The Horse, a wide unsuspected collection

The project prepares records on the written heritage of international interest on horses and equestrian arts through sources of public and private archives and inventories.

An essentiel partner of man for thousands of years, the horse has accompanied our economic and cultural development: a means of transport that has enabled many conquests, a regretted agricultural force, a pedestal for men of power, a bearer of hope for the racegoars, an animal of heart for the young rider, a fully-fledged Olympic sportsman. Legitimately, much has been said and written on this animal.

Perfect transversal subject, the horse is present in all fields of the human sciences, from veterinary treaties to instruction books and literature. From the first Hittite writings, through Xenophon and his treaties, La Guérinière and his Bible of the Enlightenment, the enemy brothers Baucher and Aure, General Decarpentry, the Portuguese master Oliveira, but also the iconoclast Jean d'Orgeix, the champions Michel Robert or Kevin Staut, all wrote and told something about their time and their relationship with the animal. These equestrian books are aimed at both the skilled rider and the young beginner rider.

This portal is meant to be a real tool for equestrian culture. It is intended for professionals, researchers, historians, informed amateurs or simple enthusiasts.

The cataloguing process began with the work done 100 years ago by the General Mennessier de La Lance. This former cavalry soldier took more than twenty years to develop an emblematic and widely annotated bibliography that is still authoritative today. The site is working to complete its inventory, which already included thousands of books on horses and horseback riding, by aggregating all that has since been published. Then, the database will be enriched by the equestrian libraries of Saumur, including the Cadre Noir library, thanks to the IFCE partnership.

Le projet a été élaboré en collaboration avec le Centre de documentation et le pôle Document numérique de la Maison de la Recherche en Sciences Humaines, Université de Caen Basse-Normandie et l'Institut Français du Cheval et de l'Equitation.

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