UPMC's scientific digital library

Mémoires de la Société géologique de France (1833-1912)

The publication of the "Mémoires de la Société géologique" de France began in 1833, three years after the society was founded. This series of large quarto volumes, well illustrated with plates and maps which were often hand-coloured, differed markedly from the "Bulletin de la Société géologique de France", published since 1830 in a much smaller format, with, initially at least, very few illustrations. The aim clearly was to make it possible to publish large, abundantly illustrated monographs. The first three series of the Mémoires, published between 1833 and 1880, illustrates the diversity and scope of the activities of the members of the French Geological Society, as well as the evolution of both geological concepts and publishing and printing techniques. Among the authors of memoirs published during that period are many of the great names of 19th century geology and palaeontology, foreign as well as French: Ami Boué (who was one of the founders of the Société géologique de France), Constant Prévost, Adolphe d’Archiac, Léonce Elie de Beaumont, Alcide d’Orbigny, Henri de Verneuil, Alexandre Leymerie, Jules Marcou, Albert Gaudry, Henri de Saporta, Henry De la Beche, Leopold von Buch, etc.

The diversity of topics is remarkable as well: besides local monographs describing the stratigraphy of a French region or a particular geological formation, they also include palaeontological or petrographical works and studies on volcanic phenomena. Contributions published in the Mémoires are not limited to France: among the works published in the first volumes, there are studies on Italy, Germany, central and eastern Europe, Crimea, Lebanon…Over nearly fifty years, this series of memoirs, of a descriptive rather than speculative character, thus illustrates the progression of the geological exploration of France and many other parts of the world.

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

Original issues of some Mémoires are available from the French Geological Society.

The BUPMC continues digitizing and publishing online the "Mémoires de la Société géologique de France" published between 1881 and 1912. The BUPMC undertakes to remove any content on request of the authors or their legal claimants.