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The Institut de recherche et d’histoire des textes, established in 1937, is devoted to fundamental research concerning medieval manuscripts (on parchment or paper, as well as papyrus and ostraca) and the transmission of texts (archival documentation, manuscript books and incunables) from Antiquity up to the Renaissance.

Its five main activities describe its mission:

  • Photographic reproduction of medieval manuscripts in French collections, as well as those incunables containing illuminated decoration; the structured presentation of this documentation in a digital library, the BVMM (Bibliothèque virtuelle des manuscrits médiévaux)
  • Production of intellectual tools based on scholarly research: repertories and catalogues on paper and in data bases: Jonas, Pinakès, Budé, Bibale, Initiale (catalogue of illuminated manuscripts); research tools for structuring dates and chronology: Calendoscope, Millesimo; glossary of philosophical Latin…
  • Programming original research on regional, national and international levels
  • Publication and promulgation of research
  • Teaching and transmitting knowledge