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Professor Robert A. Hatch  -  University of Florida



Research Resources - Paris - History of Science



Research Resources - Paris

The following overview of Research Resources in Paris focuses on the History & Philosophy of Science but extends to other areas of scholarly research. Adapted from work by Saul Fisher and Frédéric Fruteau de Laclos, I have modified and supplemented their earlier efforts. For additional information, see the impressive “Guide de l’histoire des sciences” at the website of the Comité national d’histoire et de philosophie des sciences (Académie des Sciences), at http://www.academie-sciences.fr/cnfhps.htm, which supplies additional information, not least the comprehensive Guide de l'histoire des sciences et techniques en France 2005, which readers can down-load in PDF format (234pp).
 
Educational & Research Institutions

There is a curious order to the multifarious array of French educational and research  institutions, and this order is best understood in light of the historic French role in the creation and celebration of the modern state—and not the modern university. The lasting power of statism is manifest in the continued elite status of the Grandes Écoles (which include, for example, the revered École Polytechnique and the École Normale Supérieure). The terrific challenge to the State represented by the student-supported uprisings and strikes of 1968 produced a perfectly statist response: an explosion of the previously small and overcrowded Université de Paris into thirteen sprawling institutions. Finally, the French vision of the unification of the sciences has it that l’État leads the way: the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) is the government directorate for research in all manner of academic disciplines, the researchers of which are organized into literally hundreds of units in and out of existing university structures. There are yet other sorts of institutions—public and private— with an educational mission, and these include museums, libraries, and archives. The bulk of research per se (particularly in science studies), however, is done by persons attached to the universities and the CNRS.

 
Universities & Other Institutions of Higher Education
 

Université de Pari
s

In this vast university system with numerous departments of philosophy and history, historians of the philosophy of science tend to be concentrated in a few places.
 
We find at Paris I-Panthéon-Sorbonne University (http://www.univ-paris1.fr) two relevant research centers, the « Centre d’histoire des sciences et des mouvements intellectuels » and « Centre d’Histoire et Philosophie des Sciences ». The former, which is organized as a research team (Équipe d’Accueil, or EA, no.1452; http://www.univ-paris1.fr/recherche/ed/ed113_histoire/cr/article3773.html), was initially lead by Jacques Roger andunder Pietro Corsi’s directionremains dedicated to a conceptually-rich history of biology, as well as such themes as the history of blood and scientific revolutions. It is located in the Centre Malher of Paris I, located at 9, rue Malher 75004, tel. 01.42.78.33.22. The latter, located at 13, rue du Four, 75006, tel 01.43.54.60.36 or 01.43.54.94.60 (http://www-ihpst.univ-paris1.fr/), was founded in 1932 by the historian and philosopher of science Abel Rey. In its first managing committee we find the names of scientists such as Louis de Broglie, Elie Cartan, Jean Perrin, philosophers such as Etienne Gilson or Alexandre Koyré, and researchers such as Lucien Febvre or Marcel Mauss. It is now organized as a doctoral studies unit connected to Paris I and the ENS, as part of a ‘UFR’ or what would be a ‘department’ in the American context (UFR 10 – Philosophy). It is also a research unit of the CNRS (see below).  After becoming a Unité Mixte de Recherche of philosophy of science in 1998 (directed for many years by Philippe de Rouilhan), it was renamed « Institut d’Histoire et de Philosophie des Sciences et des Techniques » in 2002.  Since then, it has been directed by Jacques Dubucs (UMR 8590). This unit promotes a remarkable range of HOPOS-related studies, from mathematics to the social sciences and much in between. There are a great many variously affiliated researchers, from Paris-I to the CNRS, and the Collège de France (Jacques Bouveresse) as well. The Histoire et Philosophie des Sciences unit is particularly active, featuring regular lecture series and frequently welcoming visiting scholars.
 
The Ecole doctorale de philosophie (ED 280) (http://edph.univ-paris1.fr), directed by Jean Gayon, is the only dedicated to philosophy doctoral unit in Paris I. This unit comprises all the research centers and the DEA (pre-doctoral advanced studies) of UFR 10 (philosophy). One of the principles of its research policy ethos consists in opening up philosophical research towards physical sciences, law, economics and social sciences.  

At Paris-IV-Sorbonne University, the research team Rationalités contemporaines (EA 3559) was founded by Pascal Engel and by Alain Renaut in 2000
(http://www.rationalites-contemporaines.paris4.sorbonne.fr/). Directed by Pascal Engel until 2005 and presently by Alain Renaut, this unit brings together researcher-teachers (‘enseignants-chercheurs’) from the Paris-IV philosophy and sociology departments and from many other universities. This team aims at developing research on topics concerning nature and the extension and limits of rationality, adopting a broad and varied approach, chiefly oriented towards contemporary issues.
At University Paris-7-Denis Diderot (http://www.sigu7.jussieu.fr), the Centre Georges Canguilhem (http://www.centrecanguilhem.net) commenced research activities in 2003 and now offers seminars online.  The Centre is a unit of the « Institut de la Pensée Contemporaine », and is located at 2 place Jussieu (75251 Paris cedex 05, tel 01.44.27.63.78).  The director is Dominique Lecourt. The research associated with the Centre fall within the French tradition of ‘epistemology’. This tradition, begun by Gaston Bachelard and continued by Georges Canguilhem, aims at an integrative approach to the history of science and the philosophy of science. 

The University Paris 7 Département « Histoire et Philosophie des Sciences »
brings together research and teaching activities in the history and philosophy of science. This unit is a part of the UFR Biology and Natural Sciences and is directed by Jean-Jacques Szczeciniarz. This unit also maintains strong connections to the UFR of natural and physical sciences and the UFR of literature. It is composed of three research teams: « Science et philosophie, de l’Antiquité à l’âge classique », linked to the CHSPAM (see below) ; « Histoire et épistémologie, de l’âge classique à l’époque contemporaine », linked to the REHSEIS (see below) ; and « Philosophie, sciences et société », linked to the Centre Georges Canguilhem (see above).
 
The Ecole Doctorale « Savoirs Scientifiques », directed by Dominique Lecourt, joins two units of Paris 7, « Epistémologie et histoire des sciences » and « Didactique des disciplines ».  The unit « Epistémologie et histoire des sciences » comprises the UMR 7596 Paris 7 - CNRS (REHSEIS) (see below), the UPRESA 7062, Paris 7 - CNRS (Centre d’histoire des sciences et des philosophies arabes et médiévales) (see below), and the Centre Georges Canguilhem (see above). The unit « Didactique » comprises the DIDIREM team (physics education), the LDSP (physics education laboratory), and the unit of epistemology and geography education (« Mobilité, Itinéraires et Territoires »).
 
Finally, at Paris-X Nanterre University (Bât. L, 200 avenue de la République, 92001 Nanterre tel 01.40.97.73.53), the Centre d’Histoire et de Philosophie des Sciences (http://www.u-paris10.fr/14006663/0/fiche_ea373__pagelibre/) is one of three components of a multidisciplinary research team (EA 373, including the « Centre de philosophie ancienne » and « Centre d’Histoire de la Philosophie Moderne et contemporaine »). Created in 1973 by Jacques Merleau-Ponty and presently directed by Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent, this unit gathers philosophers, historians and sociologists working on the sciences, logic, and epistemology. This unit advocates strong connections between the history of science and philosophy—as institutionally manifest in its affiliation with the CNRS 17th section (‘Philosophy’) and 72nd section (‘Epistemology, History and Philosophy of Sciences and Techniques’).
 
 

Grandes Écoles
 
Ecole Normale supérieure de la rue d’Ulm. Created in 2001 and directed by Daniel Andler, the Département d’Etudes Cognitives (DEC) of the ENS (http://www.cognition.ens.fr) aims at gathering all teaching and research activities concerning cognition, inside the ENS and in connected research units. The DEC is dedicated to developing psychology and cognitive neuroscience on one hand and theoretical linguistics on the other. This unit is multidisciplinary, addressing students in the physical sciences as well as in the humanistic disciplines.
 
The « Collectif Histoire-Philosophie-Sciences » (http://www.ens.fr/chps/), directed by Claude Debru, has two goals.  For one, the Collectif aims to bring together the work and training of departments of both ‘divisions’ of the ENS.  Consequently, the Collectif offers a program of philosophical training for scientists and, conversely, a program of scientific training for philosophers. For another, the Collectif attempts to federate all teaching in history and philosophy of science at the ENSwhether located in the departments of philosophy and history, the Centre Cavaillès, the laboratory « Pensée des sciences », or the seminar « Philosophie et Mathématiques ».
 
The Unité Mixte des Services UMS 2264 CAPHES (Centre d’Archives de Philosophie, d’Histoire et d’Edition des Sciences) (http://www.ehess.fr/html/html/CEN_1_21.html), extends the work of a previous ENS research group (UMS 2267 ACTA).  Now located at 29, rue d’Ulm (75005), this unit was earlier located in the Hôtel de Nevers (12, rue Colbert), the site in the inter-war period of several prominent scholarly institutions related to history and philosophy of science. Since its creation in 2000, the UMS 2264, directed by Michel Blay and managed by Eric Brian, has pursued an orientation similar to those precedent research entities. This unit’s mission comprises the development of journals, book collections, and critical editions in the history and philosophy of sciences, including the Revue de Synthèse and the Revue d’Histoire des sciences.
 
École Polytechnique. Although its central academic units do not teach history or philosophy of science, the CREA (see below) is a semi-autonomous research unit within the school (as well as a CNRS unit; see ‘CNRS’ below) and its library houses a valuable and fascinating collection of scientific instruments (see ‘Museums’ below).
 
Another significant exception is the Ecole des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales or EHESS (http://www.ehess.fr/html/html/index.html) which is housed in the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme or MSH (54 boulevard Raspail 75006—the site of the old Cherche-Midi military prison). For reasons of status, the EHESS might not count as a truly Grande École but then it is difficult to otherwise place the school in the spectrum of academic institutions. By all other accounts it is a center of much important research and scholarly accomplishment, not least in HOPOS-related studies. In the history of sciences unit, seminars in the past have ranged over the history of the probability calculus and statistics (directed by Marc Barbut of the EHESS-based Centre d’Analyse et de Mathématique Sociales or CAMS; see http://www.ehess.fr/centres/cams/semin/barbut_hcps.html), the history and philosophy of mathematics, the history of mechanics, and the history and historiography of life and earth sciences. Some seminars are taught by persons attached to the Centre Alexandre-Koyré (see ‘CNRS’ below). The EHESS also has a ‘philosophy and epistemology’ unit (‘épistémologie’ in French generally refers to what Anglophones call ‘philosophy of science’, whereas ‘théorie de la connaissance’ ranges over the theory of knowledge). Recent seminars have covered the nature of proof, philosophy of biology, philosophy of engineering, and philosophy of social sciences.
 
The MSH also hosts several other relevant institutions, including the CNRS-related Centre Historique de Géométries (tel 01.49.54.22.54), which now offers a program on « Formalisms, Formes and Sensibles Data [F2DS] ». In addition, much activity of the (Continentally-oriented) Collège International de Philosophie occurs at the MSH.
 
Collège de France (http://www.college-de-france.fr/). This institution is rich with HOPOS-related history and has a small archive (and helpful archivist). Many faculty members have Hopoi-like interests: Anne Fagot-Largeault offers courses on the « Philosophie des sciences médicales et biologiques »; Ian Hacking’s chair is in the « Philosophie et histoire des concepts scientifiques »; Jacques Bouveresse teaches on « Philosophie du langage et de la connaissance »; and Philippe Descola’s work on the « Anthropologie de la nature » concerns various topics in the history of philosophy of science.
 
CNRS. The ‘Human and Social Sciences’ department of the CNRS comprises units dedicated to history or philosophy of science. Many of these units are located in Paris, and a good number of them are also affiliated with other institutions (one central, though not exhaustive, source of information is http://web-ast.dsi.cnrs.fr/l3c/owa/annuaire.recherche). What follows is a list of the relevant Parisian units, with addresses, directors, affiliations, subjects researched or taught, and some annotations. Different acronyms designate different levels of CNRS organization, e.g. GDR (Groupement de Recherche), UMR (Unité Mixte de Recherche), and UPR (Unité Propre de Recherche). A useful and exhaustive guide to French laboratories in the history of science and engineering can be found at http://www.academie-sciences.fr/comites/pdf/cnfhps_Pekin.pdf.
 
Centre Alexandre-Koyré (UMR 48)
Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Pavillon Chevreul, 57 rue Cuvier, 75231 Paris Cedex 05; tel 01.43.36.70.69; http://www.koyre.cnrs.fr/
Director: Dominique Pestre | Affiliations: EHESS, MNHN
History and philosophy of science. This Centre, tucked away in a tiny, hard to find building on the campus of the MNHN, is a beehive of activity. Their wide array of seminars (typically sponsored jointly with other institutions like the CAMS or UPR 21) covers, for example, the development of scientific knowledge, the history of life and social sciences, and the history of science teaching. There is also a monthly colloquium on varying methods and traditions in the historiography of science. The Centre A-Koyré has a wonderful little library (tel. 01.43.36.70.69), which has the same requirements for visitors as the parent library of the MNHN (see ‘Libraries’ below).
 
Centre de Recherche en Épistémologie Appliquée (CREA) (UMR 7656)
École Polytechnique, 1, rue Descartes 75005; tel 01.55.55.86.23 ; http://www.crea.polytechnique.fr/
Director: Jean Petitot | Affiliation: École Polytechnique
Analytic philosophy of mind, language, and social, natural, and cognitive sciences. An important locus of research in philosophy of science—though, hélas, not with a historical focus.
 
Centre d’Histoire des Sciences et des Philosophies Arabes et Médiévales (UMR 7062)
Centre d’Histoire des Sciences et des Doctrines, B. P. 8, Bâtiment C, Rez-de-chaussée, 7 rue Guy Môquet, 94801 Villejuif; tel 01.49.58.35.99; http://chspam.vjf.cnrs.fr/ (Métro 7 direction Villejuif Louis Aragon)
Director: Régis Morelon | Affiliations: École Pratique des Hautes Études, Université Paris 7
Medieval and Arabic history and philosophy of science.
 
Centre de Documentation d’Histoire des Techniques (CDHT) (UPR 21)
5, rue du Vertbois 75003; tel 01.53.01.80.65; http://www.cnam.fr/instituts/cdht
Director: André Guillerme | Affiliations: UPR21, CNAM, EHESS
History of engineering. This unit shares the CNRS designation UPR 21 with the LHST (despite having neither any CNRS researchers on staff nor any common research area). In
addition to documenting the history of the CNAM, the researchers here pursue projects in the general history of engineering and supervise doctoral studies.
 
Institut d’Histoire et de Philosophie des sciences et des techniques (IHPST) (UMR 8590)
13, rue du Four 75006; tel 01.43.54.60.36 or 01.43.54.94.60
Director: Jacques Dubucs | Affiliations: Paris I and ENS (see above)
History and philosophy of science.
 
Recherches Épistemologiques et Historiques sur les Sciences Exactes et les Institutions Scientifiques (REHSEIS) (UPR 318) Université Paris 7-Centre Javelot, 2, place Jussieu, 75251 Paris cedex 05; tel 01.44.27.86.46 or 01.44.27.99.57; www.rehseis.cnrs.fr
Director: Karine Chemla | Affiliation: Université Paris 7
History and philosophy of science. This past year, this unit became affiliated with the Geography, History, and Social Science Department at Jussieu (Paris VII), and so changed classification to become a ‘mixed’ CNRS/university unit, or ‘UMR’. The CNRS listings indeed identify such a unit in the logical place of REHSEIS, namely, « Recherches d’Histoire, d’Épistemologie et de Philosophie des Sciences » (REHPSCI; UMR 7596). But REHSEIS has shown no sign of changing its name (see the website).
 
Scholarly Societies

The Société d’Histoire et d’Epistemologie des Sciences de la Vie (
http://www.bium.univ-paris5.fr/shesvie) is a place of discussion, study and innovation for those interested in the life  sciences and aspects of their historical developmentparticularly teachers, researchers in biological and medical sciences, and students. From its foundation in 1993, this society has maintained an international profile.
 
Created in 1986, the Société Française pour l’Histoire des Sciences de l’Homme (http://www.bium.univ-paris5.fr/sfhsh) coordinates and promotes studies relative to the history and the epistemology of the human, anthropological, medical and social sciences.
 
The Société Française d’Histoire des Sciences et des Techniques (http://histsciences.univ-paris1.fr/sfhst/) was created in 1980. Its president is Bernard Joly. This society coordinates and promotes studies in the history of science and engineering. It is located at the fondation « Pour la science », ENS Paris.
 
Museums & Centres

Paris does not lack for science museums, learning centers, and curated collections attached to its august scientific institutions. Here are well-known highlights of science history tourism plus a few sights off the beaten track:
 
Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie
30, avenue Corentin-Cariou, Parc de la Villette 75930 Paris cedex 19 ; tel. 01.40.05.70.00 ; http://www.cite-sciences.fr
This stunning complex is a science museum and discovery center intertwined. The interactive
exhibits are generally successful, but from a historical perspective the exhibit on the history of computing may be most impressive.
 
Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM)
292, rue Saint-Martin 75141 Paris cedex 03 ; tel. 01. 40.27.20.00 ; http://www.cnam.fr/.
The Musée des Arts et Métiers is located at 60, rue Réaumur 75003, tel. 01.53.01.82.00 ; http://www.arts-et-metiers.net/ 
The museum (along with the whole Conservatoire) has been slowly restored and renovated, and reopened in the summer of 1999.
 
École Polytechnique ­ Bibliothèque Centrale
1, rue Descartes 75005; Bibliothèque Centrale 91128 Palaiseau ; tel. 01.69.33.44.84; http://www.bibliotheque.polytechnique.fr/expositions/exposition.html
The Central Library of the École Polytechnique offers a variety of temporary exhibits and features a fine permanent collection of scientific instruments curated by the Centre de Ressources Historiques (http://www.bibliotheque.polytechnique.fr/centrehistorique/objet.htm).
 
La Maison d'Auguste Comte
10, rue Monsieur-le-Prince 75006 ; tel. 01.43.26.08.56, http://www.augustecomte.org/
The international Association Auguste Comte was created in 1954, thanks to Paulo Carneiro, a Brazilian researcher and UNESCO ambassador. This association aims to conserve the material heritage (consisting in the apartments where Auguste Comte lived from 1841 to 1857 and all his furniture and books), and to make available to researchers the archives bequeathed by the philosopher and his positivist disciples.  Various Hopoi researchers participate in their colloquia on positivism and Auguste Comte.  To visit the museum, open from Monday to Friday, call 01.43.26.08.56 or write to augustecomte@wanadoo.fr.

Musée de l’Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris
47, quai de la Tournelle 75005; tel 01.40.27.50.05; http://www.aphp.fr/site/histoire/musee.htm
This museum records the history of Paris’s public hospitals, from medieval times through the present.
 
Musée de l’Institut Pasteur
3, boulevard Raymond Poincaré and 3, avenue Pasteur 92430 Marnes-La-Coquette
(SNCF from Gare St Lazare to Garches/Marnes-La-Coquette, or Métro 10 to
Boulogne/Pont de St Cloud followed by bus line no. 460 to the Garches/Marnes-La-Coquette SNCF station); tel 01.47.01.15.97; http://www.pasteur.fr/pasteur/musees/index.html
The museum of the Institut Pasteur is not located at the Institut itself (25, rue du Docteur Roux 75015)! It is nevertheless worth a trip to the banlieues (suburbs) to see the place
initially given over to Pasteur to provide a quiet place to pursue his battle against rabies. This suburban museum now traces the history of the medical struggle to conquer infectious disease from Pasteur’s day through the present. Historians with research objectives
are advised to contact the documentation services back in Paris (tel 01.45.68.82.82).
 
Musée d’Histoire de la Médecine
Université René Descartes, 12 rue de l’École de Médecine 75006; tel 01.40.46.16.93; http://www.bium.univ-paris5.fr/musee/
This museum features a collection of surgical instruments.
 
Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle (MNHN)
57, rue Cuvier 75005; 75231 Paris Cedex 05; tel 01.40.79.30.00; http://www.mnhn.fr/
The Grande Galerie de l’Évolution was reopened after an exquisite renovation in
1995, and is as lovely a natural history museum as one can see.
 
L’Observatoire de Paris
61, avenue de l’Observatoire 75014; tel 01.40.51.22.21; http://www.obspm.fr
The Paris Observatory is open for public viewing only one day a month (the first Saturday, at 2:30 pm)—upon prior written request! The average waiting period is three months, so it is highly advised to plan ahead. To gain this special entry, one must write to the « Service des Relations Extérieures de l’Observatoire de Paris » and include a self-addressed stamped envelope (IRCs will probably suffice in lieu of French postage). To visit the far more modern facilities at the Observatory at Meudon as well, one must write separately (5, place Jules Janssen, 92195 Meudon). This site holds fascination as Claude Perrault’s (1667) architectural tribute to the compass, and as institutional home of Laplace,
Delambre, Arago, and Le Verrier.
 
Palais de la Découverte
4, avenue Franklin D. Roosevelt; tel 01.56.43.20.20; http://www.palais-decouverte.fr
The Palais de la Decouverte survived the opening of the ultra-modern Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, and this older cousin of the Parc de la Villette ‘discovery center’ is still worth a visit. Some exhibits—particularly in the physical sciences—compare quite favorably on a pedagogical scale, even if they lack a bit of the Cité’s pizazz. Young visitors may in fact benefit from the less cluttered and busy environment.
 
Libraries and Archives

Paris has numerous wonderful libraries and archives but they are often plagued by failure to adequately address the primary challenges of information science: organization and access. A major coup for the cause of public access has been achieved by the opening of the Bibliothèque national de France (Quai François Mauriac, 75706 Paris Cedex 13, tel 01.53.79.59.59). A pilgrimage to the old BN site (58, rue de Richelieu 75002) will be possible only if you need to work on maps, plans, prints, photographs, coins, medals, manuscripts, or materials on music or the performing arts. You can tell in advance which site you need to visit by looking up the works first on the BnF webpage (http://www.bnf.fr; and more precisely the online catalogue at http://catalogue.bnf.fr/). Entry requires proof of researcher status, so it is a good idea to make a regular practice of carrying around important (or at least important-looking) papers testifying to such standing and research needs. One no longer needs little photos for reader’s cards (the library staff create digital photos). A couple of days’ entry (the “Carte 2 jours”) costs an astonishing
¤ 41⁄2, a two weeks pass (the “Carte 15 jours”) costs ¤ 30 (half for students), and an annual pass (“Carte annuelle”) ¤ 46 (half for students)!  The BnF also offers the very rich Gallica repository of digitized books and journals out of copyright, available at http://gallica.bnf.fr. As sample offerings, Gallica provides PDF format editions of the Oeuvres of Christiaan Huygens, substantial digital texts of Peiresc's Lettres, the comple Opera omnia of Pierre Gassendi, and the list goes on with significant primary texts. Little known, the earliest manuscript volumes of the Académie des sciences are available in PDF format.
 
 
Bibliothèque Mazarine
23, quai de Conti 75006; tel 01.44.41.44.06; http://www.bibliotheque-mazarine.fr/
For infrequent visitors, the Mazarine requires a Carte d’Entrée which is valid for 6 sittings over 6 months; otherwise, researchers can obtain a long-term Laissez-Passer. The library has an appreciable elegance and general quiet, and it is a generally nice place to read or write even if one has exhausted its many bibliographic riches.
 
Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève
10, place du Panthéon 75005; tel 01.44.41.97.97; http://www-bsg.univ-paris1.fr/home.htm
The BSG, as it is known, was designed by Henri Labrouste and is accordingly yet another lovely place to study. This beauty has not escaped public attention though, and the library’s main reading room is generally quite full, primarily with students from the nearby Sorbonne schools (Paris I and IV). It is crucial that one arrives as early as possible (10 am, Monday through Saturday) or else the wait for a seat may seem interminable (as was true at the old BN). One must first register in order to enter, and receipt of a “Carte de Lecteur” requires one piece of ID (bring something impressive, such as a passport) and a small photograph for the card. The BSG also offers a higher-status “Carte d’Accès Privilégié”, for which documentation must be presented indicating that one merits greater privilege. The holdings are supposed to be completely incorporated into the BnF electronic catalogue but experience suggests that this is sometimes not so. Their card catalogue (catalogues manuels) still stands, in any case (http://www-bsg.univ-paris1.fr/catalogues/manuels.htm).
 
Bibliothèque du Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle (MNHN)
38, rue Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire 75005; tel 01.40.79.36.27 ; http://www.mnhn.fr/mnhn/bcm/
There are entrances to this beautifully-redesigned library from the street-side and from the Jardin des Plantes. It may be preferable to stroll through one of the world’s best maintained public gardens, past the statues of Buffon and Lamarck but the approach from rue Geoffroy Saint Hilaire works just as well (and runs by the gorgeous Institut du Monde Arabe and Mosqué). This library is generally underutilized (a terrible fact to advertise) which may have something to do with the rather prompt service. The librarians are also quite pleasant and eager to help. The holdings include items from the seventeenth century onwards. Acquisition of a ‘Laissez-Passer’ requires the typical documentation of researcher or student status and identification.
 
Archives de l’Académie des Sciences
Institut de France, 23, quai de Conti 75006; tel 01.44.41.43.85; http://www.academie-sciences.fr
A useful guide to this and other archival sources is Eric Brian and Christiane Demeulenaere-Douyère (eds.), Histoire et Mémoire de l’Académie des Sciences: Guide des Recherches, Paris and London: TEC & DOC Lavoisier, 1996.
 
Médiathèque scientifique de l’Institut Pasteur
28, rue du Docteur Roux 75724 Paris cedex 15; tel 01.45.68.82.80; http://www.pasteur.fr/infosci/biblio
 
Bibliothèque de l’Observatoire de Paris
61, avenue de l’Observatoire 75014; http://www.bibli.obspm.fr/  
 
Médiathèque Spécialisée, Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie.
30, avenue Corentin-Cariou 75930 Paris Cedex 19 (Parc de la Villette); http://www.cite-sciences.fr/francais/ala_cite/mediatheque/portail/indexe.htm
 
Many of the aforementioned CNRS units have libraries which can be used by visiting researchers, and several of these libraries can be searched through a single online
catalogue (the Catalogue collectif d’Histoire des Sciences et des Techniques) accessible through a website provided by the CNRS (http://histsciences.univ-paris1.fr/databases/hst-cbo).

 
Bookstores
 
La Boutique de l’Histoire (*history; 24, rue des Écoles 75005; tel 01.46.34.03.36; http://bhistoire.com/ )
Librairie Benelli (history and science; 244, rue Saint-Jacques 75005; tel 01.46.33.73.51)
Librairie Florence de Chastenay (alchemy; 76, rue Gay-Lussac 75005, tel 01.43.54.05.78)
Librairie Maille (* science and medicine; 3 rue Dante 75005; tel 01.43.25.51.73)
Librairie J. Vrin (* philosophy; 6, place de la Sorbonne 75005; tel 01.43.54.03.47 and 01.43.54.32.75; http://www.vrin.fr)
Librairie À la 42e Ligne (social sciences and medicine; 24, rue de Fleurus 75006; tel 01.45.49.47.17 and 01.45.49.48.18)
Librairie Thomas-Scheler (science and medicine; 19, rue de Tournon 75006; tel 01.43.26.97.69)
Librairie Albert Blanchard (*science, medicine, engineering, and math; 9, rue de Médicis 75006; tel 01.43.26.90.34 ; http://www.blanchard75.fr/)
Librairie Bonnefoi (history of ideas and philosophy; 1, rue de Médicis 75006; tel 01.46.33.57.22; http://www.bonnefoi-livres-anciens.com/)
Librairie Alain Brieux (* sciences, engineering, and medicine; 48, rue Jacob 75006; tel 01.42.60.21.98)
Librairie René Cluzel
(science; 61, rue de Vaugirard 75006; tel 01.42.22.38.71)
Librairie Paul Jammes (science; 3, rue Gozlin 75006; tel 01.43.26.47.71)
Librairie Lepert-Scheler (science; 42, rue Jacob 75006; tel
L’Intersigne (ancient science, medicine, esoterism; 66, rue du Cherche-Midi 75006; tel
Librairie Pages d’Histoire (*history; 8, rue Bréa 75006; tel 01.43.54.43.61 ; http://www.galaxidion.com/pages_histoire/)
Librairie Chamonal (science and medicine; 5, rue Drouot 75009; tel 01.47.70.84.87)
Librairie Clio (*history, 38, avenue Villemain 75014 tel 01.45.41.59.20)
 
General browsing at Gibert Jeune (Place Saint Michel 75005 ; http://www.gibertjeune.fr/) and Gibert Joseph (26-30-32 Boulevard St. Michel 75006 ; http://gibertjoseph.com/) but the largest selection is found at J. Vrin (6, place de la Sorbonne 75005).

 
  Paris Walking Tours

Those interested in paying homage to historical figures may care to visit their present day homes in Cimetière du Saint-Étienne-du-Mont (Blaise Pascal), Cimetière du Père Lachaise (François Arago, Claude Bernard, F-M Xavier Bichat, Auguste Comte, George Cuvier, Jean- Baptiste-Joseph Delambre, Louis-Joseph Gay-Lussac, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Etienne Geoffroy Saint Hilaire, and Claude de Saint-Simon), the Cimetière du Montparnasse (Mirko Grmek and Henri Poincaré), the Cimetière Montmartre (Léon Foucault), or the Panthéon (Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Marcelin Berthelot, Paul Langevin, Jean Perrin, and Marie and Pierre Curie).
 
Original Text, revised and updated by Frédéric Fruteau de Laclos, courtesy of Saul Fisher;
Modified & Supplemented by Robert A. Hatch, 2006.

 




The Scientific Revolution - Table of Contents



 rah.1998-feb.-2006 et seq.
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Copyright 1998 - Dr Robert A. Hatch - All Rights Reserved