The « Poinssot book collection » (Bibliothèque Poinssot) was bought by the Glotz Centre in 2006. It contains all the books that belonged to a “dynasty” of three archaeologists and scholars whose work, for the two first ones at least, focused solely on North Africa – the third one working for the most part on this region of the world. This specific feature makes this collection unique and warranted its purchase. Mindful of the need to keep together the working tools of this outstanding family, the French State also bought the archives, known as the “Poinssot fund” (Fonds Poinssot) ; the purchase was funded by the INHA, who is also processing the documents. The fact that these two collections of documents are stored so close to one another at rue Vivienne is an essential asset in terms of scientific research.
・The first family member concerned was Julien Poinssot (1844-1900). He studied law, came to Algeria by chance and had a decisive influence on the family’s destiny. He conducted several archaeological missions in Algeria and then in Tunisia, and later founded the Bulletin trimestriel des antiquités africaines (1882-1885), that was to become Revue de l’Afrique française (1886-1888).
・His son Louis Poinssot (1879-1967) worked in Tunisia throughout his career, first as an antiquities inspector (inspecteur des antiquités), and then as Director of Antiquities (directeur des Antiquités). He started the excavations at Dougga, where his son also distinguished himself later.
・His grandson, Claude Poinssot (1928-2002), an antiquities inspector in Tunisia who later became Secretary General of the French Archaeological Mission in Tunisia from 1952 to 1960, achieved great things, notably in Dougga, and ended his career as the directeur des Musées de France (Director of the French Museums Directorate).
The main feature of the book collection, referenced in the Gernet-Glotz Library catalogue with its source being “fonds Poinssot”, is the presence of remarkable and essential publications on North Africa. These publications are remarkable for several reasons : their date (560 were published before 1900, 500 were published between 1900 and 1940), their nature (amongst others : volumes of the Scientific exploration of Algeria, Atlases of Algeria and Tunisia, the collection of the catalogues of the museums of Algeria and Tunisia, all being books that aren’t readily accessible at the moment because they are stored in the reserves of the libraries that have them) ; what is also outstanding is that entire collections can be found, which are rarely found “complete in libraries (Recueil des notices et mémoires de la société archéologique de la province de Constantine, Bulletin de l’Académie d’Hippone...) but also because of the scientific trace left by the members of this family : they gathered and bound together “home-made books” bringing together articles and short monographs on various themes or archaeological sites (Carthage, Dougga...), but also specific subjects (climatology, sarcophagi, mosaics) and so on. One final feature is the important collection of off-prints.
Fields covered :
・Roman provinces of North Africa, history of North Africa beyond the roman colonization (ethnology, sociology, geography books and so on) ;
・Roman Gaul, Latin epigraphy
More than a hundred books, among the most useful, the rarest and the less accessible have been digitized. Eighty-seven of those which are free of rights can be accessed online.
・The Poinssot book collection is accessible through the Gernet-Glotz library
・No loan permitted
・Conditions apply, please see home page
・• For more information, please contact Olivia Dejean