Since a great portion of the studies in textual genetics emanates from the academic sector, it would be impossible to overstate the importance that the 1976 foundation by the CNRS of the Centre d’Analyse des Manuscrits (CAM)-transformed into a laboratory in 1982 under the name Institut des Textes et Manuscrits Modernes (ITEM)-has had on originating and developing these research projects. Growing out of work begun as early as 1968 by the “Heine team,” this research structure developed very rapidly under the impetus of Louis Hay, who directed it until 1986. In 1987 the results of work undertaken at CAM were already sufficiently convincing for the writer Louis Aragon to donate all his manuscripts to the state on the condition that their scientific analysis be entrusted to that group. Today, ITEM acts as a coordinating, centralizing structure for some 120 researchers (mostly university-based) who work in the framework of about a dozen different teams.

(Biasi 2004, 64)

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