VOLTAIRE FOUNDATION ANNUAL REPORT 2007-2008
In another successful year for the Foundation, a total of 20 new titles were published.
Fundraising In addition to the income from the Besterman bequest and that generated by the publishing operation (Voltaire Foundation Ltd), we have had significant success with our fundraising efforts.
We benefitted from 2 private donations to restore the Huber painting & towards Complete works volume 80A & also from £8,300 from the Breslau Foundation to buy the Mercure de France.
Both the CNL in Paris & the British Academy support the Complete Works of Voltaire (OCV) and the Union Académique Internationale (Brussels) awards a small grant per year for the Corpus des notes marginales subset of the Complete Works.
We were also successful in our grant application from the AHRC for the Essai sur les Moeurs project within the OCV series. We received £603,000 for five years from March 2008.
The Florence Gould Foundation supports the Graffigny edition annually.
The Bayle edition receives support in France from the CNRS and the Fondation de la Poste.
There is private family support for the La Beaumelle edition, as well as modest support from two Protestant foundations and support from Carlsberg for the latest two volumes.
6 volumes of the Complete works of Voltaire were published during the academic year; this is the largest number of volumes produced in a twelve-month period since the edition was launched in 1968. Our aim is now to maintain this momentum to ensure completion of the edition by our target date of 2018. The Editorial Board met, as usual, in Paris in June; and Professors David Williams (University of Sheffield), David Adams (University of Manchester), Graham Gargett, (University of Coleraine) and John Renwick (University of Edinburgh) were appointed Research Associates of the Voltaire Foundation, in recognition of their particular contributions to the progress of the edition.
The technology of print-on-demand now makes possible the reprinting of volumes: Volume 2 (La Henriade, ed. O. R. Taylor), Volume 7 (La Pucelle, ed. J Vercruysse), Volume 59 (La Philosophie de l’histoire, ed. J. H. Brumfitt), Volume 4 (L’Histoire de Charles XII ed. G von Proschwitz) and Volume 141 (Corpus des notes marginales 6: Nadal-Plato ed. N Elaguina) so far.
SVEC (Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century), under the general editorship of Jonathan Mallinson (Trinity College), continued to publish the best modern research in both English and French, on all aspects of the Enlightenment. Among the twelve volumes appearing in this period were monographs on French literature, theatre and the history of ideas, but also themed volumes on the rise of the European novel, and on the Enlightenment outside central Europe. The series continues to be the preferred place of publication for both young and established scholars, and the list included books based on doctoral theses (from England, France and Norway), and collections of articles edited by senior scholars from North America, France and England. The series continued its campaign to broaden the range of disciplines it covers, and it appointed a number of new Associate Editors or members of the Advisory Panel to broaden the geographical representation and range of disciplines covered: Wilda Anderson (Johns Hopkins University), Marc André Bernier (Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières), Hubert Bost (Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris), Daniel Brewer (University of Minnesota), Julia Douthwaite (University of Notre Dame), Jens Hâseler (Universitât Potsdam) and Sarah Maza (Northwestern University). The last volume of miscellaneous articles was published in June. Henceforth, SVEC will publish just monographs and edited themed volumes, thereby consolidating its position as the foremost series dedicated to research on the eighteenth century.
Electronic Enlightenment (EE) a research project which provides a fully
cross-searchable digital collection of eighteenth-century correspondences, in both French and English, in their best available critical editions was launched in summer 2008. We are deeply grateful to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their continuing and very generous support of this project. EE transferred to the Bodleian library in August 2008 and is distributed by Oxford University Press (OUP).
We also published new volumes in our printed correspondence editions (Correspondance de Mme de Graffigny, Correspondance de Pierre Bayle, Correspondance générale de La Beaumelle).
The Bernardin San Pierre team appointed a project manager , Dr Tim Reeves, to help the corpus progress more quickly in the final year of their AHRC grant.
Dr Paul Gibbard left and was replaced as Research Editor by Dr Alison Oliver and Angela Radford took over from Eleanor Burnett as the VF’s accountant. We also ran a first successful day’s activities for our extended international network of freelancers on whom we so rely.
This period also saw the appearance of further volumes in the Œuvres complètes de Montesquieu and the transfer in December 2007 of The British Journal of Eighteenth Century Studies to Wiley/Blackwell publishers in order to facilitate appropriate electronic publication of their archive.
Publishing outreach & advocacy
The Foundation was represented, and its books displayed, at the annual meetings of the Société française d’étude du XVIIIe siècle in Paris in January, of the British Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies in Oxford in January, and of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS) in Portland, Oregon in March. The annual Besterman lecture was given this year by Professor Hubert Bost of the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris, on the subject ‘La Beaumelle, Huguenot éclairé: quelques enseignements de sa correspondance’.
Visiting scholars/academic activities
May 2008 saw the inauguration of the Besterman Centre for the Enlightenment, directed by Nicholas Cronk with the Programme Director, Kate Tunstall. The new Centre brings together academics and students from French, German, Italian, English, History, Classics, Music, Philosophy and Theology within the University, and has a network of international links in the US (Johns Hopkins University), Canada (Laval University), France (Groupe de Recherches sur l’Histoire du Littéraire at the École des Hautes Études and Paris-III) and Belgium (Université Libre). Professor Marian Hobson FBA inaugurated the Centre in May 2008 with a lecture on Diderot, taking in all the extraordinary range of his work as an encyclopedist, philosopher, playwright, art critic, and political thinker; the event was chaired by the former Vice Chancellor and distinguished eighteenth-century historian, Professor Sir Colin Lucas.
Professor Graham Gargett (University of Ulster, Coleraine) spent part of Hilary Term in Oxford as the VF Visiting Scholar, and the Foundation was again host to the weekly Enlightenment Workshop sessions organised by members of the Modern History Faculty.
The Foundation continued to serve as the secretariat of the International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ISECS), the principal interdisciplinary forum for eighteenth-century research.
Further information about the activities and publications of the Foundation can be found on our website: www.voltaire.ox.ac.uk.