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Vous êtes ici : CHCSCFRBibliothèqueBase de données Culturhisto

The Culturhisto database

News :

  • Already accessed by 45 countries and more than 3,500 pages viewed!

Countries that have accessed the database include France, United States, Spain, Italy, UK, Brazil, Germany, Canada, Algeria, Switzerland and New Caledonia.
Nearly 300 pages viewed each month

  • Culturhisto in the media:

Article entitled L'histoire culturelle du XIXe au XXIe siècle à portée de clic [PDF] published in the university magazine T’DACtu, no 40, October-December 2013, p. 17.

  • Paper presented at the Bibliothèque nationale de France:
Présentation de la première base de données en histoire culturelle: Culturhisto, at the 1st Transfopress (transnational network for the study of foreign language press) international conference, 28 November 2013, Bibliothèque nationale de France.

1. First cultural history database

The cultural history of the 19th to 21st centuries is just a click away. The Centre d’Histoire Culturelle des Sociétés Contemporaines (CHCSC) provides an innovative database called Culturhisto.

This resource reveals the variety of cultural domains and topics included in the cultural production, mediation and reception. It also inventories the social history of representations (cultural uses and practices, cultural transfers, cultural imaginations).

2. Main themes

This research tool is split into 8 topics:

1.      Archives, books/publishing, writing, reading

2.      Culture, space, environment

3.      International cultural exchanges, flows and transfers   

4.      Cultural history of the social and political sciences   

5.      Media, image and communication   

6.      Norms and groups, practices and sensitivities   

7.      Heritage

8.      Performing arts, physical and artistic expressions

With new references added each week since 2013, Culturhisto is a multidisciplinary documentary resource (history, art history, literature, political science, social sciences, etc.).

It currently offers access to more than 80,000 items that are:

  • multilingual (French, English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese)
  • multi-media (books, theses, journals, full articles, hypertext links, videos, etc.)
  • updated and expanded each week by an information expert
  • imported from the catalogues of major French and international libraries (Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Library of Congress, SUDOC, etc.) plus grey literature (dissertations and theses,  habilitation à diriger des recherches, articles)
  • available in full text and/or held in French libraries.
Culturhisto provides the abstract, summary, full text, front cover and location of contemporary cultural history resources. Some documents are held in the CHCSC and in the Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines libraries. They can thus be easily consulted, borrowed or requested online through an interlibrary loan request.

3. Accessing Culturhisto and its features

Culturhisto is an open access resource available from the CHCSC website.

This purpose-built research tool is easy to use. It offers many features, including online help, simple/advanced search options, save your search option, customised RSS feeds and downloadable documents in various formats (PDF, txt, etc.).


The Culturhisto database is collaborative and dynamic. Undergraduates, postgraduates, lecturers and experienced researchers can:

  • save and share their searches (by email, through social networks, in print)
  • contribute to improving records by adding tags or comments
  • put forward procurement suggestions in the cultural history domain
  • subscribe to the thematic information feed (RSS).
Culturhisto is a project that constantly evolves and expands through weekly updates relating to the most current data, the ongoing collection of research articles and continuing bibliographic searches. In addition, the CHCSC is developing a lexicon of existing concepts and terms in the field of cultural history (books, media, performing arts, heritage and cultural relations).

4. Added value of this resource

This database is a key resource for the entire scientific community in that it promotes studies and their results.

Although several HASS databases already exist (Cairn, Historical Abstracts, Jstor, OpenEdition), none are specialised in cultural history.

This cross-cutting project implemented by the CHCSC (2009-2013) has been graded A+ by the Agence d’Evaluation de la Recherche de l'Enseignement Supérieur (a body monitoring the quality of research conducted in French higher education institutions).

5. Project’s origins

The project is up and running: already accessed by 45 countries with more than 3,500 pages viewed!! Countries logging in: France, United States, Spain, Italy, UK, Brazil, Germany, Canada, Algeria, Switzerland, New Caledonia and many more.

Nearly 300 pages viewed each month.

Brief history:

1.      The name ‘Culturhisto’ was invented in 2009 by CHCSC doctoral students Sophie Kienlen, Klervi Le CollenGéraldine Poels and Sylvain Lesage for the annual journée d'études (colloquium) they were co-organising.

2.      Original, meaningful and, as a contraction of ‘culture’ and ‘history’, intrinsically linked to the CHCSC’s emblematic themes, the name was subsequently adopted for the new database.

3.      The Culturhisto database was launched online on 14 September 2013 during the 30th European Heritage Day.

4.      It was designed and developed using the free software PMB, which was implemented and adapted by Jacques Kergomard (BiblioTIC).

The graphic interface was created by Nicolas Boileau, communications manager at the Institut d'Études Culturelles et Internationales (IECI).

5.      Project’s origins: Christian Delporte proposed that an exhaustive bibliography should be included in the Dictionnaire d'histoire culturelle de la France contemporaine (edited by Jean-Yves Mollier, Jean-François Sirinelli, and Christian Delporte and published in 2010). The Culturhisto database is the digitised outcome of this project.

6.      In 2013, this new resource was given fresh momentum at CHCSC with:

- the Transfopress research project involving the Bibliothèque nationale de France, La Contemporaine (formerly BDIC) and researchers specialising in the French and international press (Christian Delporte, Diana Cooper-Richet and Géraldine Poels, postdoctoral student at Patrima) and

- the launch of the new seminar series Médias et médiations de la gastronomie (XVIIe-XXIe).

This resource is constantly evolving and expanding through weekly updates relating to the most current data, the ongoing collection of research articles and continuing bibliographic searches.

Contact: / 01 39 25 56 32

We will be happy to hear from you. Our documentary skills will help you choose reliable, up-to-date references and discover new resources and tools.