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Digit18 is a not for profit project that creates a digital platform providing links for digitized books of the 18th century. It uses collections constituted by Internet Archive, Google, Europeana, etc. It ensures a way of finding accurate and complete information about antiquarian books, when the information based in the short-title catalogue of some libraries is insufficiently explicit or detailed. The project was initiated on the basis of research into counterfeit editions of 18th century literature based on material bibliography and especially the comparison of ornaments (the Môriåne digital project, created at Liège University in the 1980's with the help of the National Fund for Scientific Research). The New Môriåne Web Server should be on line in September 2018; most of the material produced is on: https://orbi.uliege.be.

Concerning the open-access information on Internet Archive, each record includes an appeal to write a footnote “Review”. Since bibliographic indications are sometimes incomplete, it seems useful to inscribe in the “Review” supplementary information expanding on what a short-title catalogue provides. This is the main task of the Digit18 enterprise. Unlike the open space of commentaries available on the records of digitized books proposed by Google, those recorded by Internet Archive are not just private.

As it is explained on the site of Internet Archive (archive.org), IA “is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more”. It offers material provided by several libraries in America, Canada and Europe, bringing into the public domain holdings that cover many facets of world life and scholarship. We just give some examples of this material.

The Canadian Libraries Collection on Internet Archive was created in 2005. It now includes collections from many universities such as those of Ottawa, Toronto, McGill, etc. Some libraries deserve special mention, like the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library in Toronto.

The American Libraries Collection was created in 2006. The materiel comes from large libraries like the Library of Congress, but also from many university or public libraries that are not possible to mention here. 

Created in 2008, the European Libraries collection provides scans from very important institutions particularly rich in 18th-century books. In the context of the coming 15th International Congress on the Enlightenment in Edinburgh (14-19 July 2019), let us point out the Scottish contribution: the National Library of Scotland, the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, the University of Glasgow Library, etc. From another point of view, the medical documentation is impressive due to the Wellcome Library's (more than 10 thousands items). As far as we have seen by a personal use of IA, we have noticed the importance of the 18th century documentation provided by Italy, especially by the National Central Library of Florence, the National Library of Naples, etc. We regret that some French institutions, like the Bibliothèque nationale, do not participate in the IA.

Founding members

Daniel Droixhe
Daniel Droixhe is now Emeritus Professor of the Université Libre de Bruxelles and Honorary Lecturer at the Université de Liège. He constituted in 2011 with M. Collart the Société wallonne d’étude du 18e siècle/Walloon Society for the Study of the 18th cent. He is a member of the Académie Royale de Langue et de Littérature Françaises de Belgique and an Associate Member of the Centre interuniversitaire de recherche sur la première modernité (CIREM16-18, Canada). He plays traditional pre-war blues. Publications:

David Adams
David Adams, Emeritus Professor of French Enlightenment Studies, University of Manchester, School of Arts, Languages and Cultures. From 2008 to 2014, he was responsible for the preparation of the bibliographies which form part of each volume of the Œuvres complètes de Voltaire, published by the Voltaire Foundation of the University of Oxford, and contributed articles and sections to a number of volumes in the series, notably vols. 43, 45a, 45b, 60c, 70a, 70b. He is a member of the Conseil Scientifique of the Voltaire Foundation.

Alice Piette-Droixhe
Alice Piette-Droixhe, technician. She was a nurse for more than 30 years;  she has collaborated with her husband on the publication of his studies on medicine. She is deeply involved in the diffusion of Afro-American culture, and was one of the organizers of “Rue Mississippi”, that arranged blues-concerts and memorial events in the Liège area.

Muriel Collart
Muriel Collart is now Director of  the Librairie Wallonie-Bruxelles in Paris. After degrees obtained in law and communications at the Université de Liège, she worked in the same institution for the Groupe d’étude du 18e siècle, putting on line an Index de l’Esprit des journaux (1772-1789). She is a scientific collaborator of the Université Libre de Bruxelles; she is studying the historiography of climate, meteorology and environment, as a member of the collection Météo(s) of Hermann editions in Paris. She is also interested in book history and gastronomy. Publications:

Digit18 office

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