of the written press.

With the 1881 law on freedom of the press, which is still a landmark today, the debates became very rich and the life of the Gersois can easily be reconstructed through published articles.

At the regional level, the Toulouse edition of The Dispatch has been online for several years for the period 1875-1944. At the Gers level, it is now supplemented by symbolic titles which well represent the opinions of the time: “Bonapartism which, with titles like Courrier du Gers And The people’s voice led by the Cassagnacs, survived late, until the 1930s; and the republican current with The future of Auscitains David and Lissagaray”.

Gers Departmental Archives website: www.archives32.fr, “Online Periodicals” section.

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