An internship in the Pays-Basque

For the first year of the Master Rare book and digital humanities, we have to make an internship of two months. In a first time, mine was supposed to take place in Island, but Covid gave me problems.  But I found an other place to realize it, in the Pays – Basque  in France, which I think is another country such as Brittany or  Corsica. An internship is absolutely useful to learn knowledge and acquire experience.

I really liked this place in the south-west of France, it was the first time for me in this region and it was very interesting. I was in Bayonne, in the bookshop Librairie du Levant. I had the chance to see a lot of books, some with not big interest in the artifact vision, and others very singular with beautiful and rare bindings, engravings, and edition very hard to find with big value.

The big part of my job was to classify the engravings office by subject in order to find them correctly.  I had to make a description of it, comment on the condition, take pictures, and digitize it in order to make a bibliographical record on the website of the bookshop. I also needed to find information on the net so I could present the engravings well and give interest to the client.  Finally, I had to give a reference to the description, a reference that included for example, the number of the drawer in which it would be store in order to find it quickly and simply if a client order it, and see with my boss the prize to give on each pieces.  This is an important work, because the office of engravings is very large and full of very beautiful works (Rubens, Goya, Lebrun…), but if they aren’t on the net they could not be seen, the bookshop is too small to present every engravings in the shop and only a minor part of the clientele want to buy this kind of oeuvre.

To conclude, it was a very interesting internship and I loved to do it. It help me to think in another way of the job of bookseller because I believe that is harder that I was thinking about before. An internship like this is more than just learn knowledge and experience, it’s a discovery of culture, people, and I truly believe that is an experience of life.