HomeFrench Southern and Antarctic Lands: from Amsterdam Island to Adélie Land, archives from the world’s end

HomeFrench Southern and Antarctic Lands: from Amsterdam Island to Adélie Land, archives from the world’s end

French Southern and Antarctic Lands: from Amsterdam Island to Adélie Land, archives from the world’s end

Terres australes et antarctiques françaises : de la Nouvelle Amsterdam à la terre Adélie, archives du bout du monde

*  *  *

Published on Tuesday, April 21, 2020


As part of the 65th anniversary of the law of 6 August 1955 on the status of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands, the National Archives and the French Southern and Antarctic Lands Authority [TAAF] are organising a two-day conference at the headquarters of the National Archives in Pierrefitte-sur-Seine (France - 93), on 14 and 15 December 2020. The call for papers is open to all.



Law No. 55-1052 of 6 August 1955 grants administrative and financial autonomy to a new overseas territory: the French Austral and Antarctic Lands [Terres australes et antarctiques françaises or TAAF].

The archipelagos of Crozet and Kerguelen, the sub-Antarctic islands of Saint-Paul and Amsterdam, and Adélie Land in Antarctica thus became the four districts of an extremely isolated and dispersed territory, with the added characteristic of having no permanent inhabitants. Outside the area covered at the time by the 1955 law, and therefore outside the scope of this Conference, the Scattered Islands [îles Éparses] were to form the 5th district of the TAAF in 2007.

While men came near some of them as early as the 16th century, these territories were marked by a period of conquests carried out in the name of European sovereigns. Eventually, the particularities of these natural areas, barely impacted by humans, were to give rise to political claims and economic expectations.

While the stakes of economic regulation and, later on, strategic ones required the defining of an adapted mode of governance and the establishment of a legal framework, the focus on research and conservation, together with the need for a strict control of fishing activities in the Southern Seas, would result in the development of a regulatory framework to ensure a reconciliation between human activities and environmental protection, in accordance with the international commitments taken by France.


The TAAF are the subject of important public and private archival collections covering these geographical, historical, scientific and political fields. The objective of this Conference will be to promote knowledge of these collections, to measure their potential, to encourage research in order to document the history of the territories and their missions, and to facilitate the emergence of new works and documents.

  • Indeed, several stories coexist, told from different viewpoints, namely:
  • Various territories, defined by physical as well as symbolic aspects;
  • An institution created by the public will, and whose field of expertise, personnel, practices and tools evolve according to normative texts, new priorities, from strategic concerns to scientific research and conservation;
  • The experiments that were carried out there, as well as the technological advances they brought, which might not have happened in any other context;
  • The men and women marked in their hearts and in their bodies by the moments they have spent in these territories, a source of inspiration and of an imaginative universe whose limits are yet to be explored.

Lines of research

The Conference will focus on four main themes, each programmed over a half-day, organised around individual contributions and roundtables.

I. From discovery to exploitation, a history of human settlements

What major events marked the history of the sub-Antarctic islands and Adélie Land? How did human activities shape/impact these territories?

II. From territories to legal entity

What were the major political and legal steps leading up to the sui generis creation of the new overseas territory of the TAAFs in 1955? What were the stakes and specific problems in the Adélie area? Is the current status adapted to the missions of the community.

III. A world observatory

The natural heritage and geographical location of the Southern Islands and Adélie Land are unique and exceptional: how were public research and conservation policies implemented there? What fields of study and management emerged and how did they evolve?

IV. Dream and reality

Crozet, Kerguelen, Saint-Paul and Amsterdam, Adélie Land: so many names that have been a source of inspiration since their discovery. Between mission and devotion: what experience did those who lived their "dream" in the TAAF bring back? How has this Southern or Antarctic imaginative universe been transformed over the centuries?

Submission Guidelines

The Organising Committee will favour communication projects based on the study of documents (written, audio, video, photo) from public or private archives.

Proposals will take the form of a text of a maximum of 2,000 characters including spaces (summary and list of sources studied), accompanied by 5 lines of biography and the telephone and electronic contact details of the author of the communication.

Email address for submissions: journeesetudes2020TAAF-AN@taaf.re


Archives nationales


59 rue Guynemer

93383 Pierrefitte-sur-Seine

Métro : ligne 13, station Saint-Denis-Université



  • Deadline for receipt of communication projects: 15 June 2020

  • Deadline for the Organising Committee's response to the proposals: 30 June 2020
  • Date of final receipt of selected papers: 15 November 2020
  • Date of the Conference: 14 and 15 December 2020
  • Access to the Conference will be free, upon registration.


The proceedings of the Conference will be published in electronic format on the OpenEdition Books platform.


  • Auditorium - 59 rue Guynemer
    Pierrefitte-sur-Seine, France (93)


  • Monday, June 15, 2020

Attached files


  • archive, Kerguelen, Antarctique, TAAF, patrimoine, terres australes, océan Indien, polaire


  • Gilles Le Berre
    courriel : journeesetudes2020TAAF-AN [at] taaf [dot] re
  • David De Sousa
    courriel : journeesetudes2020TAAF-AN [at] taaf [dot] re

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Elisa Dupuis
    courriel : elisa [dot] dupuis [at] culture [dot] gouv [dot] fr


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« French Southern and Antarctic Lands: from Amsterdam Island to Adélie Land, archives from the world’s end », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, April 21, 2020, https://doi.org/10.58079/14ts

Archive this announcement

  • Google Agenda
  • iCal
Search OpenEdition Search

You will be redirected to OpenEdition Search