What is H-France?

H-France’s mission may be succinctly stated:  to promote scholarly work and discussion on the history and culture of the Francophone world through digital form.  Initially founded in 1991 by Raymond Jonas, University of Washington, as the discussion list FranceHS, in 1995 the moniker H-France was adopted as H-France’s operations and membership list began to expand.  By 2013, with some 3,500 members, H-France has become the largest scholarly organization for Francophone history and culture in the Anglophone world.


Staffed by a team of volunteer editors, all of whom hold doctoral degrees, H-France fulfills its mission through its many operations.  First, H-France publishes several journals on-line, freely available to the public.  H-France Review is the premier review program for newly published books on French history and culture in the Anglophone world.  Its body of more than 2000 reviews offer extended scholarly critical analysis of the current research in history, literature, art history, music history, history of science, and philosophy.  H-France Forum highlights significant new books in French history by developing forum reviews in which four scholars critique a recently published book and the book’s author offers a response.  H-France Salon pursues innovative publishing strategies which use both print and audio-visual components to expand scholarship in new digital directions.  For example, issues initially discussed in print journals find continued consideration through both print and live-discussions.  And H-France has organized semi-annual graduate student seminars conducted live through web conferencing programs.  French History and Civilization: The Papers from the George Rudé Seminar is the proceedings from the biennial conference of the George Rudé Society, the primary organization for the study of French history based in the Australia/New Zealand region.  H-France’s most recent publication, Fiction and Film for French Historians: A Cultural Bulletin, offers reviews of both current and classic films and novels set in France’s past. Our hope is that these reviews will be of use of both to university scholars and to teachers of high school French and history.

Second, H-France manages a discussion list with some 3,500 members from forty nations.  The discussion list consists of daily email messages that include information on conferences, inquiries from scholars seeking assistance to research questions, discussions of historical topics and issues, advice on the use of archives and libraries in France, and book reviews.  Through this service, H-France promotes an international community for the study of French history and culture.

Third, H-France maintains its web site (http://www.h-france.net/) which provides free access to all of its publications and which contains useful information with regard to the study of French history, including links to major libraries and archival holdings, links to web-based research material, and other scholarly and practical information.  In addition, H-France maintains the web sites for the Society for French Historical Studies and the George Rudé Society.

H-France is a tax-exempt educational organization under section 501 (c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.