To respond to new challenges posed by the digital revolution, the Institut français has developed a digital platform launched on 27 May 2010. Such a novel and unique concept is unprecedented both in the UK as well as in France.
Culturethèque offer carefully selected cultural content to members of the Institut. Members are able to consult a current digital library in French at home, as well as audiovisual documents. The digital platform is available to both regular members of the Institut but also virtual members through online subscription from anywhere in the United Kingdom. Part of the platform is accessible for free without subscribing.
Through this project, the Institut aims to make its patrimony, a collection of rare books published in French outside of France between the 17th and the 18th century, and its historical archives (notably those from the Second World War) available as widely as possible. The Institut in London will share both the richness and variety of events it programmes with Francophiles far from the city, including recordings of talks made available through the platform. More than 300 conferences have been recorded since 1965, bringing together major French thinkers and artists: Gilles Deleuze, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Michel Piccoli amongst others. The oldest historical recording dates from 1939. The platform will continually be kept up to date as and when new talks and debates are recorded. The objective is to offer a tool to users that is efficient and user-friendly, giving carefully considered access to current French culture. The Institut hopes that this platform will also be a support tool for learners of French. Podcasts aimed towards beginners in French are in the process of being produced in partnership with the Alliance française in Glasgow and will be available to everyone. Throughout the year, an online web competition will be organised on the theme of 'Your France in the UK'. Schools and web users will be invited to send short films shot on their mobiles or digital cameras. From this point forward the potential developments of this platform are immense. Thanks to the infinite possibilities of digital tools, the Institut français will finally be accessible to all throughout the United Kingdom. The digital Plateform will be able to offer the best of what has formed the core of its influence: the association of culture with the French language.