It is essential to make the existence of study material known to researchers and students. Making an inventory of our collections and entering these inventories in national and international databases is therefore essential. This is the development policy undertaken in recent years by integrating our inventories in several databases.
National and international databases
Databases referencing the natural science collections of Aix-Marseille University:
Global biodiversity information facility (GBIF)
The GBIF, an international consortium founded on the initiative of the OECD, is a programme that attempts to gather data from biodiversity research and make them available to researchers and the general public. In this way, biodiversity will be better known, better studied and better used. The collections will also be more visible and better promoted, and the regions better known. Finally, it will be easier for researchers studying biodiversity to prepare their research, to compare it and to relate it to previous work.
Trans'Tyfipal is a database that gathers textual and image information on typical and figured paleontological specimens. These specimens are by definition international references (International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, 1985, article 73).
The scientific communities targeted by e-ReColNat are first and foremost those of biologists interested in subjects such as biodiversity inventory, life modelling or phylogeny. Beyond these communities, the archiving of well-informed objects is also of interest to those working on global change.
Databases referencing the instrument collections of Aix-Marseille University:
Created in 1989 and put online in 2002, Palissy is a database of French movable heritage from prehistory to the present day (outside the collections of French museums). In October 2020, it contains more than 515,000 records.
In 2003, the Ministry of Research entrusted the Musée des Arts et Métiers with a national mission to safeguard and promote contemporary scientific and technical heritage, in order to encourage regional initiatives and provide advice and expertise, particularly for the creation of scientific and technical museums. This Mission concerns tangible heritage (objects that bear witness to public and private research and teaching, the stages from research to industrial product, as well as laboratory notebooks and other associated documents), and intangible heritage (the memory of those who created or used these objects for research and development).
The digital heritage library of Aix-Marseille University offers a selection of old documents, manuscripts and prints, kept in the reserves of the libraries and other services of the university (components, research institutes, museum, etc.). This selection is based on local scientific expertise and is part of rigorously validated national programs (piloted by the Bibliothèque nationale de France). More specific information can also be consulted in a " Research Notebook " set up on AMU's scientific heritage, the aim of which is to publicise and promote the university's scientific heritage. Led by teacher-researchers and librarians, this notebook offers tickets that are accessible to the general public without sacrificing the scientific rigour necessary for research.
Networks and partners
The Contemporary Scientific and Technical Heritage (PASTEC) within AMU
Aix-Marseille University (AMU), which has had a "Scientific Culture and Heritage Mission" since 2012, signed an agreement in March 2014 with the Centre National des Arts et Métiers(CNAM), which entrusted it with the regional mission of safeguarding Contemporary Scientific and Technical Heritage (PASTEC) in the South region. The CNAM's role is to inventory and provide information on objects and documents representative of public and private research within the framework of the national mission for the "Safeguarding of contemporary scientific and technical heritage".
By joining the PATSTEC network and filling in the corresponding national database, AMU makes all the instruments (whether or not they are on display) and the associated information accessible. To do this, the PATSTEC mission aims on the one hand to identify and federate the different actors involved in the preservation and promotion of the scientific heritage of the PACA region and on the other hand to identify remarkable instruments in order to document them and to fill in the national database. AMU has set up a "PATSTEC team" composed of Nicolas Claire, Vice-president for culture and scientific heritage, Bruno Vila, scientific manager for herbariums, zoology and the colonial museum, Corine Levy-Battesti, in charge of the inventory, and the various scientific referents for each collection. In recent years, Aix-Marseille University has collected its instruments, made inventories and undertaken documentation work for the most remarkable ones. Today, these instruments are kept in 4 main collections:
The inventory in the PATSTEC database started with about 100 instruments among the 500 present in the Espace Muséal Charles Fabry thanks to the help of N. Claire and P. Gravier. About 200 instruments, all used at the faculty, are displayed there, offering a panorama of the intense and fruitful research activities carried out during the last century in the fields of optics and microcalorimetry.
Scientific journal Géologie Méditerranéenne
Géologie Méditerranéenne was a quarterly journal (1974-2001) of the University of Provence devoted to the geology of the Mediterranean regions in the broadest sense of the term, and in which paleontology had a prominent place. With 974 authors, this journal focused on articles relating to the geology of the Mediterranean and peri-Mediterranean regions. The disciplines concerned are, without exception, those of the geosciences in their broadest sense: paleontology, stratigraphy, sedimentology, tectonics, geochemistry, geophysics, etc. The authors are mainly from the academic world - universities and research organizations. The audience is the geosciences. A partnership has been signed with Persée, and all the journal's articles are now available online(https://www.persee.fr/collection/geolm). It is also possible to obtain the remaining issues by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.