Production and distribution services dedicated to research

The FMSH audiovisual department offers a wide range of services, from knowledge acquisition to assistance with audiovisual and other multimedia projects. Since 2015, the Foundation has been the project leader for the national webTV platform Canal-U, which is funded by the Ministry of Education, Higher Education and Research. With a view to continuity, it has established its own audiovisual production unit,  FMSH-Production.

Dissemination and production


Canal-U is the leading site for open-access audiovisual resources for higher education and research. It is supported by the Ministry of Education, Higher Education and Research. The platform offers teaching-related and scientific resources for teachers, researchers and tertiary students, as a complement to course materials, and more broadly, for the general public with a view to lifelong learning.

With some 25,000 videos and 4.5 million visitors a year, Canal-U is the most frequently consulted French scientific audiovisual platform.



FMSH-Production is the internal audiovisual production unit of the FMSH. It provides a variety of services: recording of seminars and lectures, interviews, MOOCs, etc.

Since 2016, the unit has produced more than 100 hours of audiovisual resources, which have been added to Canal-U’s VOD catalogue.

Half of this output is concerned with internal events of the Foundation, while the other half arose through various partnerships, particularly the Musée du Quai Branly. All of it is placed under the authority of the Ministry of Education, Higher Education and Research.


Audiovisual collections

The FMSH has a large audiovisual corpus, including several collections disseminated on Canal-U.

The FMSH collection

The Foundation produces its own videos through FMSH-Production, its audiovisual production unit, and disseminates them on Canal-U. The FMSH collection comprises recordings of seminars, colloquia, lectures and interviews made in the context of the research and knowledge dissemination programmes supported by the Foundation.


The CERIMES collection

Since the CERIMES closed in 2014, the FMSH has managed its collection, which contains 60 years’ worth of scientific audiovisual production. Part of it is already online on Canal-U (about 1,300 titles). The rest (some 2,000 titles) is being digitized. Most of consists of documentaries and lectures, but there are also original programmes such as the “Archimède” series (a popular science series broadcast by the cultural TV channel Arte).


The AAR-FMSH collection

The AAR-FMSH collection stems from a number of programmes launched as part of a research project of the ESCOM team in the early 2000s. It contains nearly 2,000 hours of audiovisual resources relating to the social sciences and humanities: a great many interviews, colloquia, seminars and documentaries produced between 2002 and 2015.


Research and development project

The P.I.T.S. project (Paroles, images et textes des savoirs)

Canal-U, in partnership with Orange Labs, is continuing the R&D work begun in 2014 on the generation of metadata from automated analysis of the audio and video of a corpus consisting of lectures, seminars, documentaries, etc. The project should make it possible, for example, to generate keywords or sequences automatically and to identify the various speakers via a voice recognition tool.

The possible applications of the project are of use both to researchers and to the general public. The idea is to give users a new system for browsing video content.