The purpose of the Fondation Napoleon is to study the eras of the Directory, the Consulate, the First Empire, the Second Republic and the Second Empire, and it aims to be the reference for information, documentation and interaction on these eras. It also contributes to preserving and showcasing the Napoleonic heritage.
As part of the bicentenary of the death of Napoleon I, the Fondation Napoleon has brought together the various institutions involved in the bicentenary with the "2021 the Year of Napoleon" label, in which the Seine-et-Marne Department is taking part. View the list of all the partners and their events.
Declared as a public utility on 12th November 1987, the Fondation Napoleon draws its resources from the income of the bequest made by Mr Martial Lapeyre, an industrialist and history enthusiast, and from various donations and bequests made since then. It has been chaired since 2005 by Mr Victor-André Masséna, Prince of Essling, and the Board of Directors initiates projects, which are then implemented by a multilingual administrative team led by Mr Thierry Lentz.
In order to support the work of historians and researchers, the Fondation works towards the conservation of historical sources (inventory, digitisation of Napoleonic archives), and awards up to eight thesis grants and two history prizes every year. It supports the Napoleonic edition through patronage and scientific interventions.
In addition, the Fondation Napoleon provides researchers with a library, websites and specialists’ advice. It targets a wide audience with a strong presence on the Internet since 1996, with fondationnapoleon.org, an institutional website, napoleon.org, a mainstream website, Napoleonica, an on-line scientific journal (which is broadcast on the Cairn.infoportal), an on-line archive site napoleonica.org, and an educational video channel on YouTube. This is complemented by a strong presence on social networks and the edition of a weekly digital newsletter.
Lectures and colloquia are organised every year, including the Learning Circle evenings which take place two to three times a month. The Fondation Napoleon is a partner of a number of French and foreign museums and institutions, and together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Government of Saint Helena, it manages the National Domains of Saint Helena through the Saint Helena Napoleonic Heritage Ltd company.
The Fondation Napoleon holds collections of nearly 1,400 historical objects and works of art, and contributes to exhibitions all over the world, either through loans or by organising them. Finally, it supports the Napoleonic heritage through direct actions or by organising major international subscriptions (the latest, in partnership with the Army Museum and the Napoleonic Memorial, was aimed at restoring the Emperor's tomb and the Napoleonic monuments of the Hôtel national des Invalides (2019-2021).