East Asian Civilisations Research Center (CRCAO)


History and description

Founded in 2006, the East Asian Civilisations Research Center (CRCAO) is a Mixed Research Unit of the CNRS under the supervision of the École pratique des hautes études (EPHE), the Collège de France, and the Université de Paris - Diderot.

CRCAO research activities focus on all East Asian countries as well as ongoing transnational issues. However, the Center is structured into three teams by region:

Research in each of these regions accounts for the main thrust of the Center’s research activities as a whole.

Administrative supervision

Four institutions supervise the CRCAO:

  • CNRS
  • École pratique des hautes études (EPHE)
  • Collège de France
  • Université Paris - Diderot (Paris 7)

The Center is housed by the Collège de France, which also supports its research activities and hosts many of its events.

It is a part of the Instituts d’Extrême-Orient at the Collège de France, 52 rue du Cardinal Lemoine, 75005 Paris.

The Center’s resources may be found among the collections preserved by the Instituts d’Extrême-Orient at the Collège de France.

Research programs

Research at the CRCAO covers a broad range of disciplines, and all periods from the most ancient to contemporary times. A significant part of its programs focuses on the study of religions, history, archeology, arts, architecture and urbanism, and the literature and thought of the classical, modern, and contemporary periods. The Center also has a special interest in primary sources such as manuscripts, inscriptions, editions, and iconographic and archaeological documents.

CRCAO's research programs covers six areas:

• Archaeology, Ancient and Medieval History
• Religion, Philosophy, Rituals
• Modern and Contemporary History and Society
• Classical and Modern Literature
• Art, Material Culture, Knowledge and Techniques
• Publishing activities and documentation


The Revue d’études tibétaines is a yearly journal published by the CRCAO since 2002, available online for free download.

The journal Études Mongoles & Sibériennes, Centrasiatiques & Tibétaines, EMSCAT, is published through a partnership between the CRCAO and the Center for Mongolian and Siberian Studies at the École pratique des hautes études.

The CRCAO also contributes to publications by the Institut des hautes études japonaises and the Institut des hautes études chinoises, the Bibliothèque chinoise des Belles Lettres as well as the collection “Hautes études orientales, Extrême-Orient” published by the École pratique des hautes études (Librairie Droz).


The CRCAO website currently offers three databases:

One of the Centre's missions is to develop new databases over the next several years in connection to its research programs.