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Faculty facts and data 2012/2013

A New Platform for the Collège de France’s Digital Books

Céline Vautrin
p. 88

Notes de la rédaction

Source: La lettre, no. 36, May 2013

Texte intégral

1In July 2010, the Collège de France inaugurated four online collections on the Revues.org1 platform, which is part of OpenEdition portal since 2011. This portal is now split into two, since the launch of the OpenEdition Books platform in February. Alongside the 300 journals available on, the new space that OpenEdition Books provides is specifically devoted to digital books, and will become an international library for the digital humanities.

2Three months after its launch, OpenEdition Books counted close to 500 books from fifteen French and international publishers, half of which are in Open Access (OA), inclu­ding the last four years of the Collège de France’s inaugural lectures (i.e. 25 titles, thirteen of which are also published in English). The books of the collections “Conférences du Collège de France” (original monographs and conference ­proceedings) and “Philosophie de la connaissance au Collège de France” have also been added to OpenEdition Books. Thanks to funding from the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research obtained by The Centre for Open Electronic Publishing (Cléo)/OpenEdition, over 15,000 books will be put online by 2020. As part of this initiative, 60 inaugural lectures have already been digitized and are currently being published electronically. In time, all the Collège de France’s inaugural lectures published since 1949 (many of which are out of print) will be available on this platform.

Open access

  • 2, under Publications > Electronic Publications

3The Collège de France’s digital books can be accessed through its website2 or through any search engine (particular care goes into referencing). They can also be found from the homepage of the OpenEdition Books platform, with direct access by publisher, through a search by discipline (archaeology, literature, etc.) or by theme (keyword, geographical area or historical period in particular). They can also be found in the cross-thematic files put together by OpenEdition.

4All the texts published online by the Collège de France are available in Open access, without DRM or obstacles to their appropriation by readers. Derived formats (PDF and ePub), called “digital books” (or e-books), will be available to users of the libraries subscribed to OpenEdition and sold individually to internet users. By offering the ease of reading on tablets and mobile phones, predefined formatting for printing, and so on, these purchasable formats supplement the online publi­cation, which is the standard edition of the texts produced with ­rigorous copy-editing. It will soon be possible to order the printed format, when available, directly from the platform.


5The quality of the editing, the interoperability of the metadata and the tools provided for citation purposes remain the cornerstones of the new platform. However, new functionalities are proposed, such as, for example, a clickable­ table of contents and a local search engine for individual books. It will also be possible to embed texts to be cited.

6The Collège de France also has its own homepage on the portal, where it can highlight its latest releases or certain sections of its catalogue by thematic files.

7Internet is a valuable tool for the circulation of information. Yet knowledge is not reducible to information and data. It is acquired primarily by reading books that are sometimes long, dense and complex, and that are the fruit of collaboration between different actors (authors and publishers). The new OpenEdition Books platform is set to become a sound and innovative facility at the service of a large “bibliodiversity” (as Marin Dacos, Head of OpenEdition puts it), an international and multilingual platform that is built around books. With the launch of the new platform, books and the web can now join forces.

To access OpenEdition Books:​cdf/​

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1 See La lettre no. 31, p. 52-55;

2, under Publications > Electronic Publications

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Référence papier

Céline Vautrin, « A New Platform for the Collège de France’s Digital Books », La lettre du Collège de France, 8 | 2014, 88.

Référence électronique

Céline Vautrin, « A New Platform for the Collège de France’s Digital Books », La lettre du Collège de France [En ligne], 8 | mars 2014, mis en ligne le 12 août 2015, consulté le 28 janvier 2022. URL : ; DOI :

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