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French Revolution & Napoleon Collections

Researching the Revolution

The French Revolution signaled a break from Old Regime France. Throughout the revolution, multiple ideas and groups contested one another to determine the future of the French Nation. Special Collections & Archives contains a breadth of serials, rare books, and primary source collections that document the revolutionary era. 

Manuscript Collections

  • Series: Estates General
    • The David Bien Papers includes a series comprised of his notes and photocopies of the Ba series at the Archives Nationals and other primary source collections devoted to provincial/departmental elections, addresses to local nobility, and cahiers de doléances.
  • Le Vieux Cordelier
    • A journal founded by Camille Desmoulins in 1793 that ran until 1794 known for its eventual critiques of the Reign of Terror and Robespierre. The seventh edition was published posthumously after Desmoulins' execution.

In the Catalog

Catalog searching: You can search our library catalog online. Under the advanced search, you can narrow down the body of materials by choosing Strozier Library, Special Collections or Strozier, Napoleon Collection as a filter.

Helpful search terms in English or French to learn more about the French Revolution may include:

  • Estates-General
  • Government
    • National Assembly, Legislative Assembly, First Republic, and Directory
  • National Debt

The Almanach royal had its beginnings in 1683 when Laurent d'Houry envisioned a calendar. In 1700 it became a royally sponsored publication that instead listed members of the royal family and the different administrators and incomes of the kingdom including clergy, bankers, military officers, and consuls. Its name changed throughout the Revolutionary and Napoleonic period but documented similar institutional information.

In the Digital Library

In designing his newspaper, Panckoucke followed the format of English papers at the time and divided his paper into five main sections: The National Assembly, Domestic and Foreign Policy, Administration, Literature, Science and Arts, and General Announcements and Notes. The paper would become less political over time, publishing more articles on literature, science and art by 1811. It also dropped Gazette Nationale from its title in January of 1811 and became simply Le Moniteur Universel.


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