In this section, you will find explanations about:

Access to digital documents

Display of search results

Consultation of digital documents (document display, collaborative annotation, detailed notice)

Personal account



Reuse of images

Access to digital documents

The "Digitized Collections" tab provides access to the complete list of documents, including some remarkable works presented in the "Virtual Exhibitions" tab.

It is also possible to access the documents by performing a search.

The simple search module is systematically accessible on all pages of the site and allows you to search for documents using one or more keywords. These keywords can be combined with the operators AND, OR and NOT. AND is the operator applied by default if several words are entered in the search bar. The simple search covers all fields of the records describing the scanned documents as well as the data of the scanned documents (tables of contents and full text). Simply type the first letters of a word and the search engine will complete and propose terms beginning with the entered string. Based on lemmatization, the search engine proposes results containing terms having the same root, without being limited to the case of the characters (lower/upper case).

The advanced search module allows you to target the search on one or more fields of the records describing the scanned documents or on the summaries and captions or on the full text. The AND/OR/EXCEPT drop-down menu allows you to combine the different search criteria.

The use of quotation marks makes it possible to search for an exact expression. The truncation character is an asterisk (e.g. "Rom*" for "Rome", "Roma", "Roman", "Romani"...).


Display of search results

It is possible to filter the results of a search using the facets on the right side of the page (e.g. author, publisher, country, city of publication, etc).

You can return to the initial list by unchecking the filters.

It is also possible to refine the list of results by setting:

  • the number of results displayed per page (10, 20 or 50),
  • Sorting the results (by title or date),
  • the display mode (thumbnail mosaic, table, map of publishing cities or timeline).



The "Include full text" option allows you to search for a word in the actual text of the works in the entire digitized collection.

The "Include Bookmarks" option allows you to search for a word in the table of contents of the entire digitized collection.


The button "Full text results" in the list of results records indicates that the searched word is present in the text of the book. It allows you to visualize the searched word in its context and, by clicking on "View", to access the relevant page on which the word is displayed with colored highlighting.

Result lists can be printed.

The "Bookmark results" button in the list of results records indicates that the searched word is present in the table of contents.

Consulting digital documents

Displaying the document

Clicking on the thumbnail of a book then opens the scanned document.

The "Bookmarks" tool describes the structure of the document.

Each bookmark is clickable and allows direct access to the corresponding image.

At the bottom of the viewer, different settings and functionalities are available: information, thumbnails, facing pages, single page, printing or downloading files, view bookmarks, search, view OCR text... When the mouse passes over each icon, a tooltip describing them appears.

Collaborative annotation

With the collaborative annotation tool available in the reader account, anyone can add bibliographic data and annotations to digitized documents. Not only does this tool allow you to work on texts in depth, but the published annotations also benefit other readers.

To create an annotation, you need to:

1. Open the document you wish to read and go to the page you wish to annotate.

2. Click on the annotation tool "A" at the bottom left of the page:

3. Choose whether you want to publish this annotation or keep it private:

4. Select the type of object you want to annotate:

5. Choose one of the 4 possible types of annotations and write your annotation in the text box corresponding to the chosen type of annotation.

6. If desired, use a zone to designate the location of the text that is being annotated. To do this, click on "Add a zone".

A zone is then placed on the page. To size the zone according to the object you have annotated, click on the bottom right corner.

To move the area, click on it and move. To recover the ability to resize or delete it, double-click on it.

7. It is possible to add several annotations at once, adding an option and a publication request (if desired) for each annotation.

8. When all operations are completed, click on "Edit".

9. To return to an annotation, go back to the document, click on the "Collaborative Annotation" tool, then click on "Save". The other two options allow you to add a zone, or remove the annotation.

10. If you do not wish to modify the annotation you have returned to, click on "Back".

Detailed instructions

From the list of search results, clicking on the desired title will take you to the detailed record of the document from which you can print, e-mail or share the document on social networks.


Personal account

The creation of a user account allows the user to create baskets of records.

To do this, simply click on the star located at the top left of the thumbnail:

It is then possible to add the document to the favorites or to a previously created category in the favorites:

You can access your basket of records at any time by clicking on the "My Favorites" link located under the search bar:

All accounts will be deleted after one year of inactivity.


On PLUME, all documents are downloadable. When you go to the document you want to download, just click on the corresponding icon:

The user then has four possibilities:

In addition to the two printing possibilities, one can download the image of the page displayed on the screen in jpg format, or download the PDF of the page, or download the PDF of the complete document.


The EPFL library keeps its readers informed of news related to PLUME. Any new content imported on PLUME is communicated on its Facebook page, Twitter or Instagram account.  

Don't miss the new content regularly offered on PLUME!

Reuse of images

Requests regarding the reuse of images or the provision of high-resolution files should be sent by e-mail to