A screenshot of OBVIL

The Observatory of literary life is a Sorbonne Universities LabEx (laboratory of excellence) whose purpose is to create synergies between digital technologies and literature. This approach, which falls within the scope of digital humanities, can be broken down into three steps: first, establishing large databases through digitizing literary and critical corpora and applying the methods of scholarly digital philology; then, exploiting these resources with text-mining, pattern-matching, alignment, and collocation tools, as well as developing ontologies in order to analyze them semantically; and finally, developing data visualization tools, particularly interactive, interdisciplinary data galleries revolving around a specific author, corpus, or issue.



ARTFL (Chicago University)
Bibliothèque nationale de France (BNF)
Bibliothèque littéraire Jacques Doucet (BLJD)
Consortium Cahiers
Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS)
Institut Mémoires de l’édition contemporaine (IMEC)
Istituto di Linguistica Computazionale A . Zampolli (Pisa)
Literarylab (Stanford University)
MetaLab (Harvard University)

Project Team

Director : Didier Alexandre, Professor of French Literature, Université Paris-Sorbonne
Deputy Director : Jean-Gabriel Ganascia, Professor of Computer Science, Université Pierre et Marie Curie


The French National Research Agency (ANR)
The Mellon Foundation
Fondation Maison des Sciences de l'Homme (FMSH)