Archives (Digital Technologies Applied to History)

Program type Initial Training
Degree Master's
Graduate program(s) Translitteræ Graduate Program
Domain(s) Humanities & social sciences
Discipline(s) Archeology, Archives – Documentation, History, Digital Humanities
Teaching language(s) French
Place Paris

PSL host school


The Master’s Degree in Archives (Digital Technologies Applied to History) offered by École nationale des chartes - PSL is built around the scientific challenges of using digital technologies to process sources (objects, text, images) in service of history and heritage.
This Master’s program is intended for students who wish to learn the methods for analyzing historical and literary sources, as well as the digital technologies they will need for their research.

This master's program is part of PSL Translitterae graduate program.

Learning outcomes

Year one of the Master’s program
The first year of the Master’s degree provides a common core of general education on sources, including core courses and three specialized tracks (Archives; Art History; Books and Media).
The two semesters draw on courses from the paleography archivist program, which provides the experience and pedagogical coordination to ensure a cohesive program.
Approval by the faculty committee is required for students to continue into the second year of the Master’s degree.

Year two of the Master’s program
In the second year, students begin learning information and communication technologies as a bridge with History Master’s programs, for students in those programs who do not wish to sit the competitive exams to become teachers but wish to broaden their education.

Semester 3: 30 ECTS
Core curriculum: 270 hours

Coursework, which includes lectures, visits, and meetings alongside many hours of tutorials, covers:

  • digital documents and techniques for digitization
  • reporting and describing collections
  • some foundations of programming
  • electronic publication techniques
  • techniques for structuring documents and data
  • challenges and strategies related to digital documents
  • a broad overview of existing e-resources
  • perpetuation of digital information
  • designing and creating a document application for the web
  • conducting projects to digitize primary source

Semester 4: 30 ECTS
S4 is devoted to developing a project, namely:

For the research track, a written thesis in history, art history, or literature, that involves digital processing; could potentially be replaced by developing software applied to research

For the professional track, a digital project (XML template, digital corpus using XML, database, electronic source publishing, dynamic web application, virtual exhibit, specifications, software study or prototype, etc.) related to heritage objects or collections and conducted on behalf of an institution for the conservation of heritage, a research team in the humanities and social sciences, or a private company as part of a long internship in France or abroad
Technical workshops may be held to expand upon the practical work given in Semester 3, depending on the students’ internships and thesis topics.

Read the detailed program


The Master’s Degree in Archives has two objectives:

  • offer methodological training to those wishing to pursue doctoral studies, with a heavy emphasis on using digital technologies to develop their research
  • give young historians an opportunity to find a job in the public or private sector, within entities or for projects that use digital technologies to process or make use of primary documents

View the career outcomes for previous graduating classes from the Master’s degree


Admission to the “Digital technologies applied to history” program presumes that the student has previously acquired the general knowledge in history or literature required to succeed in the program. As such, general history classes, either by period or topic, are absent from the curriculum.

Admissions requirements

For the 1st year: Bachelor’s degree (in history, art history, classic literature, modern literature, or law) or equivalent degree, with approval from the faculty committee, after an interview with the faculty committee
For the 2nd year: M1 earned from École des Chartes or another institute of higher education, with approval from the faculty committee

2021/22 Admissions Timeline

  • Session 1 (international candidates only): January 18 to March 18, 2021
  • Session 2 (all candidates): April 12 to June 14, 2021

After applications have been read, applicants selected by the faculty committee will be invited for an interview.

Admissions procedure

Based on an application on PSL's application website and interview.
Application for M1
Application for M2

Application content

  • Cover letter, in keeping with the student’s career plan and objectives for the second year of the Master’s degree, that describes previous coursework in methods for the sciences related to history or art history, as well as any internships
  • University-level research work and publications
  • Résumé
  • Copies of degrees earned (baccalaureate, Bachelor’s, etc.). International transcripts must be translated into French.
  • Copies of academic transcripts (baccalaureate, Bachelor’s degree, etc.). International transcripts must be translated into French.
  • List of Bachelor’s level coursework or official program of studies abroad
  • For international applications eligible for the Ile-de-France Master’s scholarship, the duly completed application
  • For international applicants, a copy of the certification or degree in French language study may be attached (optional).

Download the application package

The degree can be taken as initial training or executive education.

Your application status is for executive education:
- if you interrupted your studies for more than 3 years
- if you are an employee or on individual training leave, seeking a job, or involved in reskilling

Tuition fees:For the 2020-2021 academic year, annual tuition was €243, plus the Student Life and Campus Contribution (CVEC tax), which is €92 per year. Learn more about the CVEC tax.

School for registration: Ecole nationale des chartes - PSL
Degree issued: National Master's degree issued by Université PSL

Read inspiring testimonials from alumni of the Master’s degree in Archives (Digital Technologies Applied to History)

They describe the paths that led them to the Master’s program, share their opinions about the program, and give you a glimpse of the fascinating and varied careers they are now involved in.


Head of the Master's program: Edouard VASSEUR

Further information

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