The Revue du Nord was founded by Alexandre de Saint-Léger in 1910. The journal is published under the auspices of Université de Lille SHS, Université d’Artois, Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale, Université de Picardie-Jules Verne, and Université de Valenciennes et du Hainaut-Cambrésis, with support from the French Ministry of Culture, the Regional Council of Hauts-de-France, the Centre National du Livre, the Centre d’histoire judiciaire, the research centre Halma (UMR 8164). Its current director is Jean-Marc Guislin.
The Revue du Nord is a journal of history (originally, also of geography and literature), also open to archaeology. There are five issues per year (four until 1989): four quarterly issues for history, and an final annual issue for archaeology.
With a careful presentation, a four-colour printed cover and abundant illustration, the current issues of the journal gather six to ten main articles, with abstracts in French and English. Most of the published papers emanate from academics, with some contributions from members of regional learned societies. Several rubrics are intended for scholars and students: information on recent doctoral dissertations, book reviews and other bibliographical information (especially about recent research), cultural information.
The Revue du Nord publishes articles concerned with the history and archaeology of Northern France, Belgium and the Netherlands, and (less frequently) other areas of Northern and Eastern Europe. This geographical extent is one the criteria for the selection of papers.
The papers received by the journal are first examined by a member of the editorial committee; then they are reviewed by two tenured scholars through a double-blind process; the two reports are then discussed by the editorial committee, who will decide on their eventual publication.
The activity of the journal is assessed by a scientific committee of twelve members from France and from other countries.
This North-Western European ambition of the Revue du Nord unfolds in three kinds of publications:
- Varia issues are collections of articles on miscellaneous topics, from the Middle Ages to our time: papers on general subjects, on religious, urban, economic or social history, on the history of institutions, law, the arts, etc. In one issue one may find for instance a study of “The embellishment of the chancel in the abbey church of Anchin in the eighteenth century”, and a paper on “How ‘official’ Belgium faced the OAS (1961-1964)”.
- Thematic issues are concerned with a great number of topics, such as the study of a particular city (e.g. Arras, Cambrai, Douai, etc.), or the publication of team work by research centres. Among recent subjects: “World War I in Northern France and Belgium”, “Living and managing the revolutionary exception in Northern France and Belgium”, “Representing episcopal authority in the eleventh century: Gerard of Cambrai and the Gesta episcoporum Cameracensium”.
- Special issues are devoted to proceedings of conferences, or the publication of collections of papers by prominent academics of the region. E.g.: “Consumption in the countryside in Roman Gaul”; “Borders, heaths, marshes and wastelands: the use of uncultivated land from Antiquity to the twenty-first century”; “The reconversion of coal mining regions: a comparison between Ruhr and Nord-Pas-de-Calais”; “The baccalauréat, 1808-2008: French exception of European practice?”; “Yves-Marie Hilaire, Time regained: twenty-four glances on two centuries of religious history”.