Call for Papers: French Historical Studies issue on Archives

Ddfhs_37_4The editors of French Historical Studies seek articles for a special issue on the theme of archives and archival practice in French history to appear in the spring 2017. Recent transnational scholarship on archives has alerted us to the ways in which archives are not neutral sites but ones where knowledge is constructed and negotiated. Discussions about whether or not cultural history has lured historians away from the archives have missed an underlying reality: historians of France and the French empire now use a wider range of public and private holdings beyond national, departmental, defense, and colonial archives. These archives often require different strategies for entry and use. To note only the most obvious differences: finding aids have not always been compiled by trained archivists and classificatory schemes vary considerably depending on organizations’ needs. Access to outsiders and the communication of documents may be limited or restricted. Technology is also transforming both the archive itself and access to the archive.

The editors invite articles that situate these issues in the context of French history and historiography. More than just tales from the archives, articles will reflect authors’ experiences in archives that illuminate both archival practice and ways of doing French history. Among the various types of non- traditional archives, we invite authors to consider church and missionary archives, corporate archives, associations’ archives, mayors’ offices and communal records, hospital archives and medical records, private papers, and colonial archives outside Aix. We also welcome articles on non-traditional ways of using traditional archives, on the impact of digitization and other technologies on archival practice, and on the encounter between historians and archivists.

Queries about submission and other matters regarding this special issue should be addressed to the guest editors, Sarah Curtis (scurtis[at]sfsu[dot]edu) and Stephen Harp (sharp[at]uakron[dot]edu).

To submit an article, please visit After registering, follow the submission instructions under “Instructions for Authors” on the website. Articles may be either in English or in French but must conform to French Historical Studies style (for details, see and must be accompanied by titles and 150-word abstracts in both languages. Manuscripts should be between 6,000 and 8,000 words excluding notes and no longer than 10,000 words including notes. For the inclusion of illustrations, written permission must be obtained from the relevant persons or institutions for both print and online publication. The deadline for submissions is July 15, 2015.

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