French Institute for Scotland

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The French Institute is a cultural center which promotes French language and French culture in Edinburgh and in Scotland. It is composed of a cultural department, a courses department and a media library. It also hosts the Education officer for Scotland. The French Institute is located in Randolph Crescent in Edinburgh's West End. The French Institute is related to the French Institute for United Kingdom in London. It is part of the French Foreign Ministry.

French Institute façade


Founded in 1946 by René Massigli, Ambassador of France to the United-Kingdom, the French Institute is located in historical buildings. Indeed, since the building construction in the 1820s, the numbers 12 and 13, which used to form one unique building, hosted Flora Stevenson's family and a maternity.

The Auld Alliance, which is the beginning of the friendship between Scotland and France against England was signed in 1295. In 1942, the General de Gaulle said about this alliance it was the « oldest alliance in the world ».

Directors of the French Institute for Scotland[edit]

  • 2010 - ... : Vincent Guérin
  • 2008 - 2010 : le secrétaire général a assuré la direction par interim
  • 2006 - 2008 : Anne Laval
  • 2003 - 2006 : Olga Poivre d'Arvor
  • 2001 - 2003 : Ashok Adicéam
  • 1997 - 2001 : Jean-Marc Terrasse
  • 1993 - 1997 : Stéphane Crouzat
  • 1987 - 1993 : Alain Bourdon
  • 1978 - 1980 : Pierre Alexandre
  • 1975 - 1978 : Michel Sciama
  • 1970s : Henry Monteagle
  • 1966 - 1969 : Georges Prudhomme
  • 1960s : René Escande de Messières (vers 1957)1


Cultural events[edit]

In 2011, for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the French Institute presented a show, 'Two Johnnies live upstairs', especially created for the building by the French compagny Mythos festival. This show has been selected as one of the highlights of 2011 by The Scotsman.[1]

The French Institute is involved in the Edinburgh cultural life and is a partner of the Cameo, Edinburgh and hosts the office of the French Film festival UK.

Cultural events list[edit]

Year Month Exhibition's name Artists, colletives, and partners
2011 January- February Philippe La Gautrière Rebel(le)
2011 April Vive la tapisserie 2 ! Collective STAR
2011 Mai - June Collection One The Photographers Collective
2011 June - July Rennes 1981 Patrice Poch et Gildas Raffenel
2011 July Bulles, Jazz, Blues 'Quand la BD swingue !' Produced by Wallonie-Bruxelles International
2011 October Paris exposé Students from Stevenson College Edinburgh led by Alan McEwan and Jon Lee
Théâtre, cinéma, concerts...[edit]
Year Month Event Event's name Artists Partners
2011 January Special Brittany - Scotland year launch
2011 February Cinema Bretons shorts Vivement lundi ! The Filmhouse
2011 May Meeting Breton chefs meet Scottish products Students from the lycée hotelier (cookery school) of Dinard et Scottish chefs
2011 June Cinema Cinéconcerts : 'From Silent to loud' Five Bretons bands : Bikini Machine, Olivier Mellano, Laetitia Sheriff, Montgomery, NeirdA & Z3RO Tentracks
2011 August Theatre 'Two Johnnies live upstairs' Mythos (festival)
2011 November Concert 'Santa Cruz in Scotland' Santa Cruz

The Media Library[edit]


The Media Library organises activities for kids in French. L'Oreille Musicale, workshop about French music is new from 2011. On November edition, l'Oreille musicale invited the Breton band Santa Cruz to speak about their musical tastes and influences.

The library is open all week days and access is free. By contrast, only the French Institute members can borrow documents.


Media Library's newspapers

The media library contains over 10.000 documents, mainly in French, about a lot of different aspects of France and French culture. You can find documents about literature, art, history, geography, humanities and children's literature. A lot of references book are available, like dictionaries, encyclopaedias and travel guides. The novel collection contain many novels by Scottish authors translated in French (e.g. Robert Louis Stevenson, Ian Rankin and Val McDermid).

You can read or borrow newspapers like: Libération, Le Monde, Le Point, general-interest magazines: ELLE, Les Inrockuptibles and more specialised magazines like Beaux-Arts and Positif. The CD & DVD shelves contain 1500 CDs (audio-books and music) and almost 1000 films and documentaries.

Language classes[edit]

Every term about 500 students come to the Institute to learn French.


  • Alan John Steele (professeur à l'Université d'Édimbourg), L'Institut français d'Écosse, cinquante ans d'histoire, 1946–1996, Institut français d'Écosse, 1996, 85 p. (ISBN 978-095296830-6)
  • Alan John Steele, 60@ifecosse : 1946-2006, Institut français d'Écosse, 2006, 208 p. (ISBN 978-095296832-0)


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 55°57′08″N 3°12′44″W / 55.95233°N 3.21231°W / 55.95233; -3.21231