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Les Carnets de l’ACoSt, the journal of the Association for Coroplastic Studies, is designed to promote research on coroplastic material, or sculptural objects made in clay, from all regions and all periods. This is accomplished by the rapid publication of the coroplastic research of specialists, young scholars, and those new to the field of coroplastic studies. The word coroplastic comes from the Greek koroplastes that means modeler of images in clay.

While there are many scientific journals either in print or online that are dedicated to archaeology and the historical sciences, before the creation of Les Carnets there was no serial specifically devoted to research on terracotta figurines and related objects in clay. Interest in this field of research had grown to the point that in 2007 the Coroplastic Studies Interest Group was formed by J. P. Uhlenbrock (Professor Emerita, State University of New York, New Paltz) under the auspices of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA). The rapid growth of this Interest Group that in 2014 comprised 237 members necessitated a separation from the AIA and a transformation into an independent organization now called the Association for Coroplastic Studies, or ACoSt, whose website is hosted by the University of Lille, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences (http://coroplasticstudies.univ-lille3.fr/).

ACoSt has promoted coroplastic research by the organization of scientific events, such as conferences, colloquia, workshops, and round-tables that facilitate intellectual exchange between members, as well as non-member specialists and students. The proceedings and reports of these ACoSt sponsored events have been published on the ACoSt website primarily through a bi-annual newsletter that is available free of charge, as are the ACoSt book reviews and the bibliographic database with links to full-text books and articles that focus on coroplastic topics. It has become apparent that the ACoSt newsletter is too limited in its function as a publication for brief reports and announcements dealing with coroplastic topics. The governing body of ACoSt has decided to expand the newsletter to include lengthy, more scientific articles and to reformat the newsletter as Les Carnets de l’ACoSt, an exclusively electronic, open access journal that will provide a forum for the dissemination of knowledge and scholarly inquiry, for the promotion of contacts and exchanges between researchers, and for the encouragement of future, collaborative research projects.

Indeed, publications that feature coroplastic material from excavations, museum collections, catalogues, and conference proceedings often lack a thematic focus for the numerous and innovative studies devoted to figurative terracottas. Such studies have been relegated to the more generalized archaeological or art historical journals. Even though a number of conferences, colloquia, and workshops have been held over the last 6 years that focus on coroplastic research, the proceedings of these events often remain unpublished, with a few significant exceptions, for lack of an appropriate venue or other resources.

The development of coroplastic studies as a discipline and the increasing international dimension of its scientific activity highlights the essential need for a suitable publication with a specialized focus. Les Carnets de l’ACoSt, under the aegis of the Association for Coroplastic Studies, will take on this role by publishing scientific articles and proceedings of scientific meetings devoted to sculptural objects made in clay, as well as lengthy book reviews on coroplastic research. Various sections will incorporate the former newsletter in its function by presenting brief reports on the results of recent or on-going research, conference reports, book announcements, and other brief, newsworthy announcements.

Les Carnets de l’ACoSt will also host the publication of A Handbook for Coroplastic Research that is in preparation by an international team of researchers. This is designed to provide research perspectives, methodological approaches and procedures, and a complex lexicon, all of which will be of fundamental importance to those new to coroplastic studies.

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