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  Voltaire Foundation logo The Complete Works of Voltaire Oxford University rectangle

For OCV authors

The Voltaire Foundation relies on the dedication, scholarship and generosity of our brilliant editors, authors and editorial board. Without you, we simply could not publish the Complete Works of Voltaire (OCV) as the most complete and up-to-date critical edition of Voltaire’s works. Some of you have been with us since the beginning of this fifty-year project and have devoted much of your working lives (not to mention countless hours of so-called retirement) to bringing it to fruition.

Thank you:   To all our authors, past, present and future, we would like to say thank you for your hard work and your patience with this monumental undertaking, which is and will continue to be of immense value to scholars and researchers working on Voltaire and the Enlightenment.

Collaboration:   Our authors work both individually and, increasingly, collaboratively to ensure that the work is of the highest quality. Drawing on our extensive international network, we are proud to have been able to create teams of authors, especially for larger projects like the Essai sur les mœurs and the Questions sur l’Encyclopédie, allowing them to pool their specialisms (and reduce workload for individuals). These are the synergies that make working on OCV so stimulating and rewarding.

Read some of our long-term contributors’ points of view:
The Complete Works of Voltaire: 1967-2016 – an insider’s view, by John Renwick
A propos des Œuvres complètes ou comment tout a commencé, by Jeroom Vercruysse

On the page Resources for OCV authors you will find some resources that we’ve brought together to try to help you as you work on your critical editions.

The editorial process

Preparing your edition:   At the commissioning stage, authors will be asked to produce a critical edition of a text by Voltaire, including establishing a list of editions and manuscripts of the work produced during Voltaire’s lifetime. From this list, you need to choose the most appropriate version of the text as the basis for your edition, as well as collating variants from other significant versions of the work. You are also responsible for annotating Voltaire’s text and writing an introduction to the edition. The OCV team is at your disposal for any support you might need during this period (and see the step-by-step guide to preparing a critical edition).

Publishing your edition:   Once submitted, the OCV team will meticulously edit your work in order to make sure that it conforms to our house style. We verify facts, investigate queries, try to fill any gaps and generally go over everything with a fine-tooth comb! As OCV is a chronologically based series, it is often at this stage of working on a volume that connections between works are brought into sharp relief. We will sometimes add cross-references to other works (especially those in the same volume) in order to situate your text in its chronological and thematic context within the OCV series. During this process we may be in touch with you to clarify certain points or make you aware of any information that has come to light since you submitted your edition. We will also let you know when to expect to see proofs of your edition.

When we send proofs for you to check, you will normally also receive a list of queries. Please check both the proofs and the query list carefully, and make any necessary corrections to the proofs before returning them to your OCV editor. We’ll take care of the rest of the process, and a few months later (to allow for printing time) we’ll send you your copy of the edition, hot off the press.