Archives de catégorie : Research progress

Database of 1960 Maps of Mueang Districts of Thailand

Prin Jhearmaneechotechai, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Faculty of Architecture, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok

Published in Academic Journal of Architecture, Chulalongkorn University, 2016

Translated for Archival City by Pijika Pumketkao,  École nationale supérieure architecture de Paris-Belleville


This article describes the creation of a cartographic database based upon the 1960 maps of 70 Mueang districts of Thailand that were recently discovered and studied. The database-creation process includes the search and compilation of the maps, the improvement of the maps’ condition, the creation of index of place names and other cartographic features on the maps which can be categorized in topographic context, types of buildings, archaeological sites and monuments and the road network. This database can be used for future study and research on Thai cities during the 1960s.

Keywords: database, City map, Cities in Thailand, 1960.

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On the archives of the Congregation of the Good Shepherd in Quito

Women’s Re-education Work and urban space in Ecuador (1870-1942)

Erika Bedon, FLACSO-Ecuador

Archival description on AtoM:

This approach to the historical documents of the Congregation of the Good Shepherd in Ecuador is part of a broader work that we are developing with Eduardo Kingman and Ana María Goetschel, from the Department of Anthropology, History and Humanities of FLACSO-Ecuador. This work is aimed at showing the functioning of the Congregation of the Good Shepherd in Ecuador, during Garcianism and liberalism, as a system of disciplining and moral control, between the actions of the state and the Church.

This is a limited historiographical study that attempts to contribute to a broader discussion on the configuration of the state, secularisation and the shaping of security and biopolitics. What we have set out to show in this study is the place of congregations such as the Good Shepherd in the governmentalisation of the state in the Andes, taking Ecuador in the last third of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth century as the context. This is measured both in macro-political terms of population administration and in anatomo-political terms of the control of bodies[1].

The study constitutes a step forward in a research programme aimed at understanding the mechanisms that connected spaces such as boarding schools, prisons, missions and institutions of ambiguous affiliation such as the Good Shepherd, with the organisational projects of the state and society in those years.

In terms of the debate opened by Maiguashca (2005) and Williams (2005), we would like to make visible other aspects of what has been called Catholic modernity, as well as what is presented as its counterpart, liberal modernity. In the case of Catholic modernity, it is not so much its openness to progress and nation-building, including the expansion of citizenship through the literacy of women and indigenous people[2], as its points of closure and the constitution of spaces of exception[3] that are dealt with.

Catholic modernity constitutes one of the forms of development of modernity in the nineteenth century, related to the changes that took place within the Church in response to the modernisation and secularisation of society in Europe, and at the same time it was one of the forms assumed by states in their constitution. In post-colonial situations, the intervention of the Church in social life not only had a modernising but also a missionary and civilising intention, or rather this intention was modernising, bringing the interests of the Church to coincide with those of the state. Moreover, modernity was linked to racism, something that gave a particular nuance to the disciplinary projects themselves.

About the Religious of the Good Shepherd in Ecuador

The Order of the Religious of the Good Shepherd was founded in Angers, France, in 1835, by St. Mary Euphrasia Pelletier; in view to re-educating women, this work was directly related to the social problems that were being experienced due to the effects of urbanisation and industrialisation in Europe, France and the Catholic world as a whole[4]. Early modernity brought about substantial economic, scientific, technological and cultural changes that altered the balance of power within which religious practices and Church action developed.

By 1868, the Good Shepherd Order had a recognised track record of work in several countries where they had established their work, including Latin America. In 1870, there were approximately 110 monasteries in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and America[5].

The conditions of the arrival of the Good Shepherd Sisters in Ecuador are detailed in the official register of Ecuador of 24 August 1870. The Archbishop of Quito, Monsignor Ignacio Checa i Barba, signed the agreement with the superior of the Good Shepherd Sisters of Angers, France, in response to the request and authorisation of President García Moreno. It was decided that “in the month of November 1870, eight Sisters of the Good Shepherd should leave for Ecuador to take charge of the house for the confinement of women and the refuge of repentant women”[6].  This request reflects the problem of population administration that the government had to deal with, as well as the need to modernise and moralise these institutions based on the experience accumulated by the order in Europe.

In Ecuador, the presence of women’s religious orders such as the Good Shepherd was favoured by the Concordat, aimed at strengthening relations with the Vatican and obtaining the collaboration of the Church in the construction of a “Catholic Nation”[7]. For García Moreno, all this was part of a comprehensive project of societal modernisation and nation-building promoted by the state. An important part of this process was the reform of the clergy and the renewal of the Church, as a basis for improving the social environment.

Garcianism promoted the arrival of other orders in addition to the Good Shepherd, aimed at the education of young people (including poor boys and girls), such as the Christian Brothers and the Sisters of Providence and the Sacred Hearts, and the attention and care of the sick, such as the Sisters of Charity[8].  The Good Shepherd nuns were concerned with the control and rehabilitation of women, in a moral and disciplinary sense, although they also fulfilled other functions such as the education of girls.

For Garcianism, in particular, it was not possible to think of progress without setting the moral precedents on which society should be based, namely the family and within it, women as the custodians and reproducers of its principles. Maiguashca (2005) saw this as a way of “feminising Christianity”. However, this feminisation occurred as a form of affirmation of patriarchy and as the reproduction of the opposition between the masculine public sphere and the feminin private one. The work of the nuns of the Good Shepherd, while forming part of the actions of the state, constituted a strategy of patriarchy, aimed at both repressing public contraventions in moral matters and guaranteeing the control of fathers over daughters, husbands over wives, employers over servants, public orphanages over orphans. While much of their action related to the so-called private sphere, it must be seen as part of a broader project aimed at governmentalising  the state. At the same time, this governmentalisation was also intertwined with patriarchy. 

What we cannot lose sight of is the specialised character of the order, its existence as a fully developed device before its adoption by García Moreno. Indeed, the order was being installed in other parts of South America, such as Chile, Argentina and Uruguay, as something that did not obey the initiative of governments alone, but was the result of crossed internal and external efforts.

The perception that the BP fulfilled a useful function for the prison system initially took place in the European context and had to be adapted to other contexts, such as Ecuador. This was made possible in part thanks to the action of visionaries such as García Moreno, who made his action part of the action of the state. It can be said that these are the subtle (but little studied) ways in which Catholic modernity functioned: they established new notions regarding the administration of populations and the mechanisms that make it possible.

An oeuvre of women for women

Another aspect that should not be lost sight of is that this was an institution formed by women and administered by women: their active participation in a field such as rehabilitation helped to break the conventional image of women’s orders at the time. We are talking about non-contemplative orders engaged in the administration of a type of women, which, without being state-run, acted on behalf of the state. As Sol Serrano (2011) recorded, in the case of Chile, congregations such as the GS “knew what to do with the poor”, which explains why they were welcomed by the liberal governments themselves. The state’s strategy was precisely to seek specialised personnel to manage the education and re-education of women, something that responded to its own administrative weakness. It can be said that part of this modernity was the change in the mentalities of these religious orders, which specialised in the management and administration of a certain type of population.

In the Ecuadorian case, the relations between the Church and the State were affected by the Concordat of 1869. In this context, the Order of the Good Shepherd maintained a certain autonomy in the management and administration of the house, but it had to respond to the State not only because of the economic contributions it received, but also because it was anchored in an apparatus that administered the issue of women, as well as the police, the school and the family. It can also be seen that there was a subordination to other religious orders, in this case to the Society of Jesus, which was in charge of providing them with spiritual service, as well as being co-participants in the Napo mission. At the same time, the work of the house in Ecuador was always in relation with the Mother House in France.

About the documents

The documents on which we are working in this investigation go from 1870 to 1960 approximately. They were located in the Museum of the Good Shepherd, in the House of the Recoleta of the Good Shepherd, in the City of Quito. This is on Benigno Vela Street and Pedro Vicente Maldonado Avenue, a sector known as the “Recoleta”. A series of documents were found in a boot, which formed part of the museum’s museography. These documents have not been classified, codified or inventoried, that is to say that they have not been assumed as an institutional or historical archive within the order. It is not known why these documents have not been catalogued or assumed as an institutional archive.

Among the documents are a series of letters of correspondence between the different houses of the Good Shepherd in the city of Quito and provinces of the country, that is, the Province of Napo, and the Province of Bolivar, Quito being the main house of the Order,  as well as with the Mother House in France and other Latin American countries where the religious had established themselves. These documents deal with house regulations, requests and authorisations for administrative and operational processes within the different houses of the Order. They also consist of greetings and letters of encouragement from GS houses in other countries, in which testimonies and anecdotes from the different “works” are also told in order to encourage each other and share knowledge of how to administer the houses, such as the documents referring to the foundation of a school in Guaranda. There are also regulations and correspondence with the government and the Junta de Beneficencia during the liberal period, a list of the scholarship girls at the Colegio Angel de la Guarda in Quito, and documents of the founding of the BP house in Archidona and Napo.

Other documents are correspondences with the Conference of St. Vincent de Paul, concerning the request for the reception and confinement of orphan girls, spiritual exercises and internal regulations.

This type of correspondence gives an account of the order inside the houses, the layout of the rooms and the place occupied by the women in each of them. 

In some of the letters we find subjects related to the daily life of the houses, inventories of the kitchen and utensils.  Theer are books recording the women’s entries into the different sections of the house, with dates of entry and exit, belongings and dowries, and internal regulations, both for the order and for individual houses. Among the correspondence there are letters of request and authorisation for taking the vows of the Magdalenes.

Other documentation corresponds to official documents from the Ecclesiastical Government of the Archdiocese, the Archbishop’s Secretariat, addressed to the Reverend Mother of the GS, requesting the confinement and release of women, for various reasons. It is not possible o specify if each and every one of the requests for confinement were dealt with or executed. It is understood that being a confinement ticket, this implies that the order to deprive the person mentioned in the document was carried out.  The documents are signed by different persons who held a position of power, which enabled them to execute such requests.

Other documents are requests for confinement and administrative documents issued by different religious authorities, parish priests, priests and prelates inside and outside the order. These documents reveal the relations of the religious order with the clergy, bishops, archbishops, priests, parish priests, and the ways in which power was organised in terms of the administration of these populations.

Another series of documents are official documents of the General Intendancy of Police, the Police Commissariat, and the Director of Prisons. These are transfer slips for judicial procedures, confinement slips, release slips, prison orders, and sentences. These were state institutions that formed part of the corpus of the police, which operated in parallel and in coordination with and subject to the ecclesiastical authorities, who also carried out these police functions.

Among the documents mentioned, there is also a series of correspondence between the Camarote de Santa Marta, a women’s prison, and the Buen Pastor, regarding the transfer of women for the enforcement of sentences.

On the other hand, there is a series of letters from women requesting to be accepted as religious to join the order, letters sent from different provinces and various countries, including Panama and Colombia, as well as a series of petitions drawn up by priests and parish priests interceding for certain women to be accepted as novices.

As mentioned above, the total corpus of documents has not been classified or codified. The documents presented here for Archival City are a random sample, representative of the entire corpus of documents of the institution in question. These documents give an account of their characteristics, dates and typology. The sample of documents described here starts from 1872 and continues to 1890. The coding given to them is simply an alphanumeric number to order them in the Excel table and locate them with the number of the image corresponding to each document; it is not technical cataloguing: EB-PB1-1 EB (Erika Bedón), BP (Buen Pastor), Folder No., Image No. 

In relation to the general cataloguing of all the documents, we have been able to identify that there are several themes that are intertwined and therefore it is not easy to classify them thematically, as approaching the notions conceptually is complex. For example, the notion of police, can be understood as a police institution, but also in a broader sense where police actions correspond more to a patriarchal order than to an institutional order in itself. It is for this reason that the documents have not yet been classified either; technical work is planned at a later date.

While still being conceived as a detention centre, the BP was also a place of welcome. Sometimes the nuns took in these women, but sometimes they locked them up at the request of their families, thus blurring the boundaries between confinement and reception. Its mission was not only disciplinary. The way it worked was (or ‘pretended to work’) was as a rational system, even when it operated with violence (for example, the isolation of the girls in order to make them think again). What was sought, above all, was social reintegration through the cultivation of morality, penance and work, offering various options for this inside and outside the order. Under the liberal administration, the social action of the G.P. came under the control of the Junta de Beneficencia and, in other respects, of the Dirección de Estudios and the Dirección de Estadística. They were part of the state’s population policies. Regarding liberalism, the GS Sisters, like the Sisters of Charity in the hospital field, remained the most qualified in the country for the rehabilitating and re-educating women. The country had begun to urbanise, with the incorporation of many former villages into the cities, and there was also a perception that modernisation was leading to a relaxation of customs, which increased demands for control over contraventions[9].

The documents described here and the other documents belonging to the Casa Madre del Buen Pastor in the city of Quito have allowed us to approach the re-education of women in the Garciano and liberal period, while at the same time leaving a series of questions open for further studies on the history of women in Ecuador, charitable institutions and the forms of control and government of populations in the Andean countries. The material presented here is part of research in progress, as mentioned above, and therefore does not seek to provide definitive answers to the problems posed; on the contrary, it is an approximation and notions that are being constructed in the research process.




Agamben, Giorgio (2004) “Estado de excepción: Homo sacer, II, I”.  Filosofía e Historia. Adriana Hidalgo Editora.

Foucault, Michael (2008) Seguridad, Territorio y Población, Madrid, Akal.

Herrera, Gioconda, (2001) “Los estudios de género en el Ecuador: entre el conocimiento y el reconocimiento” En Antología. Género. Quito: FLACSO – Sede Ecuador: Junta de Andalucía. 2001. 379 p. Serie Antología. Ciencias Sociales.

Kingman, Garcés, Eduardo (2006) La ciudad y los otros, Quito 1860-1940: higienismo, hornato y policía. FLACSO-Ecuador, Universidad Rovira i Virgili.

Maiguashca, Juan (2005) “El proyecto garciano de modernidad católica-republicana en Ecuador, 1830-1875”. In Martha Irurozqui (ed.), La mirada esquiva: reflexiones históricas sobre la interacción del estado y la ciudadanía en los Andes (Bolivia, Ecuador y Perú) siglo XIX, Madrid, CSIC, pp. 233-260.

Serrano, Sol (2001) “Vírgenes Viajeras”. Diarios de religiosas francesas en su ruta a Chile. 1837-1874. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

Williams, Derek, (2005) “The Making of Ecuador’s Pueblo Católico, 1861-1875”, in Cristóbal Aljovin and Nils Jacobsen (eds.), Political Cultures in the Andes, 1750-1950. Durham, Duke University Press, pp. 207-229.



[1] Foucault, Michel, (2008) Seguridad, Territorio y Población, Madrid, Akal.

[2] This would lay the foundations for the formation of spaces of opinion such as that of Catholic women, as Gioconda Herrera shows (For the case of Argentine, see the study by Marta Bounando).

[3] Agamben, Giorgio (2004) “Estado de excepción: Homo sacer, II, I”.  Filosofía e Historia. Adriana Hidalgo Editora.

[4] What is a Religious of the Good Shepherd? Paula Hoesl. Translated by María Magdalena Maglioni. S/f. Good Shepherd Novitiate Brochure. Quito-Ecuador. No printed data.

[5] Idem.

[6] Diario Oficial El Nacional 24 August 1870. N| 442. Epoch II. Interior Section.

[7] The Ecuadorian Concordat. Antonio Flores. Paris. Bookshop of Garnier Brothers. 1894. National Library of Ecuador “Eugenio Espejo”.

[8] Idem.

[9] Kingman Garcés, Eduardo. La ciudad y los otros, Quito 1860-1940: higienismo, hornato y policía. FLACSO-Ecuador.

Recensements et cartographie de Quito et de son aire métropolitaine (1573-2022) 

Henry Godard, chercheur indépendant


Cet article a pour objet la collecte des données et l’analyse de la base de données des plans historique de Quito et de celle de l’Institut national de statistique et recensements (INEC). Après avoir replacé cette collecte dans son contexte historique et son environnement scientifique (la réalisation du programme Atlas informatisé de Quito entre 1984 et 1992), nous aborderons : la base de données des plans historiques en cours de construction et qui comprend près de 200 documents ; les données issues des cinq derniers recensements (1982, 1990, 2001, 2010 et 2022) ; les cartes composées de nombreuses couches et réalisées avec le programme Illustrator ; les possibilités de réutilisation de ces données par les enseignants, chercheurs, professionnels et étudiants.



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The Administrative Directories of the Préfecture de la Seine and the City of Paris: encoding and visualisation tool

Interview with Carole Lamoureux, Cassandre Maubert and Jeanne Fras


The Archival City programme team has undertaken the scanning and the encoding of a collection of administrative directories from the Préfecture de la Seine and the City of Paris spanning the period from 1883 to 1970. These directories list the “personnel and responsibilities of the departments of the Seine and the City of Paris” (1885-1911), later renamed “organisation and responsibilities of the departments” (1920-1966) and “administrative directory” (from 1970). This work makes it possible to navigate quickly and reliably through 38 directories. We spoke with Carole Lamoureux, Cassandre Maubert and Jeanne Fras, integral contributors to the transcription and encoding of these directories, about their methodologies and the outcomes they achieved.

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Updates from the Jerusalem study field

The 3 modelling of the Maghrebi Quarter: a project underway

The Jerusalem research team focuses on history of the Maghrebi quarter, which dates to the late twelfth century, shortly after Salah al-Din (Saladin) conquered Jerusalem (1187). The founder of the Ayyubid dynasty launched an ambitious plan to repopulate the Holy City after the crusades. Many religious endowments were established whose purpose was to welcome, house and care for pilgrims of Maghrebi origins on their way to Mecca. Over eight centuries, these endowments continued to perform their function until the 1960s when the quarter was razed during the night of 10 to 11 June 1967 by Israeli bulldozers to make way for an expansive plaza in front of the Western Wall. The work of Vincent Lemire and the rest of the team aims to retrace the social and urban history of the quarter, which is both a local and a Mediterranean history.

Fig. 1-View of the Maghrebi quarter, early 1930s

Source: © Matson Photograph Collection, Library of Congress

Fig. 2- The empty plaza and the rubble of the Maghrebi quarter (southern and eastern part) in 1967

source: © Gilles Caron

One of the ambitions (and deliverables) of the project is the 3D modelling of the buildings of the Maghrebi quarter. This project pursues a twofold aim: firstly, it is a tool aiming at helping visually restoring the erased past of the quarter and transforming it into the historical memory of the urban space and the global heritage of Jerusalem, by linking this 3d model with the archives gathered. Secondly, the three-dimensional modelling project in Jerusalem has also potential in developing strategies and tools for taking up similar projects in other places in the future and in other contexts.

The project is being carried by a team of historians, architects, and digital developers. It is based on the archives and historical sources collected by the team (and described on AToM) during the Open Jerusalem project (2014-2019) and the first phase of the Archival City Project (2019-2022).

The modelling work is realised by an Italian agency, 3D research Experience Technology, specialised in modelling, in collaboration with the Center for Research on Digital Humanities of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. The work is scheduled to be completed by the end of April 2023. Thus, it will be possible to show an overview of the work done during the Archival City mission to Jerusalem in June (13-18 June).

Fig. 3-The cadastral 1936 map in 2D vertical, then in 2D at 45°


Fig. 4-The cubes of the Maghrebi quarter that rise on the 1936 cadastral map

The team met recently to tackle different methodological issues related to the 3D modelling. A list of buildings to be modelled (the most and best documented ones, for which the team has multiples surveys and sources) was agreed upon : eleven buildings including the Dar Abu Saud (fig. 5) a housing complex where Yasser Arafat lived for some years during his childhood in the 1930s.

Fig. 5- Maghrebi Quarter, Dar Abu Saud, and the restoration site of the Dome of the Rock, January 1964

Source: © EBAF

Several other methodological issues were addressed, for instance the question of the type of textures to be chosen for the modelling of the building’s facades, as it is closely related to the type of stones that adorned the facades (the objective being to be as faithful as possible with the architectural characteristics of the neighbourhood).

The question of the representation of the vegetation was also addressed, both in its strict reconstruction and in the location of the known and  visible vegetation in the district according to photographic sources and aerial views taken from a zeppelin.

More specific details were also tackled, such as the appearance of the windows and the colour of the roofs, which is supposed to be lighter than the colour of the walls due to frequent restoration by the inhabitants of the neighbourhood (these latter points will be discussed again during the next meetings).     

Fig. 6- Screenshots of the 3D modelling underway

Other methodological choices concern the levels of the buildings: while several sources, whether written or visual, do not indicate the number of floors of the buildings, we know thanks to a list of the waqf drawn up in 1959[1] that a third of the houses in the district had one floor(or, rarely, two), while two thirds consisted of a ground floor and sometimes a terrace (the elevation of the street above certain buildings complicates the understanding).

This is particularly true for the Madrasa al-Afdaliyya, which was probably constituted of a single level, itself composed of several superimposed floors (all dated to the late 12th -early 13th century) according to Benjamin Z. Kedar, Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah and Tawfiq Da’ādli in their article on the Madrasa[2]. The hundreds of pictures we gathered helped a lot for this decisive point  (fig. 7).

Fig. 7- The dome of the Madrasa Afdaliyya, lower right, ca. 1910

Source: © EBAF

Finally, a major issue that is being discussed with the technical team is the production of a “street view” option and a VR (virtual reality) in the reconstruction, which are closely linked to the project’s ambition to target a wide audience. Several options are currently under evaluation by the team.The implementation of these functionalities will have an impact on the kind of platform chosen for the dissemination of the reconstruction (web viewer on a website, free downloadable application, full immersive 3d glasses etc.).

Moreover, short descriptive texts will serve as textual support for each of the modelled building. They will provide historical, archaeological, and architectural details on the buildings, while informing readers on their social and/or religious function over time.  The texts will also include links to the archival descriptions on AToM and the Archival City Open Data platform (currently under construction on Nakala) as well as to other transmedia contents.

The purpose is twofold: first, to make the sources on which the modelling work was based more visible and accessible, second, to connect and bridge the Archival City project with other existing digital archives projects on the Maghrebi Quarter which have been launched both by the international scientific community and grassroot organizations.

In January 2023, Raphaël Banc-Lévêque joined the team. He collaborates on the preparation of the textual material for the 3D modelling and is engaged in the writing of a data paper on the 3D modelling.


Annalaura Turiano & Raphaël Banc-Lévêque


[1] Islamic Research and Heritage Revival Institute, Abu-Dis, call no. 0/1959/1.19/2.

[2] Kedar, B. Z., S. Weksler-Bdolah, and T. Daʾadli. 2012. “The Madrasa Afdaliyya / Maqâm Al-Shaykh ʾId: An Example of Ayyubid Architecture in Jerusalem.” Revue Biblique, 119, no. 2: 271–87.

Conference in Quito 15-16 march 2023

On March 15 and 16, 2023 will be held at the University of San Francisco de Quito a two days conference devoted to the Inca Quito and organized by Carlos Ramiro Espinosa Fernandez de Cordova professor at USFQ and member of the Quito Archival City’s Team.

The first day will be devoted to the presentation of the 3D modelling of Quito 1532. On the second day, the presentations will revolve around the documentation and data covering 100 years of history of the city, a transition period characterized by the Inca occupation and the Spanish conquest.

Programme of the first day

Programme of the second day

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 ( 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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Progress in archival descriptions

The Croissance growth phase, into which the Archival City project moved in late 2020, will allow the archival inventory coordination site to continue the work of identifying pertinent archives for each of the seven areas of study, their description according to current standards, publication and recognition for the next two years.

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The Importance of Administrative Directories as a Guide to Sources for the History of Grand Paris: The Example of 1885

Digitised, but not yet available online, the administrative directories of Paris and the département of the Seine held at the Archives de Paris, cover the period 1883-1980. As Elsa Camus’ research for Archival City has shown, using the complementary funds of the Library of the Hôtel de Ville we can go back to the days before, the Third Republic as two directories are referenced there for the years 1844 and 1850, plus a third for the year 1880. The first directory in the digitised collection, for 1883, is of limited interest for research into the history of Grand Paris (greater Paris). It contains only 83 pages and merely lists the main workers at the prefecture, without mentioning names, remits or addresses. The first truly useful directory for our research is the one published in 1885 by the Préfecture de la Seine and printed at the municipal printworks (document 1). The publication should be closely associated with the development of the Paris administration, under the auspices of prefect Eugène Poubelle (1883-1896). In fact, under his mandate the administrative directory was published regularly, under the title Personnel et attributions des services de la préfecture du département de la Seine et de la Ville de Paris (Personnel and their Remits of the Departments of the Prefecture of the Département of the Seine and the City of Paris).

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Archives and the history of urban pollution: framework elements

Why choose this subject? There is barely anything original in holding a workshop around the theme of pollution in 2020, the subject has been on the environmental history agenda for several decades now. In France, the publication in 2002 of the outcome of the Clermont-Ferrand symposium on pollution in urban and industrial societies[1], followed by the defence of Geneviève Massard-Guilbaud[2]‘s research, is a good indicator of historians’ interest in a social history of pollution in the industrial age, an interest which had already produced isolated initiatives here and there, mainly focused on city-dwellers’ sensitivity to disturbance expressed through petitions, letters and 19th century investigation files[3]. In the English-speaking world, the work of historians Martin Melosi[4] and Joel Tarr[5] on pollution goes back to the 1990s, the time of classic works such as [6] The Search for the Ultimate Sink and The Sanitary City[7]

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The Great Paris in the Past

This video is taken from a presentation by Emile Blettery and Paul Lecat at Futures Days in November 2019. It presents the research work of the Seine 54 project, which aims at aggregating census data from the Seine department with the IGN’s aerial photography collection.
The presentation focuses in particular on the digitisation of data, the construction of a database and geographic information system, the georeferencing of aerial photographs and the development of the data covisualisation tool.
These data are then used in a case study on the shantytowns of Nanterre.

Report of the survey in wua Lai neighbourhood

Ordinary city mapping and architectural survey in Wua Lai neighbourhood, Chiang Mai

In the framework of Archival City project, our approach to documenting the ordinary city of Chiang Mai relies on the pedagogical trainings, notably on the Studio of Master’s degree “Heritage/Tourism, Contemporaneity/Development” which associates ENSA Paris-Belleville, Faculty of architecture of University of Chiang Mai, Faculty of architecture of Chulalongkorn University (Bangkok). The field workshop of this studio, organised each year on December in Chiang Mai since 2011, is an opportunity to produce the documents on Wua Lai neighbourhood, our case study. The archive of Wua Lai is an integral part of our corpus of study.

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Explanatory note for the future digital tools

The first year Emergence revealed the great diversity of situations and types of archives according to the projects. This observation was the starting point for a reflection on the convergence of problematics in a context of profound transformation of the uses and practices of the public: in the age of the Internet, access to information is supposed to be available and immediate. We asked ourselves about the method of data processing and description to meet the scientific needs of the projects as well as how to make them accessible to the public through different tools and representations. Our objective was therefore to define how to implement cultural and technical interoperability.

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