The Annales scientifiques de l'École normale supérieure were founded in 1864 by Louis Pasteur. The journal dealt with subjects touching on Physics, Chemistry and Natural Sciences. Around the turn of the century, it was decided that the journal should be devoted to Mathematics.

Today, the Annales are open to all fields of mathematics. The Editorial Board, with the help of referees, selects articles which are mathematically very substantial. The Journal insists on maintaining a tradition of clarity and rigour in the exposition.

The Annales scientifiques de l'École normale supérieures have been published by Gauthier-Villars unto 1997, then by Elsevier from 1999 to 2007. Since January 2008, they are published by the Société Mathématique de France.