French National Monuments Center selects oodrive_media to develop an online portal.

Selected solutions

3,5 million

pages visited per year

Almost 30,000

downloads per year

Over 70,000

managed photos and videos

Activity area

Public & Regulatory


The Centre des monuments nationaux (CMN) is a public administrative institution led by the French Minister of Culture and Communication. It preserves, restores, manages, runs and opens to visitors 100 national monuments owned by the French government.

The CMN’s Images division has a wealth of nearly 500,000 photographic documents with close ties to the history of the institution as well as architecture and French architectural heritage. CMN is the successor of the Caisse nationale des monuments historiques et des sites (CNMHS).

CMN’s aforementioned division boasts a collection of photographs that prominently features iconic historic monuments such as the Arc de Triomphe, Mont-Saint-Michel, Sainte-Chapelle, the Panthéon, Carcassonne and the Château d’Azay-le-Rideau.

CMN’s exceptional and iconographic collection is used for scientific purposes, to document heritage monuments and collections and present and promote CMN's heritage to the general public, tour operators, local partners (elected officials), as well as for commercial purposes (photograph sales).

Leveraging thousands of historic digital resources

The CNM kick-started this major digital project in 2011. Its goal: to promote its extensive collection and make it accessible. As such, the Centre sought to catalog all the photographs on a single secure, open and user-friendly portal, online. CMN wanted to make them easily accessible and shareable, both internally and externally, within a secure ecosystem.

Another key challenge was the commercialization of the photo collection. The institution holds original heritage collections: paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, books and prints and furnishings, etc. This meant that image commercialization was key as was the tracking of their copyright and reproduction rights management.

Laurent Bergeot, the CMN’s Head of the Document Resources Department, commented: “Whether browsing or purchasing photos, we focused on providing online visitor access to this exceptional collection of images.”

Oodrive_media selected to manage CMN’s photo heritage

Following a tender,CMN selected our oodrive_media solution for the design and launch of its media library. Our solution will manage and leverage CMN’s photos and digital resources, from the most historic to the most contemporary.

The media library known as Regards can be accessed online. The digital collection is home to some 70,000 photos including animated images and PDFs covering CMN’s full spectrum of heritage. Regards has it all; from prehistoric caves to twentieth century villas, over 120,000 cultural assets and documentary and fine art photographic collections.

Visitors may search, order and download images online anytime, anywhere. Mr. Bergeot added: “oodrive’s modular, flexible and performance-driven approach helped us produce a website worthy of our vast image collection while also offering a quality visitor experience.

The oodrive team also supported CMN users as they got to grips with the online portal. They collaborated to develop the best catalog and media publication system.

Commenting on this, Laurent Bergeot said: “We benefited from the oodrive team’s expertise. They were on hand to help us throughout the project: from the analysis and launch of the photo library through to the transition period and the integration of hundreds of media.”

Optimizing processes and enhancing international visibility

A few years after the launch of the photo library, CMN welcomed the many benefits it brought:

  1. Smooth processes, from media imports to cataloging through to publication.
  2. Considerable time saved in managing customer orders: processing searches, orders, deliveries and invoices.
  3. Enhanced visibility for the photo collection internationally.
  4. Sustainable protection for the collections and databases.
  5. Comprehensive and overarching knowledgeof the complete CMN digital collection.

And the project doesn’t stop there! The scope of the collection is set to expand following the full, institution-wide integration of the oodrive tool. In the months ahead, it will be transformed into a document management tool for photo event stories.

Mr. Bergeot concluded: “As of today, Regards provides us with an overview of all accessible digital media. We now understand the habits of website visitors as well as their preferences. And we have full traceability on our order intake. The fully integrated solution drives continuous improvement for our portal, which in turn increases its exposure.”

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