IRHT - Institut de recherche et d’histoire des textes

Institut de recherche et d’histoire des textes (IRHT-CNRS)
François Bougard

The Institut de recherche et d’histoire des textes (IRHT), a unit of the CNRS, is located at Campus Condorcet, in Orléans and Paris. It is an internationally renowned centre of expertise which carries out fundamental research on medieval manuscript documents (on papyrus, parchment, paper, ostraca...) and on texts written on these media in the main cultural languages of the Mediterranean region, from Antiquity to the Renaissance.

The examination of the documentary sources leads to the production of indexes and catalogues. Major research programmes are conducted at the IRHT on medieval libraries in France, pre-modern Muslim law, Byzantine libraries, best-selling works of medieval Romanesque literature, the practice of commentary on the Sentences of Pierre Lombard in European universities, Europa humanistica, Latin translations of vernacular works, digital palaeography, etc. They call upon numerous French and international partnerships.

Responsible for the reproduction of manuscripts of the municipal and university libraries in France for the Ministries of Culture and Higher Education, the IRHT took the digital turn very early on and has since developed numerous databases and innovative tools. It is today very much involved in machine learning for automated pattern and character recognition and in electronic publishing.