History of the Paris Library

 

History

Founded in Hanoi in 1903, the EFEO (French School of Asian Studies) library bears witness to the manner in which the organisation's centres of interest have evolved over time. During the Indochinese period (1900-1957), the School's mission was to collect all printed books and manuscripts relating to French Indochina and to acquire all important publications on East Asia. The library added to its collections by means of regular purchases, gifts and exchanges, but it also acted as a depositary for books it printed itself. In 1944, the EFEO's Hanoi library contained approximately 80,000 volumes (including manuscripts), half of which were in European languages. At the end of the colonial period, agreements concerning the way in which the EFEO's collections should be shared between France and the three new nations of the former Indochina stipulated that works in European languages should be kept by the School, while works in local languages should go to the new countries. The most important local language manuscripts were then microfilmed. Later, several thousand books, most of them on Southeast Asia, were sent to France to form the core of the School's Parisian library, opened in 1968 at the same time as the Instituts d'Extrême-Orient, which later became the Maison de l'Asie.

Today, the EFEO library contains approximately 100,000 monographs and over 1,700 periodicals (700 of them current). Its collections also include several thousand rubbings and photographs. The library has evolved to keep abreast of the development of new fields of research which now cover a large part of Asia. Historical collections covering Japan and China, and South Asia have been added to those on Southeast Asia. While policy concerning the accumulation and study of documents has remained faithful to the School's core disciplines (archaeology, epigraphy, ethnology, and religions), emerging fields have not been neglected, as is witnessed by joint research programmes run with institutions possessing similar collections (the Collège de France, the Bibliothèque des langues orientales). The exchange of publications with Asian, European, and American universities and research centres constitutes an important part of the acquisitions process.

EFEO libraries outside Paris

EFEO's Paris facility is at the heart of a network of libraries maintained in a number of the School's Asian centres. At present, the centres in Chiang Mai, Hanoi, Jakarta, Kyoto, Pondicherry, Siem Reap and Vientiane possess significant libraries created for and by researchers working on site. The holdings of these libraries feature in the University Documentation System (SUDOC) and the BULAC catalogue. The collections generally respect the specific research interests of the Centre. Buddhism is well represented in the collections at Chiang Mai and Kyoto. Pondicherry possesses major collections in the fields of Sanskrit and Tamil philology, and South Indian archaeology and epigraphy. Siem Reap plays a central role in the activities of the Angkor Conservation Office, while Hanoi has recently made substantial additions to its collections on ethnology and the peoples of the Indochinese peninsular. Jakarta focuses on the social and religious evolutions of the region. The EFEO's Vientiane Centre boasts the only research library in Laos.

 

EFEO News
Ceremony at the National Museum of Cambodia
Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 18 June 2020
On June 18, the ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of the disappearance of its founder George Groslier was held at the National Museum of Cambodia. READ MORE
Signature of a bilateral agreement for the CHAMPA project
Vientiane, Laos, 17 June 2020
On June 17, the Vientiane office of the Agence française de développement (AFD), which has already signed a partnership agreement with the EFEO for various actions carried out in the framework of the CHAMPA project, signed the general bilateral agreement for the same project with the Laotian Ministry of Planning and Investment. This project aims to preserve and develop the cultural and urban heritage of the Champassak and Savannakhet provinces (South Laos). The EFEO provides scientific expertise and training in four areas: geomatics, archaeology, museography, and restoration.
Vientiane Times article.

Legend: In the foreground from left to right: Mrs. Florence Jeanblanc-Risler, French Ambassador to Laos, Dr. Kikeo Chanthaboury, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment and Matthieu Bommier, Director of AFD.
Paris EFEO/ASIES Seminar
08 June 2020
François Lachaud (EFEO) speaks on: "Les Chemins hantés du nord : Bouddhisme et société locale dans le Japon moderne (1700-2000)" [The Haunted Paths of the North: Buddhism and Local Society in Modern Japan (1700-2000)] as part of the PSL-EHESS-EPHE-EFEO Master in Asian Studies, the general theme of which is "Dynamiques religieuses : traditions et innovations".

The conference will take place at 10 a.m. (Paris time) online. You can attend the seminar by logging on to this link.
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Doctoral contract – Campaign 2020
17 May 2020
Extension of the deadline for submitting applications for MESRI doctoral contracts - EFE.

Due to the current health crisis, the deadlines for submitting applications for the MESRI Doctoral Contracts - EFE, 2020-2023, have been extended.

The conditions remain unchanged but candidates who have already submitted their application may, if they deem it necessary, update it and send a new version by 17 May. Applications received remain registered.

The arbitrations will, as initially planned, be rendered during the month of June.

Details and the procedure for submitting applications to the EFEO can be found here.

Application documents may be sent until May 17th, 2020, 3:00 p.m. (Paris time), according to the procedures specific to each EFE. The results will be sent before the end of June.
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Blogpost
01 May 2020
Discover Arlo Griffiths' article on the DHARMA project blog: "Cataloging and digitizing estampages of inscriptions from Leiden University Library".