Toulouse: at the Departmental Archives, Anne Goulet still has history to tell
Anne Goulet has directed the Departmental Archives of Haute-Garonne since 2014. When she immerses herself in a research subject, it is to explore it to the end. With enthusiasm. Attention, contagious passion.
Scholarly, sophisticated and captivating. Three adjectives that fit Anne Goulet like a glove. All you have to do is join one of the guided tours of the director of the Haute-Garonne departmental archives to realize this.
That day, in front of the gates of the departmental council in Toulouse, during the exhibition devoted to the aircraft manufacturer Dewoitine, Anne Goulet was inexhaustible. When it comes to evoking planes, but also the men and places that made aeronautics in Toulouse before Airbus, it even gives the impression of coming out of the Dewoitine factories. She succeeds in appropriating the subject and captivating her audience even if she admits that she does not “have all the science”. This does not prevent her from detailing with ease “the hull of the D1 in duralumin, as well as its spars and its ribs”, so many technical terms that she must learn. “I immersed myself in books and I retained what was easy to transmit, knowing that I have quite limited knowledge of hard sciences”, admits the director of the departmental archives of 31.
Located on the edge of boulevard Griffoul Dorval, Anne Goulet’s office, all in length, quite uncluttered, includes a huge meeting table. It is from there that she leads a team of 75 people. “Here we keep 50 linear kilometers of preserved definitive documents. Every year, we collect almost a kilometer of historical archives. Our oldest document dates from the end of the 10th century, it is the donation in usufruct of a vineyard to a canon of Saint-Sernin”, explains the director.
When she happens to take the labyrinthine path that leads to the floors, in the middle of these historical witnesses, weakened by time, she cannot help caressing these yellow papers. Immediately his clear eyes light up and his tongue loosens.
Curious about everything
A bubbling, passionate and passionate woman, Anne Goulet is an archivist-paleographer. “Paleography being the reading of ancient writings. For this, I went through the National School of Charters in Paris which delivers this diploma, ”she says.
Born in Levalois-Perret in the Hauts-de-Seine, Anne Goulet began her career as director of the departmental archives of Deux-Sèvres. Then, she returned to Paris, where she was responsible for the archives and the historical library of the CCI. Then, she will occupy the position of adviser for the archives at the DRAC. From there, she headed south where she headed the departmental archives of the Pyrénées Atlantiques for 10 years before taking over as head of those of Haute-Garonne in 2014.
This afternoon, dressed in a red leather jacket and her pointed black boots, Anne Goulet breaks the image that we can have of the archivist. “I’m not the only one, I can introduce you to lots of colleagues like me,” she says. Passion for history anchored in the body, Anne Goulet contracted the virus very young, in the attic of her grandparents. “Gamine, I remember being fascinated by a grandmother’s school notebooks from 1870. At the time, it seemed absolutely marvelous to me,” she says.
Of a curious nature, she considers that no subject is daunting. “For example, I am very moved by Marcel Pagnol, who, at the age of 60, began to be fascinated by prime numbers. Maybe that’s what will happen to me when I retire? Unless she resumes the research she produced and her “very administrative, general management” work has been interrupted… One thing is certain, she won’t be bored!