INS: General Information About The Society

About Us




About The Society

There are many different societies dedicated to Napoleonic matters, ranging from scholarly study to wargaming, collecting, travel and other activities. But Dr. Ben Weider, noted Napoleonic historian, Nobel Peace Prize nominee and philanthropist, wanted to create a truly international organization solely dedicated to Napoleon and his era. Thus, under his leadership and with his generous financial support, the International Napoleonic Society was born. Organized under the authority of the Canadian government, and headquartered in Montréal, the INS is a nonprofit educational body established to study the Napoleonic Era in accordance with proper academic standards.

At the heart of the purpose of the INS is the desire to bring together the leading minds in this field to promote and reward Napoleonic scholarship and other important activities that promote interest in Napoleonic history. To this end, scholars and others who make significant contributions in this area are nominated to become Fellows in the society. Graduate students who are specializing in Napoleonic studies may be nominated to become Academic Fellows. There is no membership fee; Fellowships are granted solely on the merit of the nomination. The INS provides these scholars the opportunity to communicate, share research, and otherwise promote the study of Napoleon.

The INS performs several functions to promote and reward study in this field. Together, these functions make the INS the most active international organization in the Napoleonic field. In addition to the activities described below, is our great desire to cooperate with any other Napoleonic organization in the world that shares our goals and commitments.

Napoleonic Scholarship: The Journal of the International Napoleonic Society

This English language journal is designed to promote publication of Napoleonic research from around the world. Articles from scholars are actively solicited and those that meet our standards may be selected for publication. We also encourage the publication of English translations of important documents, selections from memoirs, and articles appearing in other journals in a language other than English. All Fellows and Academic Fellows receive the Journal without charge. Copies are also provided to a selection of libraries and history departments world-wide. To further promote the distribution of the Journal world-wide, we are proud to publish it in its entirety on the Napoleon Series World Wide Web site. Anyone interested in publishing an article or translation should contact David Markham, INS Editor-in-Chief.

International Napoleonic Congresses

There is no substitute in the promotion of Napoleonic studies than giving scholars the opportunity to meet each other in person and share their research and points of view on Napoleonic topics. To that end, the INS, under the direction of Executive Vice-President J. David Markham, will sponsor a series of International Napoleonic Congresses to be held at different sites around the world that have Napoleonic connections. The first Congress was held in Alessandra, Italy, in June of 1997. Held in the historic Cittadella, and not far from the battlefield of Marengo, this congress brought together over 40 scholars from Russia, Eastern and Western Europe, Israel, Australia, Canada, and the United States of America. The Congress also included visits to Napoleonic sites such as Marengo and Lodi, and a visit to the Museo del Risorgimento in Milan, which has a large Napoleonic collection. Proceedings of this and all future Congresses will be produced in book form, and will also be published on the Napoleon Series WEB site. Future Congresses are planned for Israel, the United Kingdom, France, and other sites in Europe. For further information, please contact David Markham.


To reward excellence in Napoleonic research and other important activities, the INS has established several awards.

The Legion of Merit

The highest award that the INS can bestow is the Legion of Merit. This award, which consists of a gold medal, rosette and certificate, reflects a significant commitment on the part of the recipient. Most awards of the Legion of Merit are determined by the Awards Committee, chaired by Dr. Donald D. Horward, head of the Institute on Napoleon and the French Revolution at Florida State University, and one of the most noted Napoleonic scholars in the world. The INS President may also grant this award.

medal obverse

medal reverse

Literary Awards

The INS also rewards excellence in the publication of important books and articles on Napoleonic topics. The Literary Committee, also chaired by Dr. Donald D. Horward, gives awards to established scholars as well as promising students. Each year, the committee reviews recently published books submitted for consideration by their publisher. A first place award carries with it a stipend of $2500 US, and a second place award has a stipend of $1500 US. In addition, the President may give a special presidential award known as the Golden Laurel Award, which carries with it a stipend of $1500 US.

The INS also seeks to reward promising graduate students enrolled in a university program and specializing in Napoleonic Studies. Students submit copies of their papers to the committee Chair, who distributes them to the members of the Literary Committee. Two awards will be granted, each carrying a stipend of $500 US. Additionally, the winning papers may be published in our Journal.

For further information on the INS awards program, please contact Dr. Donald D. Horward.

We hope this has answered any questions you may have had regarding the International Napoleonic Society. If you would like to become involved in our activities, or seek additional information, please feel free to contact our President, Dr. Ben Weider, or our Executive Vice-President, J. David Markham

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