Les dessins et les relevés du voyage en Italie d’Aubin-Louis Millin conservés à la Bibliothèque nationale de France: reconstitution virtuelle d’un corpus

Author: Corinne Le Bitouzé

Drawings and Surveys from Aubin-Louis Millin’s Journey through Italy Kept in the Bibliothèque nationale de France: Virtual Reconstruction of a Corpus

Between 1811 and 1813, Aubin-Louis Millin, head of the Department of Coins, Medals and Antiques of the Imperial Library in Paris, undertook a trip through Italy, with the aim of inspecting the monuments of the peninsula, at that time under French rule. He came back with a huge documentation: letters, archeological surveys, drawings of landscape and travel notes. When he died in 1818, the Library, then named Royal, bought all his papers and, in 1822, it was therefore keeping more than one thousand drawings, thousands of prints and Millin’s travel journal.
Preserved in the Prints department, the Millin papers were scattered through the collection according to the classification of the department and organized by their subject matter.
Four years ago, the Prints department decided to create a digital version of the collection: every drawing will be located and described, then digitized and put on-line on Gallica, the digital library of thr Bibliothéque nationale de Francs. The first step of the project concerns the drawings from Calabria, made by the young Franz Ludwig Catel, who later became a well-known vedutiste. We are now working on the surveys of the tombs of the Angevin kings of Naples and of the antiques assembled by queen Caroline Murat.
Beyond the mere description of the drawings, we are gathering information on each item, each monument, each statue, in order to build a portal where scholars will find links to other databases, especially to those pertaining to archeological collections where objects surveyed by Millin are still preserved.