Our Contributors

Contributors to French Books on India are as follows:

In October and November 2017 Tagirem Gallego Garcia aided by Ian Magedera and Sayantani Chakraborti  are producing scholarly photostories. Lola Magnanon is successfully building on the work of Karine Daudicourt to increase the site’s French-language content.

From July to Septemble 2017 Monica Martinelli, ably aided by the proofreading skills of Erica Mumford, successfully completed the formatting, correction and translation checking of scores of books, ebooks and multilingual annotations from the publications series of the Institut français de Pondichéry.

At the end of June 2017, significant progress was made on three significant subprojects. First, at the British Library, Andrew Bowhay finished the first volume and the supplement of Goldsmith’s catalogue of early French Books in the British Library (with one volume to go). In Autumn 2016, when work started, the London project team assisted by Sarah Walkley and Sam Stubbington, predicted that there would be only a handful of books to add because earlier printed and online bibliographies such as that created by Elisabeth Vernier, former curator of Indian collections at the BnF, would surely have included all significant material. We figured that this was work worth doing, even for what we thought would be so few new entries. It turned out, however, that most letters in Goldsmith’s alphabetically ordered catalogue individually yielded five or more significant entries. Those with substantive content on India have been uploaded to the site by Tagirem Gallego Garcia, along with very recent books kindly collated by Faith Nelson and an ongoing series of mid-nineteenth century annotations by Claudine Le Blanc translated from the French by Christa Levy and Ian Magedera.

Second, and as well as drafting a Wikipedia article, Tagirem has used her three-month volunteer residency at the University of Liverpool to prepare a series of five-minute photo stories; the first will be bio-bibliographical portraits of some of the leading French scholars working on India. These will appear in the course of 2017 under a new ‘video’ tab.

Third, Henry Masoumpour took a leading role in developing and integrating a custom Google search engine into the site, a beta version for books from 1870 to 1880 is currently available for testing at the bottom of each page (thanks to Christa Levy for collecting the data for this decade). This transformative contribution was made in consultation with WordPress technical support, means that it now becomes possible not only to search for book data with the standard and browse within ebooks, but it is also possible to do keyword searches within the covers of books for specific decades. This has been a complex technical endeavour which involved migrating the site to frenchbooksonindia.com The rolling out of this custom search has been greatly accelerated by the technical skill of Paul Fox who has partially automated the data collection process with the books from 1880 to 1890 and beyond gradually becoming accessible to custom search. We welcome feedback from users on how well this search within the covers of books is working. The project team can be either contacted via the site or by email to magedera{at}liverpool.ac.uk

In April 2017 Christa Levy is reaching the final stages in the prepration of a single pdf of the entire French Books on India site. This will allow our readers with limited bandwidth to download and read or browse offline via a download/télécharger tab. Also in April 2017, Tagirem Gallego Garcia, a volunteer and doctoral student from the University of Castilla- La Mancha in Spain, has travelled to Liverpool for a period of three months on-site volunteering for French Books on India.

Dhana Underwood integrated into French Books on India, nineteenth-century resources held at the French Institute in Pondicherry and digitized by the British Library’s Endangered Archives Programme in March 2017.

In March 2017: a beta version of a seven-and-a-half-minute photo story about the Chandernagore cultural heritage organisation Giri-Doot and its founder Kalyan Chakraborty was uploaded to the Books in Bengali pages. This was created by a group of local heritage champions in the city and summarises work undertaking since the late seventies making it available to an international audience for the first time.

Since mid-October 2016, using a procedure developed by Sarah Walkley and supported by Ian Magedera, Andrew Bowhay and Samantha Stubbington have been systematically mining Goldsmith’s British Museum Short Title Catalogue of French Books, 1601-1700, using both the British Library’s collections and electronic resources to confirm relevant material. This work has yielded valuable additions. During this time, Mathilde Bedel of the Université d’Aix-en-Provence and Claudine Le Blanc of Université Paris 3 (Sorbonne nouvelle), have generously contributed annotations on seventeenth and nineteenth-century books on India. Karine Daudicourt kindly embarked on a revision of the site to increase its ‘convivialité’, that is its ‘user friendliness’ for speakers of French. Faith Nelson has been active in collating details of twenty-first century books in French and providing illustrations of the itineraries taken by key protagonists in French narratives, such as Phileas Fogg’s route across India.

In summer 2016, Sarah Walkley located scores of seventeenth-century books in the British Library and a team will follow up these leads in 2016, aiming to complete annotations for significant numbers of these books. She  is also undertaking preparatory work to create a database search function for French Books on India.

Brigitte Nicolas, conservateur en chef of the Musée de la Compagnie des Indes in Lorient, Brittany, kindly provided references to significant works of the most recent French-language scholarship in May 2016.

In the first few months of 2016 Babette Chabout-Combaz of the Université de Montréal verified notes made before 2011 by Corinne François-Dèneve on works from the period before 1754, excluding texts which had no substantial references to India, finding dozens of new texts and scores of Gallica and Googlebooks hyperlinks to full text. This transformative contribution increased significantly the range and relevance of this e-resource. In the summer and autumn of 2016 Ms Chabout-Combaz provided several new eighteenth-century items and links to holdings in archives.

In January 2016 Antara Mukherjee began to lead a team of scholars in West Bengal including Arkoprobho Roychowdhury, Sayantani Chakraborti, Soumabha Chakraborty and Arya Ghosh who are collecting and commenting on Bengali texts and previously unpublished archive material which refer to the French presence in the settlements in Hooghly district. Further valuable additions to the Books in Bengali section were made in May and November 2016.

We would like to record our thanks to Samyuktha Ravi for her work in 2016 editing entries covering the scholarly work of members of the SARI research group.

Throughout 2016 Aparna Ramen has given generously of her time in editing and preparing entries from the catalogue of the Institut français de Pondichéry, released with the kind permission of Anurupa Naik, the Institute’s librarian.

In January 2016, Jati Sankar Mondal, Gargi Bhattacharya and Shubhashis Pan were kind enough to complete a full empirical survey of the functioning of French Books on India’s Gallica.fr links on various platforms. We are most grateful for their assistance which helped us and the Bibliothèque nationale de France improve the experience for resource users.

In 2015 and 2016 Anne Le Sinq was responsible for all updates and led the development of a beta site which will open up a new dimension: where the e-resource once mainly comprised French books about India, later in 2016 it also came to include Indian books about the French in India, starting with Bengali-language texts and will include Tamil-language texts in 2017. Anne Le Sinq coded the flag cross references which link the French language materials to those in Bengali in such a precise and elegant way.

The team would also like to acknowledge the kind co-operation of Rila Mukherjee, Maya Mukhopadhyay, Rupak Banerjee, Anurupa Naik and of the Institut de Chandernagor in 2014 and the Institut français de Pondichéry for its ongoing support.

The initial WordPress.com site architecture was coded by Magalie L’Abbé in 2014 and 2015; it was transformative and beautiful work for which the projet team will always be in her debt.

Shinjini Chattopadhyay of Jadavpur University, Kolkata, worked on French Books on India from 2014 to 2016 as project researcher under the auspices of ETIC Project and has updated the resource with links to full-text via gallica.bnf.fr and new entries from the Institut de Chandernagor, the Institut français de Pondichéry and the Electre database.

In 2012, Sophie Kellner, Rachel Brown, and Christopher Bolton, high-school students from Merseyside, added hyperlinks as part of work experience at the University of Liverpool. Lydia Hounat, Rachel Fines and Natasha Hall from Bolton School who did the same in 2014. A special mention goes to Briana Dincher from Brooklyn, NY for the scores of new entries she transcribed from books in the collections of the Institut français de Pondichéry in 2013 and 2014.

In 2010 and 2011, Mircea Itu, an independent researcher and Indologist guided by Ian Magedera, completely revised the entire content, reformatting it, and adding entries according to agreed criteria.

Charles Forsdick, James Barrow Professor of French at the University of Liverpool, who chaired regular meetings from 2007 to 2010 at which the format, range and inclusion criteria of French Books on India were agreed and implemented.

In 2011 Kate Marsh, of the University of Liverpool, revised for publication the entries from 1754 to 1826 and who provided important advice at every stage of the project before that.

In 2011 Élisabeth Vernier from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France sourced over a hundred and fifty hyperlinks to full text book versions of the entries in 2012 and has continued to provide precious advice ever since.

From 2006 to 2010, Corinne François-Denève, of the Université de Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, who complied many of the entries after consulting the catalogs and collections of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the library of the École normale supérieure (rue d’Ulm), and the Sydney Jones Library of the University of Liverpool. François-Denève supplemented this work by catalog searches in the University of Lille, the British Library, and database searches using PROQUEST.

Ian H. Magedera, the project co-ordinator of the University of Liverpool, revised the raw entries from 1827 to 2008 for uploading in 2011. Magedera also edited the book version and the annotations, and oversaw the architecture of the 2010 prototype site and the beta site hosted by the University of Liverpool. He instructed and coordinated the team of volunteers who made updates and enhancements to the Liverpool website from 2011. These include the capture of user statistics via revolvermaps.com, the incorporation of full-text via gallica.bnf.fr and Google Books, and the addition of new entries from the Institut de Chandernagor, the Institut français de Pondichéry, and the Electre database. He then instigated and oversaw the move to WordPress and subsequent developments from 2014.

An enthusiastic body of scholarly annotators from around the world, who are warmly thanked for their efficient and erudite synopses.

[AM] Antara Mukherjee, Chandernagore College, India
[AR] Arkoprobho Roychowdhury, Serampore College, India
[ARM] Aparna Ramen, Minneapolis, USA
[BC-C] Babette Chabout-Combaz, l’Université de Montréal, Canada
[CF-D] Corinne François-Denève, l’Université de Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France
[CG] Claire Gallien, Université Montpellier 3, France
[CJ] Cécile Jest, Université de Cergy-Pontoise, France
[CLB] Claudine Le Blanc, Université Paris 3 (Sorbonne nouvelle), France
[DU] Dhana Underwood, University of Liverpool, UK
[GD & FD’S] Guy Deleury, Paris, and Florence D’Souza, Université Lille 3, France
[GW] Geoff Woollen, University of Glasgow, UK
[IM] Ian Magedera, University of Liverpool, UK
[JCP] Jean-Claude Perrier, Paris, France
[JM] Jyoti Mohan, Morgan State University, USA
[KM] Kate Marsh, University of Liverpool, UK
[MBL] Mathilde Bedel, Université d’Aix-en-Provence, France
[MB] Maya Boutaghou, Florida International University, USA
[MI] Mircea Itu, Spiru Haret University, Romania
[MM] Margaret Majumdar, University of Portsmouth, UK
[MV] Massimiliano Vaghi, University of Milan, Italy
[NF] Nicola Frith, Bangor University, UK
[RH] Robin Howells, Birkbeck College, University of London, UK
[RK] Ramanuj Konar, Sarat Centenary College, West Bengal, India
[SC] Sayantani Chakraborti, Visva Bharati University and Deshbandhu College for Girls, University of Calcutta, India
[SG] Serge Granger, Université de Sherbrooke, Canada
[SK] Sanjay Kumar, The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, India
[SR] Srilata Ravi, University of Alberta, Canada
[SD] Swati Dasgupta, University of Delhi, India
[TGG] Tagirem Gallego Garcia, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Spain
[TDC] Thierry Di Costanzo, Université de Strasbourg, France
[VR] Vijayalakshmi Rao, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India

Swati Dasgupta, Patrick Tuck, Gilles Probst, Jean-Yves Mollier, and Gobalakichenane, whom we thank for their concrete suggestions for improvement and Saibal Das, Samar Virdi, Disha Raychaudhuri and Sujaan Mukherjee for their photographs.


Website creation and maintenance + image copyright

Magalie L’Abbé, Austin, USA
Anne Le Sinq, London, UK
Ian Magedera, University of Liverpool, UK

We sincerely thank photographer Samar Virdi for kindly giving us permission to use a number of his images. Further examples of his work can be found on samarvirdi.com. Our thanks also go to Disha Raychaudhuri, Ian Magedera, Magalie L’Abbé, Saibal Das and Sujaan Mukherjee for allowing us to use some of their photographs.