In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries Geneva was a major crossroads for European cultural exchanges. Its complex linguistic environment, growing anglophilia, renowned philosophical and religious heritage, and increasing stature in the new sciences, made this small city into a market-place for ideas and information as well as for watches and wheat. The foundation in 1796 of a Bibliothèque britannique, which would itself become a formidable encyclopedia of scientific, literary and agronomic knowledge, characterises Geneva's role as cultural agent. This was celebrated in September 1996 at Dartington in England when an international group of scholars met to examine the Bibliothèque britannique's historical role, its dissemination of the works of Jeremy Bentham and Jane Austen, and to place its achievements within a broader context. The papers selected for publication examine not only the Bibliothèque britannique but also the role of contemporary moralising and didactic literature, women's reading and their writings, the interplay of influences in the world of science, the eighteenth-century world of journalism and journalists, and the all-pervasive impact of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Geneva's polymathic son, upon thought, botany, music, and his own posterity.