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French Revolution & Napoleon Collections

Manuscripts Collections

Rare Books

FSU Digital Library

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"Letter from the Army of the French Republic regarding General Macdonald," November 14, 1800, French Revolution Collection on Camille Desmoulins, Lucile Duplesis, and Arthur Dillon, 1702-1876, ​Box 1, Folder 4, Special Collections & Archives, Florida State University Libraries, Tallahassee, Florida. Available in our Digital Library.

History of the Collections

Florida State University’s Doctoral program in History began in 1958. As a means of expanding the strength of the History Department, the University created a faculty position specializing in the French Revolution. Dr. Donald Horward oversaw the beginning of the collection when Government funding came to the history department to augment its holdings in the Napoleonic Period of which there were less than 300 works in Strozier at the time. The Collection began with Rare Books by and about Revolutionary figures like Murat and Napoleon Bonaparte himself. By 1973, the collection grew to around 5000 titles. Special Collections & Archives continues to develop this area which has expanded to over 10,000 Rare Books, Manuscripts, and other paramount artifacts such as Napoleon’s Death Mask.

Locating Materials in Special Collections & Archives

FSU Libraries Catalog Advanced Search - https://fsu.catalog.fcla.edu/fs.jsp?ADV=S
The FSU Libraries Catalog is the best source of information on rare books collections. It also includes description of some archival collections, with links out to finer description in the Finding Aid Database (see below).

  • To limit to Special Collections holdings, use Location: “Strozier, Special Collections”
  • Limiting by year (“Published from”) is often useful to Special Collections researchers
  • Filter search results using terms in left-hand column
  • Click through search results to get full records for books or collections
  • Anything mentioning “Special Coll” in Location information is available through the Special Collections Research Center reading room in 110 Strozier Library
  • To request specific books in reading room, use the Title and Call Number (Location)

Finding Aid Database - https://archives.lib.fsu.edu
The Finding Aid Database is the best source of information about our archives collections. 

  • Searches can be limited by record type; keyword, title, creator, and subject; and by date
  • Filter search results using terms in right-hand column
  • Click through search results to get full records for collections or archival items
  • Researchers can browse by topical area by clicking on “Classifications”
  • Most collections available through the Special Collections Research Center reading room in 110 Strozier Library
  • Some collections note that “Users may access this collection at the Claude Pepper Library” - Claude Pepper Center, 636 W Call St
  • To request specific items in the reading room, use the collection title, collection Identifier, and box number (citation)
  • Collections belonging to non-FSUL repositories can be accessed by using the contact information on the Repository’s page

Digital Library - http://diginole.lib.fsu.edu/digital_library
The FSU Digital Library Includes digital copies of Special Collections & Archives items, born-digital collections, and digital objects hosted for other organizations

  • Use keyword search at the top of the screen, advanced search in the tool bar, or click through themed collections to discover digital objects
  • Sort or Narrow results using terms in left-hand column or search within a collection using the search box on the right side.
  • Click through Search Results to get full records and see digital copies
  • Summary tab - see a digital copy
  • Item Description tab - information about the digital object
  • Click through “Subject(s)” to find related digital items
  • Check the “Is Part Of” field to find related items in Special Collections & Archives

Special Collections & Archives

Online
lib.fsu.edu/specialcollections
lib-specialcollections@fsu.edu
FSU Library Catalog
fsu.catalog.fcla.edu
Use Advanced Search to limit Location to “Strozier, Special Collections”
ArchivesSpace Finding Aid Database
https://archives.lib.fsu.edu/
FSU Digital Library
diginole.lib.fsu.edu/digital_library

Reading Rooms
Special Collections Research Center
Main Floor, Strozier Library
Monday–Thursday, 10 am–6 pm
Friday, 10 am–5:30 pm
(850) 644-3271

Claude Pepper Library
Claude Pepper Center 
Monday–Friday, 9 am–5 pm
(850) 644-9217

Exhibitions and Public Spaces
Special Collections Exhibit Room
Main Floor, Strozier Library
Monday–Thursday, 10 am–6 pm
Friday, 10 am–5:30 pm

Norwood Reading Room
Second Floor, Strozier Library
Monday–Thursday, 10 am–6 pm
Friday, 10 am–5:30 pm

Heritage Museum
Werkmeister Reading Room, Dodd Hall
Monday–Thursday, 11am–4 pm

French Revolution & Napoleon Instruction Sessions

We invite instructors teaching at all levels in all departments to consider a class visit to Special Collections & Archives during your course. Visits to SCA locations can include any of the following content, directed by you and/or SCA staff:

  • Active learning with objects from Special Collections & Archives
  • Orientation to FSU Libraries Special Collections & Archives
  • Introduction to archival and/or primary source research
  • Custom sessions built around your course goals and objectives

To place a request for a class visit to the Special Collections Research Center or Claude Pepper Library, please use our online form: https://www.lib.fsu.edu/form/sca/class-visit-request

To further discuss the possibilities of a Special Collections & Archives class visit, place a request for a consultation here: https://www.lib.fsu.edu/form/sca/consultation

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