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About the library

The library offers students, academics and researchers a specialist collection of resources on the history of cultures and representations from the 19th and the 21st century.

Founded in 1992, the Centre d’Histoire Culturelle des Sociétés Contemporaines (CHCSC) defines culture as ‘the set of collective representations specific to a given society’. Because the term ‘culture’ is to be understood here in its broadest sense, the CHCSC defines ‘cultural history’ as ‘the social history of representations’.

The CHCSC library collections are connected to the Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines’s (UVSQ) Direction des Bibliothèques et de l'Information Scientifique et Technique (DBIST). They can therefore be searched online using the university library portal or SUDOC (Système Universitaire de Documentation, a centralised catalogue of all the French universities library holdings in France).


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The collections

The collections are structured around the following research areas:

  • history of publishing, books, reading and archives
  • history of the media (press, radio, TV, cinema, internet, images, propaganda)
  • performing arts (theatre, music, dance) and leisure (photography, sport)
  • heritage and the city (urbanisation, architecture)
  • international cultural relations
  • social gender relations in the field of culture.


They consist of:

  • several thousand monographs, journals, theses and dissertations, which are all available to the public (librarians are available for consultations 32.5 hours a week during opening hours).
  • databases that are accessible from the DBIST portal
  • a collection of grey literature composed of dissertations and theses, internship reports and offprints
  • recent CHCSC publications
  • a HAL collection promoting the CHCSC’s open archives.


Domains covered:
The documentation centre has been compiling specialist collections since 1992 in a range of human and social sciences domains: history, literature, sociology, economics, politics, geography, culture and the arts (visual arts, music, performing arts).

Geographic areas:
The collections cover France, UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, United States, Brazil, Africa, China and Japan.

Languages of the documents:
Most of the documents are in French and English, but some are also available in Portuguese and Italian.