Centre Régional de Culture Ethnologique et Technique

Connaissance et valorisation du patrimoine ethnologique et technique en Basse-Normandie


Centre Régional de Culture Ethnologique et Technique

CRéCET in short

The ethnologic heritage of a country includes the specific modes of material life and the social organisation of the groups which make it up. This heritage includes their knowledge, their own representation of the world, and in a general way, the elements building the identity of every social group and differentiating them from others. Whether it is material or immaterial, this 'living' heritage constitutes our contemporary society, both in its permanence and its changes.

(Isac Chiva, 1990...).

The profound changes of the French society during the last decades have incited many public initiatives, either from associations or individuals. They tend to broaden the notion of heritage that had until then mainly involved monumental architecture, archaeology and major arts. The Ministry of Culture took this extension into consideration at the end of the 1970's when it created a special Council for ethnologic heritage. This Council plays a part in the fields of research, training, publishing, audio-visual production, information and cultural projects.

Branch offices were created in a few regions to extend the action of these institutions, either within Regional Cultural Services or as a structure like the CRÉCET de Basse-Normandie, set up together with regional authorities.

The mission of the CRÉCET consists in promoting or achieving research and training projects in the different fields of ethnologic heritage. The CRÉCET favours local initiatives, advises, lists what is needed, offers logistic and intellectual support, leads projects, developing thereby the policies run the authorities in charge (Direction Régionale des Affaires Culturelles, Conseil Régional de Basse-Normandie).

Enriched with a more 20-year-old experience of practical action and its cooperation with a network of varied partners, the CRÉCET has been able to perceive how coherent and concretely interlinked these multiple activities in their mutual enrichment.


The knowledge of ethnologic heritage is one of the main lines of the CRÉCET's mission. It works out and leads programmes of research or information, either alone or in partnership.

The domain of research, which is generally quite active at regional level, comes in as a support to projects of local development, tourist and cultural investments, space management, boosting traditional fields of activity.

This task also includes projects of exhibitions, publications or audiovisual material whose content also has to be filled out. The CRÉCET can also play a part before a project if carried out and thereby help organisers to specify objectives and contents.

These programmes can be either short -when they respond to an isolated request- or run on much longer term. Most of them are carried out in partnership :

Some programmes are partly funded by the Ministry of Culture.


As a consultant, the CRÉCET contributes to defining and developing many regional facilities in the fields of culture and tourism.

The CRÉCET has already taken an active part in more than 30 museum projects and operations of heritage development. It also gives its suggestions about local development together with organisations like the Regional Natural Parks : elaborating charters, defining strategies for heritage development... Thanks to its knowledge of the regional territory, the CRÉCET has become a resource centre very much in demand.

The CRÉCET also offers its skills to the authorities it depends on, by giving advising and elaborating projects which are beneficial to the whole region. It contributed to computerising museum collections, defining the project of a sound archive centre and incited the Conseil Economique et Social Régional to carry out a study on the protection and the development of animal and vegetal heritage.


As an organisation whose missions are both science and culture, the CRÉCET attempts to raise public awareness of these issues and popularise them, mainly through publications and audiovisual material. This activity is often associated with research and information as well as with consultancy and development aid for projects from organisations the CRÉCET cooperates with.

As regards publishing, the CRÉCET created its own collection : 'Les Carnets d'ici', open to its partners' suggestions. This attractive collection offers serious and accessible contents with a moderate selling price. It aims at gathering and spreading the knowledge acquired on activities and facts deeply rooted in our regional history and territory, and at showing from different angles its permanent and changing aspects.

Audiovisual techniques are a means of investigation and collection for an often- immaterial heritage as well as a medium of diffusion. The CRÉCET has been over the last years one the principal regional producers of documentaries.

In 1995, the CRÉCET set up an ethnographic film festival in partnership with the Cinéma LUX and l'Atelier Cinéma de Normandie. This festival called 'La Semaine du Cinéma Ethnographique' shows ethnographic and sociological documentaries.

This event offers a new space of diffusion for a type of cinema providing a presentation of the world that is more solid and lasting than many television programmes and reports. Far from simplistic clichés, includes both 'great classics' and recent films.

There is actually a real public for style of cinema dealing with close environments as well as more distant cultures.


The CRÉCET organises training courses and seminars. These courses aim at people working for culture, tourism and local development and at certain socio-professional categories.


In the period from the spring of 2003 to the summer of 2004, some forty societies and local authorities as museum owners and managers have signed up for a convention committing them to set up a regional network. An initiative of the French State and of Lower Normandy region, this network of over fifty institutions, coordinated and run by the Crécet (Regional Centre of Ethnological and Technical Culture), is aimed primarily at what are known as society museums, meaning museums whose collections testify, in the broad sense, to the history and evolution of society. The network's operations focus on three main areas :

- Developing cultural co-operation

The museum network's mission statement is as follows : to help the flow of information and exchange of professional skills among museums, foster collaboration, bring about the creation of shared tools, coordinate collective projects… This arrangement is intended to further co-operation between institutions that are organised on very different lines and with different resources but which all mesh together, working towards cultural, tourist and economic development in Lower Normandy.

- Promoting the activities of museums in the network

The creation of the website www.musees-basse-normandie.fr , designed to be a gateway to what is on at the museums of Lower Normandy region, is part of a scheme to develop overall communications and promotion of the museums. The network is seeking to bring these institutions closer to their respective audiences by making available full details of their activities and services.

- Schemes for the conservation and enhancement of collections

This area of activity notably includes a concrete action plan to facilitate and develop computerisation and digitisation of the museum network collections.


The CRÉCET is the fruit of a long reflection that materialised in late 1984 on the initiative of the Ministry of Culture and the Regional Council of Basse-Normandie. It is a non-profit making association run by a board of directors including representatives of these institutions.


Owing to its very varied activities in many different fields, the CRÉCET is led to collaborate with very diversified partners. Its main regular partners are research organisations, universities, public authorities, museums, associations, vocational centres, companies...

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Création & hébergement Internet : Téïcée // référencé sur normandie-france.com

© 2016 CRéCET - Tous droits réservés - mentions légales