In July 2010, the Collège de France inaugurated its online publishing project with four collections hosted on the Revues.org portal, renamed OpenEdition in 2011 when the portal was divided into two with the launch of OpenEdition Books. This new space dedicated to digital books aims to build an international library for digital humanities.
Four collections of the Collège de France have been published in electronic format. The books are available online (open access) and marketed in the form of eBooks. The project seeks to build a large, easily accessible and quotable corpus of all texts published by the Collège de France over the last century.
Three of these collections are also available in print editions. First, the Inaugural Lectures, a collection that includes almost all of inaugural lectures delivered by professors since 1949. Second, the Yearbook (or Summary of courses and research) that has reflected education and research at the Collège since 1901, and finally the Letter, which over the last decade has presented and commented upon our institution's major events.
These collections will be gradually supplemented by all the old issues that are currently being scanned. Many inaugural lectures were in fact major events in their field and in their time, sometimes even sensational ones. Many are no longer available today. Such texts, as well as the yearly summaries prepared by the professors at the end of their course and published in the Yearbook, are milestones in the history and scientific life of the institution. The fourth collection, published only in digital form, offers unpublished texts from seminars, courses or conferences organized by the Collège de France.
The Chairs publish two other collections from research work:
- "Philosophy of Knowledge at the Collège de France", hosted on the same platform, is published by the Chair in Metaphysics and Philosophy of Knowledge.
- "The Institute of Civilizations", created in 2015.
The Six Collections
New professors give their first lecture in the form of an inaugural speech, made formally before their colleagues and a large audience. It is an opportunity for them to position their work and teaching with regards to their predecessors’ and the latest advances in research.
Yearbooks (Lectures and Research)
Articles written each year by Professor to present their courses and research.
Collège de France Letter
The Letter is a collection of articles which record, present and review the year’s major events at the institution (new or substitute Chairs, major interdisciplinary symposia or research seminars, visiting international lecturers, inauguration of a new buildings, notable visits, etc.) or address contemporary issues (tobacco addition, the role of examining magistrates, the earthquake in Haiti, etc.). The Letter reflects the living history of the institution, for the present but also for the future.
The "Conferences of the Collège de France" collection is meant to be a reflection of its prolific activity and make it known to a wide public, both in France and abroad. Electronic publication is a particularly appropriate tool for the dissemination of such research. Independent economic constraints of the print edition and the book, it may have only criteria for intellectual quality, scientific interest and novelty.
Philosophy of Knowledge
The teachings of Jules Vuillemin (1962-1992), Jacques Bouveresse (1995-2010) and Claudine Tiercelin (2010-) has maintained the high profile of the philosophy of knowledge at the Collège de France for fifty years. Based on the French Rationalist tradition and heavily influenced by German and British philosophy and analytical thinking, it has evolved along original lines. The editorial site "The Philosophy of Knowledge at the Collège de France" will publish books in French or English authored by these three professors, or closely related to the scope of their Chairs and their respective research interests.
Institute of Civilizations
Directed by Dominique Charpin
This collection is designed to give more visibility to the research activities of the Institute of Civilizations at the Collège de France, which consists of four departments:
- The anthropology department around the Chair in Anthropology of Nature;
- The ancient Mediterranean civilization department, encompassing the entire Mediterranean basin and including Hellenistic and Roman civilizations, Byzantine Studies and Turkish Studies;
- The ancient Near East department with Assyriology, Semitic studies, and Egyptology;
- The ancient and modern Far East with modern Chinese studies, Japanese studies and the History of pre-Islamic Central Asia.