Founded at the beginning of the twentieth century under the leadership of Albert Mathiez, the journal is edited to this day by the Society of Robespierrist Studies, with the assistance of the National Center of Scientific Research (C.N.R.S.). Its goal is to publish ongoing research, as well as primary documents, devoted to the study of the French Revolution and the Empire. The journal's scope, however, is not strictly limited to the period marked by the opening of the Estates General in 1789 and the fall of Napoleon in 1815. Taking into equal consideration the origins and aftershocks of the Revolution, the journal solicits material ranging from the 1770s to the beginning of the nineteenth century, and even later when dealing with questions of revolutionary memory and repercussions in the modern world.
The Annales Historiques de la Révolution française is the only French and international review devoted to the study of the Revolution. Subscribers receive four issues per year, or one annual volume, totaling close to 1000 pages. Issues alternate between those devoted to a specific theme, and those presenting articles and primary documents on a range of subjects. In addition, each volume contains a selection of books reviews, a list of defended dissertations, announcements of upcoming conferences and seminars, and an annual index of articles on the revolutionary period appearing in other journals. Indexes and tables are published separately every ten years in order to facilitate the consultation of volumes of the Annales published since 1908, all of which are available in reprint or original edition.