What is the BNPM?


BNPM are the initials of the Banque Numérique du Patrimoine Martiniquais, or Martinique Heritage Database. This database was set up by the General Council of Martinique. It is a portal giving access to documents on the cultural and historical heritage of Martinique, backed up by the Martinique geographical information system (SIGMA). It offers numerous search possibilities thanks to its user-friendly navigation and search engine based on the principle of interoperability between databases.

It also allows users to cross-reference different types of data from different sources (documents on historical monuments or excavations, archival or bibliographical metadata, topic-based collections, manuscripts, printed documents, periodicals, plans, maps, engravings, drawings, audiovisual resources, etc), about different places (Fond Saint-Jacques, Vivé, Fort-de-France, etc), on different topics (slavery, sugar mills, rural architecture, craftsmanship, etc). Apart from very broad searches, it will also make available on-line publications on different topics (virtual exhibitions, educational documents, cultural directories, etc).


The Martinique Heritage Database is a joint project managed by the General Council of Martinique. It addresses several major concerns:
  • It facilitates access to knowledge about Martinique’s historical and cultural heritage. It interconnects data already available on Martinique’s heritage (history, architecture, archaeology, monuments, written heritage, intangible heritage and the arts, etc). It gives a very varied public (developers, researchers, historians, students, the general public, tourists, etc) easy access to this data.
  • It guarantees the preservation of the data by digitizing what exists and organizing and ensuring the geolocation of the relevant databases.
  • By using European standards for the creation of digital cultural content, it enables data exchange with implementing partners for land management and development, and for cooperation with other Caribbean islands,
  • It contributes to the development of tourism in Martinique.

The different objectives underlying this portal are:
  • To satisfy the demands of the public for rapid access to documents (genealogy, civil status, land registry documents, etc),
  • To enable the transmission of historical knowledge and the discovery of the wealth of the Martinican heritage both for learned researchers and for those who are simply curious,
  • To provide schools with learning materials (special topics, virtual exhibitions, etc)
  • To make an inventory of Martinique’s very rich heritage in all its forms (archaeological, historical, geographical, administrative, military, civil, religious, etc) and to preserve it,
  • To use present and historical geographical documents to access historical information on Martinique,
  • To bring together in one portal resources on Martinique’s heritage available in different places on the Internet and in various collections,
  • To make available a tool that enables comparative studies of changes in land development and occupation in Martinique,
  • To participate in the maintenance of territorial continuity between the French Overseas Departments and France by providing remote access.