APA (Association pour l’autobiographie et le Patrimoine Autobiographique)


The APA (Association pour l’autobiographie et le Patrimoine Autobiographique) focuses on autobiographies. The association’s primary mission is the collection, conservation, and dissemination of unpublished autobiographical texts. Thanks to the donation of over 4,000 narratives, correspondence, diaries, and other such documents, APA has assembled a rich collection of autobiographical materials that is available for consultation in the French town of Ambérieu-en-Bugey, in the region of Ain. These documents, which extend from the late eighteenth century to the present day and represent all strata of society, constitute a valuable resource, especially for researchers in the social sciences.

Texts donated to the APA are initially given a sympathetic reading, according to an established protocol, by one of the four reading groups. A report is then written up and submitted to the donor for approval. The APA does not publish the donated texts; instead, it circulates its reports, or “echoes of reading”, in its descriptive catalogue, the Garde-mémoire (“memory cupboard”). These indexed reports can be consulted online.

Another goal of the APA is to promote and organise encounters and exchanges which bring together people who are interested in the subject of autobiography, in its broadest sense. For this purpose, it holds an annual “Autobiography Days” weekend, “Diary Days” round table discussions, and a number of exhibitions, training sessions, and activities. The APA maintains a relationship with similar organisations in France and across Europe.

APA members participate in local groups or theme-based groups, which are devoted to the reading, and re-reading, documents from the archives, to autobiographical writing and/or reflection. By encouraging members to pursue their interests and enabling them to create new projects from those interests, these groups enrich the life of the Association.


Founded in 1992, the APA is a non-profit association chartered according to the French law of 1901. The French government recognised it as an organization acting in the interest of the public in 2006. It is under the direction of an administrative board (elected by the general assembly each March) which meets thrice a year.

The APA is financed almost entirely through contributions from supporters and members’ dues. If its activities interest you, we invite you to support us and to contact us if you would like to get involved in our work.


​ The APA’s activities give rise to a variety of publications:

  • The magazine La Faute à Rousseau (“Blame it on Rousseau”) appears three times a year, with each issue devoted to a particular theme.
  • The volumes of the Les Garde-mémoire constitute a descriptive catalogue of the collection.
  • The Cahiers de l’APA are a series of  publications on particular themes, which sometimes offer the results of the activities of local or thematic groups.


Website : http://autobiographie.sitapa.org/
Email: apa@sitapa.org
Telephone: +33 474 346 571
Address: 19 rue René Panhard, Ambérieu-en-Bugey, 01500, France.

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