Master Rare Book and Digital Humanities

Outline of the program

The Rare Book DigitalHumanities master’s degree aims at providing high level competence in rare and early books with a view to providing the capacity to work in the book trade or in rare book conservation and digitization, along with digital humanities expertise allowing one to supervise digitization, online accessibility, and 3D animation projects, among others.

Program description

A two-year master’s degree taught in English (80 per cent) and French (20 per cent). Subjects taught include descriptive bibliography (description of rare and early books); history of the book and writing; digital humanities theory and practice; community management; computer science (TEI, XML, database creation and management, digital imaging, 3D technology) and basic training in classical languages.It provides the following skills: Knowledge of the principles of descriptive bibliography and competence in bibliographical description of rare and early books; familiarity with the book world and culture of writing as well as culture in a broad sense; theoretical and practical knowledge in computer science; general and practical knowledge of ancient and modern languages, with a view to being able to work at an international level in the book trade, auction houses, libraries, museums, and other cultural institutions.
• This postgraduate degree has a twofold research and professional orientation. It therefore prepares for either professional insertion in one of the sectors described below or further study at the doctorate level.

Studied courses/program curriculum

First year, Fall semester

  • Bibliography: theory and pratice 1 (ECTS 6): Introduction to bibliographical description; Practical bibliography
  •  Book culture in Europe (ECTS 6): European Culture; History of the book and manuscript culture
  •  Knowledge and techniques (ECTS 6): Multimedia creation; Introduction to HTML and XML languages.
  •  Tools for rare books (ECTS 6): Image processing; Classical languages for rare books studies; Book trade
  •  Project and planning internship (ECTS 6)

First year, Spring semester

  • Bibliography: theory and practice 2 (ECTS 5): Bibliography; Practical bibliography
  •  European civilization of book 2 (ECTS 5): European Culture; History of the book
  •  Theory and pratices of digital humanities (ECTS 5) Introduction to digital humanities; Relational databases
  • Tools for rare books 2 (ECTS 5): Image processing and 3D; Classical languages for rare books studies; Cultural property law
  •  Project and planning internship (ECTS 5)
  •  Two-month internship (ECTS 5)

Second year, Fall semester

  •  Tools and environment for multimedia (ECST 5): Introduction to terminology and terminology databases; Website management; Introduction to electronic corpus processing
  •  Bibliography: theory and pratice 3 (ECST 5): Bibliography; Practical bibliography
  • Theory and pratices of digital humanities 2 (ECST 5): Digitizing rare book and manuscripts; Relational databases
  •  History of the book : cultural approaches (ECST 5): The book and writing beyond Europe; Illustrated books and livres d’artiste
  •  Tools for rare books 3 (ECST 6): Image processing +3D; Classical languages for rare books studies
  •  Project and planning internship (ECST 6)

Second year, Spring semester

  •  6 months Research (Lab) or Professional Internship 

Entry requirements

  •  Graduates in classics, comparative literature, history, art history, English or modern languages, philosophy, and all persons interested in the culture of the book and writing and in applied digital technology (persons without a B.A. degree can apply for validation of professional experience). French language courses are offered before the beginning of the academic year.


Candidates applying from outside of France may qualify for a fellowship of 8000€ a year.

Future career prospects

  • Professional insertion with two years of postgraduate work; rare book trade; curator ship in libraries or museums (internationally); head of digitization projects in cultural institutions; consultant in rare and early books.
  • Further study at the doctorate level (with numerous opportunities for double supervision in Europe and beyond) in digital humanities, English and anglophone studies, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and Latin-American studies, classical studies, comparative literature, history, and art history.

Programme Coordinator/Contacts

Rudy Chaulet
Université de Franche-Comté
32, rue Mégevand
25030 BESANÇON Cedex