Bérose draws upon a database created in 2006 under a research programme entitled “Les Savoirs des différences. Histoire et sciences des mœurs en Europe, XVIIIe-XXe siècles” (Knowledge of difference. History and science of social mores in Europe, 18th-20th centuries) developed as part of the Histoire des savoirs programme at ACI.
Development of the database was supported by funding from ANR between 2008 and 2012, under a public tender for “Corpus et outils de la recherche en sciences humaines et sociales” (Research corpus and tools in human and social sciences).
Today the website is a collaborative research tool available through scientific social networks, an electronic publishing platform for research conducted using Bérose, and a digital library of primary sources.
The online encyclopaedia is enriched by contributions from European and international researchers, and benefits from partnerships with an institutional network comprising a research centre, two museums, an ethnographic studies cluster, libraries and documentation centres.
Cooperation between Bérose and its institutional partners takes three forms:
- Scientific collaboration leads to encounters and publication of papers or new data in the online repository.
- Working with the nucleus formed by the BnF and Gallica, partners help rebuild corpuses, for example the complete collection of a journal, to be transferred to digital format for online dissemination via Bérose. Digital reproduction of documents is handled by BnF, under its digital cooperation programmes.
- Partner institutions may also opt to cede certain reproduction and dissemination rights to Bérose for documents from their own collections.