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Rare Books

Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08540
609-258-3184
Acting Associate University Librarian for Rare Books and Special Collections
609-258-3165

The Library has a great quantity of material on the French Revolution. The most effective access to holdings is provided by the following publication: Pamphlets, Periodicals, and Songs of the French Revolutionary Era in the Princeton University Library: A Descriptive Catalogue together with Indexes compiled by Carla Hesse and Laura Mason with the assistance of Stephen Ferguson. (New York and Princeton, 1989) [(ExB) Z2178 .P76]. This short-title catalogue lists the Library's 3000+ pamphlets from the French Revolutionary period.

Notes on some of the component collections:

1. Gustave Bord Collection: acquired in 1921, nearly 6,000 items. Evidently the collection of the French historian Gustave Bord, and sold to Princeton by the Paris dealer Champion after Bord's death in 1920.

2. W.D. Weaver collection: given to Princeton by James H. McGraw in 1923. Over 1000 pamphlets and nearly 2500 volumes. Briefly described in Princeton Alumni Weekly XXIV, 3 (Oct. 17, 1923) and in more detail in H.R. Shipman "The French Revolution Collection" in Princeton Alumni Weekly XXXIII, 5 (October 21, 1932).

3. The Chinard purchase includes more than 350 volumes relating largely to the history of France and particularly to the period of the Revolution. See the individual entry under Chinard in this Guide.

4. A collection of 583 pamphlets and leaflets collected by the late Professor Cornwell Burnham Rogers and given by Mrs. Cornwell B. Rogers in October, 1961. For particulars refer to: Princeton University Library Chronicle XXV, 2 (Winter, 1964), p. 164 [ full text] and also Cornwell B. Rogers, The Spirit of Revolution in 1789. (Princeton, 1949), especially pp. 284-303 [(Ex) 1509.178.7797]. The Rogers collection was organized by Carla Hesse during August, 1983. It is now arranged in 11 archival boxes and shelved under the call number (Ex) DC141 .C6. A shelflist (photocopy of Ms. Hesse's drafts of cataloguing records) is with the collection and lists the contents of the collection. The collection is particularly strong in songs of the Revolution.

See also Laura Mason's article based on materials in the Rogers collection. Laura Mason. "Popular songs and political singing in the French revolution." Princeton University Library Chronicle LII, 2 (Winter, 1991) pp. 171-189. [ full text]

Sets of legislative documents are one of the most significant portions of the Library's collection of government publications. Holdings in: Constituent Assembly, National Convention, Legislative Assembly, Directory, Consulate, and Old Regime.

Princeton continues to add to the Revolutionary material by purchasing 20th-century scholarly works about the period.