The documentary collection of the Watch Museum of Le Locle consists of a library of texts specialized in watchmaking and the measurement of time. A rich collection of approximately 2000 titles, it includes, over and above recent monographs, several watchmaking periodicals, as well as some 200 ancient works, notably, some by Ferdinand Berthoud.
A wealth of manuscripts can be added to these printed works:
- the archives of Alfred Chapuis (1880-1958), willed to the Museum after his death. His archives include the working notes of this watchmaking historian, his printed articles and certain of his manuscripts, as well as a large number of photographs.
- the Tardy-Lengellé collection, left with the Museum in 2002, is presently being classified.
The Museum also preserves the antique manufacturing books of the watchmaking companies, Jürgensen and Ulysse Nardin.
Over the past few years, a computerized catalogue of the documentary collections and a precise subject matter indexation have been made.
prerequisites for consulting the archives and the library
- Consulting the archives and the library may only be done with the permission of the curator, the archivist or the communal authorities.
- Authorizations must be requested in advance by telephone or in writing, in order to determine a date and time for the visit when the archivist is available.
- Researchers do not have free access to the documents ; Museum personnel will provide the solicited documents, then recover them.
- Rare or valuable books or documents are to be manipulated solely by the persons designated by the Museum. Any damage imputed to the user will be his responsibility.
- If the research is to be done by Museum personnel, a fee may berequired .
- Any documents consulted, which are cited or reproduced in a published document, must figure in the bibliography. At least one example of each such document will be given to the Museum for the archives or the library.
- If the consultation of documents were to derange other visitors, we would be obliged to organize it outside ordinary open-to-the-public hours.
- Photocopies and computerized photographs made by researchers are only authorized under certain conditions:
- A request must be made to the archivist or the curator in each case
- Only a limited number of copies per document, book, file, et al, will be authorized
- These copies may only be used as work documents
- The Museum reserves the right to request a copy of each computerized photograph for the archives