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relevant information. This approach requires
extensive co-ordination both within and
across projects to maximise efficient use of
resources. By discussing five different online
products produced by French teams, Jean-
Pierre Dalbera demonstrated the Ministry
of Culture's cohesive approach to the dig-
itisation and presentation of educational
materials for the Web.
One of the collections of archaeologi-
cal sites, which are listed, along with other
Ministry of Culture Web sites, on http://,
is Paris, ville antique. This site is truly mul-
timedia, with different kinds of informa-
tion meaningfully layered to allow users
to explore interactively various aspects of
historic Paris, in relation to contempo-
rary views of the city. The site will soon be
available in English as well as French and
can be purchased as a printed product.
Dalbera: `This site is one of the most
recent projects we have been working on,
and I think it is one of the best. It repre-
sents a collaboration between archaeologists
and multimedia designers, combining tools
such as virtual reality with images of floor
plans and maps. The mixture of 3D recon-
structions and animation and the inter-
action that is possible between text and
images make it a very useful and memo-
rable learning tool. For example, difficult
words appear in an online glossary, and the
meanings can be ascertained simply by hov-
ering over the word with your mouse. In
addition to the architectural reconstructions,
the site presents digitised objects from
museums, which are explored in a simi-
lar fashion. What is particularly interesting
about this site is that, alongside the digital
objects themselves, it presents the research
methods in archaeology. Archaeology is one
of the services of the Ministry of Culture,
and making the utilities themselves available
for exploration (in conjunction with the
digital materials) will enrich an understand-
ing of the whole subject area.'
This Web site presents the chapelle, a small
part of a
mastaba (on display in the Louvre
in Paris), in its original context in Egypt.
The site opens with an introduction in
Flash, followed by a slideshow with audio
commentary and text labels on the history
of the purchase of the
mastaba by France.
albera: `The Ministry of Culture
funds Egyptological study within
the Louvre, so this Web site explains the
research conducted in Egypt. Like Paris,
ville antique, the means of discovery and
digitisation of the tomb and found objects
is presented alongside the digital materials,
with equal importance. For example, there
is a step-by-step translation of the hiero-
glyphs displayed on the walls, whilst each
panel is shown in its original position with-
in the chapelle. The techniques used in the
presentation of material and the production
of the Web site are as interesting and rel-
evant as the subject of study! Digitisation
is a technical process; however, our policy
recognises that not only technical work is
required to realise a resource such as this
in a published form. A product such as this
Web site combines technical expertise with
design and usability, user interaction and, in
this instance, Egyptology. We must remem-
ber that cultural heritage products like this
are always scientific as well, combining the
skills of experts in the subject with those of
technicians and designers.'
oth Paris, ville antique and Saqqara
can be accessed from the Grands sites
archéologiques portal at http://www.culture. which contains
links to many other archaeological projects
from across France.
This Web site opens with a Flash intro-
duction to the music and work of Marc-
Antoine Charpentier, but the content of
the site itself has a much wider scope; it
presents all of the research in musicology
of that period.
albera: `This site combines many
different media ­ audio clips of the
music of course, with images of manu-
scripts and digital lyrics, and prints of some
of the places in which Charpentier's works
were first performed. It is an excellent
learning resource as it offers the opportu-
nity to access materials that usually only
music researchers would know about. It
also presents the scientific side of musicol-
ogy with the same reverence as the art of
this great composer.'
ther Web sites celebrating the work
of French men and women are avail-
able from the Célébrations nationales portal at
`Although many valuable links can be fol-
lowed from the Web site http://www.cul-, including contemporary sites for
scientific and cultural heritage profession-
als and virtual communities, there are many
other Web sites which I think are espe-
cially worthy of mention _ firstly, Science
et patrimoine culturel (http://www.culture., then
Le Laboratoire de Recherche des Monuments
Historiques ( which
provides links to projects and informa-
tion on some of the scientific works funded
by the Ministry of Research, the Centre de
recherche en conservation des documents graph-
iques ( and the
Centre de recherche et de restauration des musées
de France ( Last but
not least, the Catalogue des fonds numérisés,
which can be found at http://www.cul-
3 Many of the Web sites produced by the Ministry of
Culture and available through the portal http://www. are winners of the Prix
Möbius des Multimédias, a prize for Web site design (for
more information, see