Rouages, Knowledge FactoryRouages, Knowledge Factory
©Rouages, Knowledge Factory|© Pierre-Olivier Deschamps / Agence Vu'

The Knowledge Factory

Testimony to the industrial past

Dive into the rich industrial past of Elbeuf, just a few kilometers from Rouen, and discover a museum with an inventive scenography of nearly 45,000 works, objects and naturalized animals. This cultural and educational heart explores the Elbeuf epic through the history of the Seine, industrial heritage and natural sciences.

Discover the adventure
Blin et Blin

This magnificent building that houses the Knowledge Factory, with its red bricks and sheds roof, is a living testimony of Elbeuf’s industrial past, from the time when it was a city known for its cloth industry, at the end of the 19th century. You are, in fact, in front of one of the former wool blending workshops of the Blin family, ideally located on the banks of the Seine. Their company Blin et Blin, founded in 1871, helped make Elbeuf aspinning and weaving town. Nearly 2000 workers worked here, on a workshop area of nearly 100,000m2, embarking on a textile adventure that would last more than one hundred and fifty years.

The Seine in majesty

In a modern scenography, it is the river that links the different sections of the museum: natural sciences, archaeology and industrial heritage. Stairs, furniture and visiting spaces are particularly attractive and one can easily navigate between the different parts of the museum. One discovers the formidable collection of Elbeuvian naturalist Pierre Noury. The youngest will appreciate his many naturalized animals. These are also several old looms that unfold the industrial history of Elbeuf. Rope makers, wool makers, breakers, to you to discover them! And one goes from the textile to its coloring. Elbeuf was known for its black or blue sheets, thanks to the dye plants. The museum presents a herbarium that allows you to observe the collection of dried plants used by the dyers Elbeuf.

How about a dive into the archives?

Here, we collectthe archives of Elbeuf and the surrounding municipalities since the 16th century, via the Heritage Archive Center. This corresponds to more than 3 km of archives! Take a seat in the reading room. It is possible to consult a microfilm, old photos, newspaper articles of the time or old correspondence. A real jump in time, at the same time playful, exciting and instructive. Workshops and visits are organized to guide you through this mine of testimonies, real treasures to learn more about our ancestors and their way of life. The place also aims to educate the public about its local heritage via the Center for Interpretation of Architecture and Heritage (CIAP). A permanent exhibition presents the architectural and urban evolution of the territory elbeuvien through films, models and architectural theaters.

Exhibitions galore

Going to meetBuffalo Bill, admiringthe most beautiful photographic shots of Wild Life, following the trail of the Yeti or rediscovering the works of the Norman writer Hector Malot are some of the themes addressed lately by the temporary exhibitions of the Fabrique des savoirs. The center also hosts contemporary artists as part of La Ronde, a collaborative project between the twelve museums of La Réunion des Musées Métropolitains and participates in the Time of Collections, an event that honors the richness of its collections on a changing theme each year.

A free museum

Take advantage of it! Access to the museum and permanent collections is completely free. The metropolis of Rouen has constituted, since January 2016, a large museum cluster that brings together twelve museums, on the territory, free for all audiences. This meeting is quite unprecedented and allows free access to all collections, rich in one million objects.

A "joyful museum

Families are at home here! The Knowledge Factory has been awarded the national “Happy Museum” label created by the Mom Art association specifically designed for child visitors. Fun and interactive presentation of the collections, relaxation areas arranged along the route, colorful poufs to take a break in front of your favorite object, booklets-games related to the exhibitions available at the museum reception, indoor garden to get some fresh air between two discoveries, events and workshops adapted to the public … everything is done so that children and their families have a good time and enjoy the museum’s rooms with pleasure and interest.