École Nationale des Chartes

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This article is about the school. For the academic journal, please see Bibliothèque de l'École des Chartes
The entry of Ecole Nationale des Chartes, place de la Sorbonne in Paris
The Hôtel de Clisson and entrance to the École des chartes from 1846 to 1866.

The École Nationale des Chartes is a grand établissement, an elite French university-level educational institution based in Paris. It provides education and training for archivists, historians and librarians and forms part of the University of Paris.


The school was founded by a royal ordinance of 22 February 1821, but closed in 1823, only to reopen following a new ordinance of 11 November 1829. The school was originally based at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, then called the Bibliothèque royale, on the rue de Richelieu. In 1862 the school moved to a site close to the Archives nationales, and later still to the Sorbonne, to facilities intended for the suppressed theology department.

The school's mission is the training of archivists and librarians in all fields. French nationals recruited by competition are paid as state employees. Its graduates have specialised as historians of art and architecture, palaeographers, curators, librarians, archaeologists. Some of the most renowned have specialised in ancient and medieval as well as contemporary history. As with all the grands établissements, many of its graduates have made a mark in other areas, in particular politics and administration.

Three programmes are offered, medieval history, to 1484, modern history, from 1483 to 1815, and contemporary history, from 1815 onwards. Various secondary schools provide specialist training for prospective students, and in theory entry into the three-year programme is open to holders of a bachelor's degree. In practice, the course of studies is at master's degree level, and places are limited to around 20 each year in total. Due to the elite level of the selection, most of the students, known as chartistes, are enrolled as civil servants for 10 years upon entering the school, a status similar to that provided for students of the École Normale Supérieure.

In addition to these programmes, the École des Chartes organises a number of courses and lectures with open access to the public, and also provides specialist study to students in other universities pursuing master's degree-level studies.

Notable alumni[edit]

Politicians, writers, priests and journalists[edit]

Historians, anthropologists, archivists and librarians[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Moore, Lara J. Restoring Order: The Ecole des Chartes and the Organization of Archives and Libraries in France, 1820-1870, Litwin Books, Duluth, MN, 2008. ISBN 978-0-9778617-9-8
  • (French) L'École nationale des chartes : histoire de l'école depuis 1821, G. Klopp, Thionville, 1997. ISBN 2-911992-05-9

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 48°50′56″N 2°20′34″E / 48.84889°N 2.34278°E / 48.84889; 2.34278