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French Studies: Notable French Collections at Stanford

Learn about the main discipline-specific primary and secondary source resources, select the most appropriate one for their research question, do simple searches, and access the desired content

Roxane Debuisson Collection on Paris History

Focusing on the period from the mid-eighteenth century through the Belle Epoque, Mme Roxane Debuisson (1927-2018) amassed a major collection worthy of a specialized library or museum: over three thousand books, forty thousand postcards, 3800 individual prints, significant photographic and image holdings, maps and other cartographic materials, guidebooks, and over sixty thousand billheads and other commercial ephemera. Materials are held in Stanford Libraries' Special Collections, General Collections, the David Rumsey Map Center, and the Bowes Art and Architecture Library.

The collection is still being catalogued, but many of the materials are already available by searching for: "Roxane Debuisson Collection of Paris History"

The France-Stanford Center for Interdisciplinary Research, in partnership with the LIbraries, offers the Roxane Debuisson Collection Fellowship to Stanford grad students and early career researchers. They have the opportunity to assist in processing the collection while gaining research experience. You can read about the fellows' work here.

Gustave Gimon Collection on French Political Economy

The Gimon Collection contains approximately 1000 titles that concentrate broadly on the evolution of French economics and politics from the late sixteenth to the mid nineteenth century. The Gimon Collection embodies a broad definition of political economy and its materials span the three centuries from 1550-1850. Scholars working in fields as varied as History, Literature, Art History, Economics, and Philosophy will find rich resources for their research in the collection. The Gimon Collection is particularly strong in material from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Topics of focus include physiocracy, nineteenth century utopian thought (Saint-Simonianism and Fourierism), workers' rights, and how economic, social, and political thought was applied to issues as varied as religious freedom, political sovereignty, taxation and trade policies, colonial issues, agriculture, and transportation. Other materials held in Stanford University Libraries complement the Gimon Collection's strengths, including notable collections on the European Enlightenment, the French Revolution, the Paris Commune, poverty and workers' issues, and women.  It is named in honor of the donor who made its acquisition possible, Gustave Gimon, a French Resistance fighter with strong Stanford ties. 

You can do a keyword search for "Gustave Gimon collection" or download a title list

A catalog of the collection, including scholarly essays about key themes, is also available:  Parrine, Mary Jane. A Vast and Useful Art: The Gustave Gimon Collection on French Political Economy. [Stanford, Calif.]: Stanford University Libraries, 2004.

Stanford Libraries offers a visiting fellowship to researchers needing to use the collection, and has partnered with the France-Stanford Center for Interdisciplinary Research to offer an additional fellowship. Information about these opportunities, and past recipients, can be found:

Paris Commune Collection

Stanford's Paris Commune Collection is from the library of Robert Le Quillec, one of the foremost bibliographers of the Paris Commune.

Le Quillec, Robert. Bibliographie critique de la Commune de Paris: 1871. Paris: Boutique de l'histoire, 2006.

It contains over 800 items focusing on all aspects of the Paris Commune - including rare books and ephemera, periodicals, and the works of radical and local historians from the 1860s-through the early 2000s. With materials focusing on a revolutionary government that took power in Paris in the spring of 1871, this collection complements the holdings in the Gimon Collection on French Political Economy and the Roxane Debuisson Collection on Paris History. 

Materials in the Paris Commune Collection, held in both the Special Collections and circulating collection, can be found using a subject search for "Paris Commune Collection."