Founded in 1875, the École française de Rome’s mission is research and research training in the field of archaeology, history and other human and social sciences, from prehistory to the present day.
Its main field of research covers an area comprising Rome, Italy, the Maghreb and the countries of South-East Europe close to the Adriatic Sea. But the universal vocation of the city of Rome, capital of the ancient Roman world, then of Christianity, allows it to welcome researchers working in other spheres of the world who need to consult its archives (in particular those of the Vatican). These resources also explain why many other foreign institutions comparable to the EFR are located in Rome: they form the Unione Internazionale of institutes of archaeology, history and art history in Rome which groups 35 institutes representing 27 different countries. The École collaborates in international research programmes through archaeological sites and scientific meetings. Each year, it publishes more than twenty volumes in these fields and a biannual review, Mélanges.
The École’s documentary resources, in particular its rich specialized library of around 230,000 volumes, located on the second floor of the Palazzo Farnese, are available to researchers from all over the world.
Each year, the EFR welcomes doctoral students (scholarship holders and doctoral students under contract), young researchers (members), as well as teacher-researchers, researchers and other more permanent scientific staff (resident researchers, researchers from the CNRS and research partners of scientific programmes).
In addition to the library readers (around 22,000 entries per year), nearly a thousand people visit the EFR each year, for stays ranging from a few days to the entire year.
Since its creation, the École has shared the Palazzo Farnese with the French Embassy in Italy. In Rome, it also owns a building located in Piazza Navona, and, for its archaeological laboratory, rooms in the Crypta Balbi complex, granted by the archaeological superintendency of Rome. For archaeology and studies on southern Italy and Magna Graecia, the École relies on the Jean Bérard Center in Naples, which is under its supervision, along with the CNRS.