From “archives” to “museum”: analysis of a semantic shift
The case of the Archives of the Planet

Created by Albert Kahn, the Archives of the Planet lie at the heart of a complex era, connecting two centuries and containing multiple references. Beyond the homogeneity of the media (over one hundred hours of film and nearly 72 000 autochromes), this visual documentation presents an intriguing heterogeneity, combining various disciplines, influences, relations to the Other, or forms of narrative. At the same time, the context of distribution oscillated between the training of elites, propaganda actions, and archival aspirations. This article seeks to analyse the current practices of the collection in light of its history, between its function as a basic documentary reserve, its memorial appropriations, and as a historiographical project.

Frédéric Gadmer, « Ensemble du Temple du Soleil au jour naissant », Syrie, Palmyre, 18 octobre 1921, autochrome, 90 x 120 mm. Boulogne-Billancourt, musée départemental Albert-Kahn, collection Archives de la planète (A 29 705 S). © Musée départemental Albert-Kahn.

Valérie Perlès is a heritage curator. She holds a doctorate in ethnology and worked for more than ten years in the field of musées de société as a researcher and exhibition curator. Since 2011, she has directed the Albert-Kahn departmental museum in Boulogne-Billancourt.

Citation: Valérie Perlès, « Des ‹ archives › au ‹ musée ›, analyse d’un glissement sémantique. Le cas des Archives de la planète », Transbordeur. Photographie histoire société, no. 1, 2017, pp. 106-119.

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