Archives de catégorie : Algiers

The Philibert collection at the municipal library of Toulon: understanding the value of a heterogenous body of items

Since 1973, the city of Toulon has held a collection of documents and other items of exceptional richness for historians writing about the history of Algiers and, to a lesser extent, Algeria itself and even other parts of the Maghreb1. The purchase of these documents by Marcel Philibert, the last chairman of the Comité du Vieil Alger (Committee for Old Algiers, or CVA), involved more than 21,000 items of all kinds. This committee, which was very active from its foundation in 1905 to the independence of Algeria and which feverishly maintains itself as a European social network in Algeria thereafter, is better known thanks to the work of historians of heritage and architecture2.

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  1. See a very synthetic presentation on the Toulon municipal library website (https://toulon.fr/envie-bouger/article/fonds-particuliers). I would like to thank all the workers of the Lagoubran annex and especially Véronique Gillain for the reception and the presentation of Philibert papers []
  2. OULEBSIR Nabila, Les usages du patrimoine. Monuments, musées et politique coloniale en Algérie (1830 – 1930), Paris, Éditions de la MSH, 2004, 411 p., p. 240 – 247 ; HUEBER Juliette, « Documenter le patrimoine et l’architecture d’Alger : les Feuillets d’El-Djezaïr », Architecture Beyond Europe, 13, 2018 [online] ; on the erosion of the CVA activities after independance, have a look to BRACCO Hélène, L’autre face des « Européens » en Algérie indépendante, Paris, Éditions Paris-Méditerranée, « Documents et témoignages », 1999, 223 p., p. 115 : « Même après l’indépendance, au cercle des amis du vieil Alger, on aurait aimé avoir des familles algériennes. Il y en a qui viennent à nos réunions, nos conférences, mais à peine une ou deux » (testimony of Miss Ch., borned in 1933). On the intellectual environment of Algiers university, see L’orientalisme en train de se faire. Une enquête collective dans les archives de René Basset, forthcoming at the EHESS Editions at spring 2021 (coordinated by M. Bossaert, A. Jomier and E. Szurek, with contributions from students, archivists and a librarian) and Margo Stemmelin current PhD (« Alger, capitale orientaliste ? Vie intellectuelle et culturelle en Algérie coloniale (1880 – 1930) », started in 2018). []

Algiers’ banking institutions: the example of the BNP Paribas archives

            Banking centres in cities, and especially colonial cities, have only very recently and tentatively been the subject of in-depth historical research[1]. In terms of the importance of both banks and the companies in which they are shareholders in the urban space, the field of historiographic possibilities is vast. Moreover, clearly re-situating and measuring urban investment in banks and their relationships with other figures (elected officials, owners and other, diverse notables) in colonial cities has been made possible by a recent crop of monographs on a range of institutions and figures[2].

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Workshop « Actualité de la recherche sur les mondes coloniaux »

Thierry Guillopé (Archival City) is co-organizing a workshop on current research on colonial worlds. The next session will be held on Monday, October 12, 2020, 10:00-12:00, at the ANOM.


Session led by Christine Mussard (Aix-Marseille University/Iremam) on the theme: « Suspecter les élèves pendant la guerre d’indépendance algérienne : un autre regard sur l’école à partir d’archives sur la surveillance des populations »

Image credit : © Fonds Désiré Sic, militaire français au Maroc entre 1912 et 1933