JCJC - Jeunes chercheuses & jeunes chercheurs

La maison Mame à Tours (1796-1975) : deux siècles d'édition pour la jeunesse – MAME

Submission summary

The House of Mame at Tours (1796-1975) : two centuries of publishing for young people The eponymous publishing house founded by Charles-Pierre Mame, in Angers in 1779, gave birth in Tours, a generation later, to what would become a publishing and printing empire in the 19th century. Two of Mame's sons, and especially his grandson, Alfred Mame, provided the impetus that propelled the family business into the industrial era of book publishing. The house of Mame became the reference for religious publishing, eventually obtaining the exclusive right to publish the liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church world-wide. Beyond that, Alfred Mame immediately understood the opportunity contained in the succession of educational laws passed from the 1830's on and compounded his firm's success with the large scale production of school prize books and other works for young people. Nevertheless, the history of this publishing house, whose lasting success is unparalleled, has never been the subject of any large-scale university study, notably because the publisher's corporate archives were completely destroyed during the bombardment of Tours in 1940. This lacuna in our knowledge weighs heavily on economic, social, and political historiography at the local level, on the study of the larger history of the French publishing industry in the 19th century, and, in particular, on university studies on publishing and literature for young people. This last field of analysis, which has only recently begun in France at the university level, faces the additional challenge of overtaking, notably, Anglo-Saxon historiography. In any event, all study of the global conditions governing the emergence and specific details of the history of literature for young people must, in the first place, rigorously examine the principal expressions of that history, such as the rise and dominance of the house of Mame. This project brings together researchers from several disciplines (economic and social history, the history of publishing, history of art, and literature) who are committed to examining the publishing saga of the house of Mame in all its multi-faceted dimensions. Our objective includes the creation of a database for future research on literature for young people in the 19th century. With our multi-disciplinary approach, we wish to create a model for future analyses of society's cultural approach to young people.

Project coordination

Cécile BOULAIRE (Université)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


Help of the ANR 105,000 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: - 36 Months

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