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The heritage image library

Composed of nearly 200,000 analogue prints and digital images, the heritage image library has a varied collection covering all aspects of Midi-Pyrénées heritage. This collection is an important addition to the documentation produced by the inventory's research teams.

February 29, 2012
By: Martine Jaoul et Claire Fournier

The photographic image - a key companion to research

The photographic image is a key companion to documentary research and is a vital aid in gaining a fuller picture of a heritage object. Photography forms its very own, scientifically-recognized gateway to a greater knowledge of built, moveable and ethnological heritage through the visual information it conveys, which is so crucial to understanding.

The heritage image library boasts almost 200,000 images

The heritage image library has been built up since 1975 by the photographers of the heritage inventory department in the Midi-Pyrénées, which dates from that year, with the help of top-quality professional photographic equipment. The collection is composed of older analogue prints and digital images dating from the early 90s on, which now constitute more than half of the collection. This photographic record is made up of a collection of almost 200,000 images that are recorded and stored in the premises of the heritage image library.

This original and quite unique collection reveals a little-known aspect of local heritage, a heritage rooted in everyday life, captured as the inventory was built up. These images are documentary in nature. They offer a portrayal of real 'warts and all' heritage in all its different guises.

Photographs, eye-witnesses to history

A useful addition to the databases, photographs can record many different facets of our heritage, encapsulating the passage of time, capturing heritage in every shape and form from all angles, offering a comprehensive spatial perspective. These images offer us the chance to make comparisons between past and present, thanks to their value as visual historical records as well as for their place in the history of photography.


If you have any enquiries, please contact:

Photographer: Philippe Poitou

Database administrator: Christelle Parvillé