The documentation center is a unique resources center for the decorative arts, fashion, textiles and advertising. The museum’s librarians and archivists have a transversal approach to documentation with a concern for permanent enrichment and prioritising documentation related to the collections :
The documentation center is an important element in the museum’s services to the general public. Its vocation is to inform the French and foreign amateurs, professionals, students, researchers, school classes and their teachers, in the museum, by post or via Internet.
There is obvious coordination between the Library, where the references are general, whereas in the documentation center the sources are applied. Archivists are able to receive the public by appointment and guide them in their research.
The collection consists of books and dossiers complemented with unprecedented thematic documentation. Two types of documentation coexist to fulfil the Documentation Center’s mission:
• Documentation on the collections: dossiers on works and artists, thematic dossiers on the museum’s collections.
• Documentation on the domains covered by the Musée des Arts Décoratifs: organised around socio-economic and technical fields, typologies of objects and materials subtending the decorative arts, fashion, textiles and advertising.
The systematic digitalisation of the collections of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs began in 1991, followed by the Musée de la Publicité in 1993 and the Musée de la Mode et du Textile in 1995. Curators and archivists have developed documentary languages to organise and index the information. Cards and dossiers for each work and thematic dossiers are the main sources of development of the database. The Musée de la Publicité already has part of its digitalised collection available online. The collections of other museums, including the Musée Nissim de Camondo, will eventually be viewable on Internet.
• The Arts Décoratifs database: 81,200 works
• The Toy Department database: 11, 377 works
• The Fashion and Textiles database: 65,000 works
• The Advertising database: 45,500 works
• The Nissim de Camondo database: 800 works (in progress)
A fifth database covering MAD’entire document database, enabling cross-reference and sharing between the works databases and the document databases is enable transversal consultation of the Arts Décoratifs collections.
A multimedia space on Level 2, where all these databases are now available to the public free of charge, will cater for the need for information concerning the works in the collections, even when the documentation center is closed. A similar space already running in the Musée de la Publicité has been hugely popular with the public.
Online resources (in French only)