Scholarly Societies Project

Académie Françoise


Académie Françoise =
French Academy
Founding of the Society
Authority / Notes
This date is supported by the Académie Française website.

Founded as Académie Françoise by the Cardinal de Richelieu in 1635 as a literary academy, the Académie has had a continuous existence to the present day, excepting an interruption (1793 - 1803) resulting from the political turmoil of the French Revolution. (Information from the Académie Française website.)

On 1793, August 8, it was suspended by the revolutionary Convention Nationale, when the latter decreed the abolition of "toutes les académies et sociétés littéraires patentées ou dotées par la Nation" [all academies and learned societies licensed or endowed by the Nation] (Institut de France (1995), p.299).

On the same date that the royal academies were suppressed, the comité d'instruction publique de la Convention was charged with preparing as soon as possible an organizational plan for a société destinée à l'avancement des science et des arts.

On 1795, October 25, the Convention adopted a report of Danou on the formation of such an organization, no longer referred to as a société but as an institut national, and intended to cast into the shade the splendour of all the former royal academies (Institut de France (1995), p.19). This organization was called the Institut National des Sciences et Arts (Institut de France (1995), p.20).

According to p.20 of Institut de France (1995), the Institut originally had the following three Classes:

  • Première Classe: Classe des Sciences Mathématiques et Physiques
    [covered geometry, mechanical arts, astronomy, experimental physics, chemistry, natural history and mineralogy, botany and plant physiology, anatomy and zoology, medicine and surgery, agricultural economics and the veterinary arts.]
  • Deuxième Classe: Classe des Sciences Morales et Politiques
    [covered the analysis of sensations and thoughts, ethics, social science and legislation, political economy, history and geography.]
  • Troisième Classe: Classe de Littérature et Beaux-Arts
    [covered grammar, ancient languages, poetry, antiquities and monuments, painting, sculpture, architecture, music, and oratory.]

According to p.29 of Institut de France (1995), Bonaparte decided, on the advice of a commission, to resurrect the former academies, but within the bosom of the Institut de France; so, on 1803, January 23, the Institut was re-organized into four classes corresponding to the academies suppressed by the Revolution. The Deuxième Classe: Langue et Littérature Françaises corresponded to the former Académie Françoise.

It was not until 1816 that the designation Académie was restored to each class: according to a note in the BLC to 1975, v.247, p.8, "By a decree of the 21st March, 1816, the Institut was remodelled and the denomination of Academy restored..."

In 1694, they published Le dictionnaire de l'Académie françoise, the first edition of their celebrated dictionary of the French language. Later editions were published in 1718, 1740, 1762, 1798, 1835, 1878, 1932-1935, and 1992. (Information from the Académie Française website.)

Seat of the Society
Authority / Notes
This location is supported by the Académie Française website.
Name of the Society
1635 - 1793? Académie Françoise Its publications.
1803 - Académie Française Its publications.
Académie Française Webpage =
Journals of the Society
Full Journal Title
1640 - 1697
(1 vol.?)
Recueil des Harangues prononcées par Messieurs de l'Académie Françoise dans leurs réceptions, & en d'autres occasions différentes, depuis l'establissement de l'Académie jusqu'à présent
Published in Paris in 1698.
A later cumulation is A1.
[Harvard Univ. cat.; Bibliot. Nat. France cat.]
1640 - 1708
(2 vols.)
Recueil des Harangues prononcées par Messieurs de l'Académie Françoise dans leurs réceptions, & en d'autres occasions différentes, depuis l'establissement de l'Académie jusqu'à présent
Published in Amsterdam in 1709.
An earlier cumulation is A. A later cumulation is A2.
[Bibliot. Nat. France cat.]
1640/1682 - 1695/1714 or 1695/1713
(t.1 - t.3)
Recueil des Harangues prononcées par Messieurs de l'Académie Françoise dans leurs réceptions, & en d'autres occasions, depuis l'establissement de l'Académie jusqu'à présent
Described in Bibliot. Nat. France cat. as "Seconde edition"
Published in Paris in 1714.
An earlier cumulation is A1.
This three-volume set was also reissued in Paris in 1735.
Continued by B.
[Bibliot. Nat. France cat.]
1714/1730 - 1775/1782
(t.4 - t.8)
Recueil des Harangues prononcées par Messieurs de l'Académie Françoise dans leurs réceptions et en d'autres occasions ....
Continues A2. Continued by C.
The Bibliot. Nat. France cat. gives the impression that in some volume(s) of this set the spelling Françoise may have been replaced by the modern spelling Française. The Harvard Univ. cat., however, includes a record for the following title published in 1793: Nouveau dictionnaire francois, compose sur le dictionnaire de l' Academie francoise, enrichi de grand nombre de mots adoptes dans notre langue depuis quelques annees, et dans lequel on a refondu tom [tous?] les supplemens qui ont paru jusque a present.
[Bibliot. Nat. France cat.]
an VI, therm. - an XII = 1798, juil./août - 1803/1804
(t.1 - t.5)
Mémoires de l'Institut National des Sciences et Arts. Littérature et Beaux-Arts
Partly continues Histoire de l'Académie Royale des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres depuis son établissement... avec les Mémoires de Littérature tiréz des registres de cette Académie
Continued by L.
[Bibliot. Nat. France cat.]
Mem. de l'Instit. Nat. de Paris. Litterat. et B. A.
[Reuss, v.9, p.122 cites T.1; p.125 cites T.4.; p.126 cites T.5.]
Mem. de l'Instit. Nat. des Sc. et Arts. Litterat. et B. A.
[Reuss, v.8, p.39 cites T.2.]
Mem. de l'Institut Nat. de Paris. Litterat. et B.A.
[Reuss, v.8, p.35 cites T.5.]
Mém. l'Instit. Class. Litt.
[Pogg, v.1, col.36 cites T.I.]
1803/19 - 1920/29
Recueil des Discours, Rapports et Pièces Diverses lus dans les Séances Publiques et Particulières de l'Académie Française
For the most part, this title was issued in decenniel volumes. The Bibliot. Nat. France cat. mentions the following: 1803-1819 ; 1820-1829 ; 1830-1839 ; 1840-1849. 2 vol. ; 1850-1859. 2 vol. ; 1860-1869. 2 vol. ; 1870-1879. 2 vol. ; 1880-1889 2 vol. ; 1890-1899. 2 vol. The remaining volumes are evidently: 1900-1909, 1910-1919 and 1920-1929.
The title varies slightly; for example, lus is sometimes given as lues.
[Bibliot. Nat. France cat.; Harvard Univ. cat.; Univ. Toronto cat.]


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