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Bulletin de la Société géologique de France (1830-1940)

Publication of the Bulletin de la Société de France began in 1830, the year the Society was founded. At the founding meeting on 17 March 1830, it was decided to launch a Bulletin, as noted in article 14 of the regulations: “A periodical Bulletin of the works of the Society is distributed free of charge to its members”. At a later meeting, the board decided that the Bulletin would be published annually with an in-8° format and no plates. However, as early as volume II (1831-1832), illustrations began to appear, as figures and plates, in the Bulletin and their number steadily increased with time.

The first paper to be published in the new journal was an article by Dufrénoy on the Chalk in southern France. Starting from its first issues, the Bulletin was remarkable for the diversity of the topics it covered, spanning all the branches of geology as it was practised at that time, and for its international character. Although, not unexpectedly, papers about France were the most numerous, the geology of many other parts of the world was also discussed, the geographical scope of the Bulletin gradually spreading from Europe to much more remote areas, especially in the wake of colonial expansion. All the great names of 19th century French geology can be found among the authors publishing in the Bulletin, together with a fair number of well-known foreign geologists. From the beginning, the Bulletin supported a modern approach to geology, founded on the principles of uniformitarianism, doubtless under the influence of Constant Prévost, who was one of the first vice-presidents of the Société géologique de France in 1830.

Original issues of the Bulletin are available from the Société géologique de France.

Eric Buffetaut, CNRS, Laboratoire de Géologie de l'Ecole Normale Supérieure