The Gaia astrometric reference catalogue will provide star proper motions with an accuracy of one mas one century ago for stars of magnitude 14 or brighter. Our project is to re-reduced the old observations with the new catalogue allowing to have an astrometric accuracy only limited by the observational biases and not by reference stars. Then, we plan to get an accuracy of 50 mas where the old reductions were not better than 500 mas!
For our purpose, we will digitize old photographic plates with a sub-micrometric scanner. Tests were made using the UCAC catalogue showing that old photographic plates have an intrinsect accuracy of 30 to 60 mas.