France-Vietnam: Bibliothèque des flamboyants is a bilingual digital library (French-Vietnamese) exploring the cultural, historical, colonial, and scientific interactions between France and Vietnam from the 17th century to 1954. A collaboration between the French and Vietnamese National Libraries, the project is part of the “Patrimoines Partagés” collection, which bears witness to the historical and ongoing relations between France and the world.
Led by Nguyen, head of the Southeast Asian Languages and Literatures collection at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the France-Vietnam digital library makes thousands of rare documents available in their entirety. Bridging French and Vietnamese memories, the site gathers a varied corpus of leaflets, manuscripts, maps, drawings and photographs from French and Vietnamese collections. Accompanying texts by French and Vietnamese specialists, researchers, and curators illuminate and contextualize these materials.
The documents, which include translations of classic works, new literary production, and scholarly manuals, are divided into eight thematic rubrics: circulations, traditions, thought and spiritualities, literature, cultural transmission, governments and dynasties, the sciences and society, and economic life. These rubrics are further divided into 36 subheadings.
Notably, the collection contains nearly 10,000 documents from the Dépôt legal indochinois, created between 1922 and 1954, which are available online for the first time. This wide-ranging collection is an exceptional resource for the history of Indochina.
Image: L’Ecole d’art de Giadinh, 1935; National Library of Vietnam