Maison de l'histoire de France (External organisation)

Activity: Membership typesMembership in special-interest organisation


The French government, through the Ministry of Culture, is committed to the establishment of a Maison de l'histoire de France at the end of 2012. This body will have as its primary mission the bridging of academic scholarship, the media, the historical museum network of France, and the public. As such it will be a fully institutionalised form of outreach, located in the heart of Paris among the buildings of the Archives Nationales, and the aim of the Maison is to inform the international public about French history, taking account of different interpretations and engaging with historical controversies, especially those that continue to have direct resonance or relevance in the present. In the autumn of 2011 I acted as one of a number of foreign consultants on the planning of this project, receiving a copy of the "avant-projet" and responding directly to the chair of the committee (who answers directly to the Minister of Culture) overseeing this project. During the winter of 2011-12 the committee are considering all responses before the Maison takes final shape in the remaining months of 2012. I was selected in part because of I am the Director of the Centre for French History and Culture at St Andrews, but also because my research is well known in France, particularly by one member of the senior civil service team organising this project, M. Emmanuel Penicaut, and by the conservateur en chef of the cabinet de numismatique at the Musee Carnavalet, Paris, M. Thierry Sarmant. Both are previously conservateur en chef of the archives at the Service Historique de la Defense, run by the French Ministry of Defence, where the military archives are housed and conferences are hosted. The Maison de l'histoire de France are seeking junior partners among learned societies and research institutes overseas to help shape their exhibitions, public lectures, visiting scholar schedule and other activities, and in my response I have suggested that the Centre for French History and Culture at St Andrews become one of those partners, especially assisting with historical and linguistic accuracy for each of their rolling exhibitions. We should know within 12 months whether they wish to take us up on this offer, but the initial response to my consultation response, through M. Penicaut, was positive and grateful.
Period31 Dec 2012
Held atMaison de l'histoire de France, France
Degree of RecognitionInternational