In 2009, the French School of Asian Studies (École française d'Extrême-Orient, EFEO) launched the project Corpus of the Inscriptions of Campā (CIC), aiming to renew the tradition of scholarship on these inscriptions that had thrived at the institution in the early 20th century.

The primary aim of the project is to update and to continue the EFEO inventory of the inscriptions of Campā, compiled in the early decades of the 20th century by the renowned scholar George Cœdès. In this inventory, each inscription received a unique 'C.' number (C = Campā), under which were recorded various types of useful information, such as: the place where the inscription had been found; the place where it was currently located (if it had been moved after discovery); the language(s) used in it; its date; availability of reproductions of it in public libraries; bibliography of publications about the inscription. A first version of this inventory was published in 1908, comprising 118 entries; a revised and updated version came out in 1923, and at that time the list comprised 170 entries; supplements published in 1937 and 1942 raised the total first to 196, and finally to 200 entries. After this, the inventory fell into disuse, and for many decades there was no central registration of newly discovered inscriptions, or of changes in the situation of previously registered items.

And it was not only the maintenance of an inventory that came to be neglected. After a small handful of publications of inscriptions of Campā by EFEO scholars that appeared in the 1920s and 1930s, the study of these inscriptions, inside and outside the EFEO, came to a complete stop due to World War II and the subsequent period of Vietnamese struggle for independence and reunification. At that time, only about half of all known inscriptions had been published, and in general the study of inscriptions in Sanskrit language had received much more attention — at least it had advanced more significantly — than that of inscriptions in Cam. Most Cam-language inscriptions whose texts had been published, had been published without translations. Even the existing translations were almost never precise renderings of the originals, but rather loose patch-works of understood, guessed and ignored elements of the originals. In this situation, the second important aim of the CIC project is to publish texts and translations of the inscriptions whose existence was known but had not yet been published; bring out texts and translations of newly discovered inscriptions; publish translations of texts that had been published without any translations; and, last but not least, review the texts published by previous scholars, which often allows the correction of wrong readings, and hence improvement in the interpretation of texts published a long time ago.

The project has opted for a two-pronged publication strategy. We are publishing our results piecemeal in traditional paper publications, both through international journals (mainly in French), and through publications in Vietnam (using Vietnamese). But we are simultaneously preparing the present online publication which will, in due course, bring together the corpus in its entirety, and present the most up-to-date versions of our treatment of the individual inscriptions.


The methodological aspects of this work span, on the one hand, the 'traditional' methodologies of epigraphical research, and, on the other, the newer methodologies of digital epigraphy. As for traditional epigraphical methodology, the user of this website may expect to be offered the text of each inscription with a very high degree of reliability, that is: without errors of decipherment, without typographical errors, and with transparent indication of editorial interventions, as well as doubt on the part of the editors with regard to how the texts are to be deciphered. The user will be enabled to verify the editors' work by using the visual documentation that we offer, and to this aim we will add to each item the best documentation available to us. The user may also expect to be offered literal translations into English (and sometimes into other modern languages), again transparent with regard to points of uncertainty, and enriched with notes and/or commentary discussing the meaning of the texts. The secondary literature relevant to each inscription will be reported exhaustively.

As for methodology of digital epigraphy, this publication aims to build upon the results gained in the field of Latin and Greek epigraphy of the mediterranean area by scholars in the EpiDoc community. In line with the principles of this scholarly community, all of the documents to which we own the copyright included on this website are released under the Creative Commons Attribution License. Our work is compliant with the Text Encoding Iniative, and explicitly intended to be a step towards computer-enabled research on larger scale epigraphical corpora, at the Southeast Asian level and beyond.


Given the limitations of financial and human resources with which the aims of this project need to be accomplished, and the size of the task that we have set ourselves, this digital publication will appear in installments and will, for the foreseeable future, remain a work in progress.