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Michigan State University

Researching the French Revolution and Napoleonic Era in the M.S.U. Libraries: Primary Sources

This is a guide to researching the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Era.

Primary Sources in Print, in Murray and Hong Special Collections, on Microform, and Online

Here is a list of works that are collections of documents on the French Revolution.  Caution: some of these works may have been moved to Remote Storage.  If they are not on shelf in Main, check our online catalog by call number and click to request from Remote if needed.

Archives Parliamentaires de 1787 à 1860. Main J 341 .H2 ser. 2 1800-1860

Actes du Tribunal Révolutionaire. Remote Storage B KMO .A3 A2

Défense de Louis. Main DC 137 .O8 D442 1936 and Murray and Hong Special Collections DC 137 .O9 S6 1789 v. 6

Documentary Survey of the French Revolution. Main DC 141.7 .S8

Doléances de Peuples Coloniaux a l’Assemblée National Constituante 1789-90. Main JV 1816 .D65 1989

French Revolution. Main DC 141 .B43 1971

French Revolution. Main DC 141 .D3

French Revolution, a History in Documents Main DC 141 .F74 2021

French Revolution: the Fall of the Ancient Regime to the Thermidorian Reaction 1785-95. Main DC 136 .A1 F72 1981

French Revolution and Human Rights. Main DC 158.8 .H862 1996

French Revolution Documents Main DC 141 .R62 v. 1-2

Guide to the General Cahiers of 1789 with the Texts of Unedited Cahiers. Main DC 141.3 .A5 H9

Old Regime and the French Revolution. Main DB 245 .U64 1987

Paris Pendant la Terreur: Rapports des Agents Secrets du Ministre de l’Intérieur. Remote Storage B DC 194 .A2 A48 v. 3-6

Procès Verbaux du Comité d’Instruction Publique de la Convention Nationale. Main DC 3 .C624 F73 v. 1-6

Procès Verbaux et Rapports du Comité de Mendicité de la Constituante (1790-91) Main HC 271 .A4 1911

Recueil de Documents Relatifs a la Convocation des Etats Generaux de 1789 Main DC 3 .C624 B7 v. 1-4

Recueil des Actes du Comité de Salut Public. Main DC 3. C624 F75 v. 1-27

Select Documents Illustrative of the History of the French Revolution: the Constituent Assembly. Main DC 141.7 .L44 v. 1-2

Société des Jacobins: Recueil de Documents pour l’Histoire du Club des Jacobins de Paris. Main DC 194 .A2 C76 v. 1-6

Here is a list of primary sources that are more personally oriented. Caution: some of these works may have been moved to Remote Storage.  If they are not on shelf in Main, check our online catalog by call number and click to request from Remote if needed.

Blood sisters : the French Revolution in women's memory Main DC145 .Y35 1993

Correspondence of William Augustus Miles on the French Revolution, 1789-1817 Main DC146.M64 A4 1890 v.1-2

Diary of the French Revolution, by Gouverneur Morris, 1752-1816 Main DC162 .M613 v.1-2

English Witnesses of the French Revolution. Main DC142 .T45

French Revolution. Main DC141 .P413 1961

French Revolution 1787-1797. Main DC148 .G6 1992

French Revolution as Told by Contemporaries. Main DC141 .H5

From Jacobin to Liberal : Marc-Antoine Jullien, 1775-1848. Main DC255.J8 A3 1993

Journal of a Spy in Paris During the Reign of Terror. January-July, 1794. Main DC185 .F58 1895

Letters from Revolutionary France : Letters Written in France to a Friend in London... Main DC185.5 .T3 2001

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity : Exploring the French Revolution. Main DC148 .C388 2001

Life and Letters of Madame Élisabeth de France : Followed by the Journal of the Temple. Main DC137.4 .A143

Memoirs and Correspondence of Mallet du Pan, Illustrative of the History of the French Revolution. Main DC146.M25 A3 v.1-2

Memoirs : Laughing and Dancing Our Way to the Precipice. Main DC146.L3 A2213 1999

Memoirs of the Bastille. Main DC167.5 .L313

Paris in the Revolution: a Collection of Eye-Witness Accounts. Main DC194.A2 T3

Philip Mazzei : Selected Writings and Correspondence. Main DG545.8 .M2 1983 v.2

Press in the French Revolution; a Selection of Documents Taken from the Press of the Revolution. Main DC141 .G5

Private Memoirs of Madame Roland. Main DC146.R7 A26 1976

Reign of Terror, a Collection of Authentic Narratives of the Horrors Committed by the Revolution. Main DC183.7 .R36 1898 v.1

Rescue the Queen: a Diary of the French Revolution, 1789-1793. Main DC137.5.F4 A3613

Russells of Birmingham in the French Revolution and in America, 1791-1814. Main DA522.R8 J5

Translations and Reprints from the Original Sources of European History. Main D101 .P4 v.1 1894, v. 2 1900 and v. 4

Witness to the Revolution : American and British Commentators in France, 1788-94. Main DC162 .B875 1989

Women in Revolutionary Paris, 1789-1795 : Selected Documents Translated with Notes and Commentary. Main HQ1616 .W65

Murray and Hong Special Collections
Murray and Hong Special Collections contains the French Monarchy Collection. It includes over 6,000 volumes and 3,000 pamphlets about the French royal families and the French monarchical institution from the 10th c. to the 19th century, including the art and architecture of the period. There is no printed guide to this Collection. Access is via author, title, and subject in the online catalog for M.S.U. Libraries. If the location of an item on a French topic is Murray and Hong Special Collections it is likely part of this Collection. If you wish to use Murray and Hong Special Collections’ materials specifically, try confining your search to the library location “Special Collections” and then do your search.  When you have found (an) item(s) you want to read, click on the "Get It" button in the catalog record.  Links will take you through the process of registering yourself with our system for requesting Murray and Hong Special Collections' materials.  The reading room for using the materials is on the first floor of the Main Library in the center section.  The Murray and Hong Special Collections home page offers links to assistance in using their materials.


French Revolutionary Pamphlets
Microfiche DC 141 .F7 Hollander Make Central.  French Revolutionary Pamphlets is a set of over 8,000 microfiche about the French Revolution and its issues. Two bibliographies, located in Consulting Reference have the bibliographical details of the pamphlets: Hayden’s French Revolutionary Pamphlets, a Check List of the Talleyrand and Other Collections at the New York Public Library, Z 2179 .N47 and Sarick’s Bibliography of the Frank E. Melvin Collection of Pamphlets of the French Revolution in the University of Kansas Libraries, Z 2179 .S2.  See also French Revolutionary Pamphlets, Consulting Reference DC 141 .F7 1985/.

French Royal and Administrative Acts, 1256-1794
Microforms  #14899 Remote Storage.  e-mail to request.
This set has 59 reels with 16,000 pamphlets from the New York Public Library. Subjects: fiscal matters, taxation and tariffs, toll collections, criminal justice, military administration, book printing, guilds, and persons of note. The guide to the set is Lipkowitz, French Royal and Administrative Acts, 1256-1794, a Subject Guide to the New York Public Library Collection…, Consulting Reference KMO .L5635 1978 c. 2.

Online (See the Free Web Sites section of this guide for more suggestions)

American and French Research on the Treasury of the French Language (ARTFL)

Corpus consists of nearly 2000 texts, ranging from classic works of French literature to various kinds of non-fiction prose and technical writing. The eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries are about equally represented, with a smaller selection of seventeenth century texts as well as some medieval and Renaissance texts. Recently added is a Provençal database that includes 38 texts in their original spellings. Genres include novels, verse, theater, journalism, essays, correspondence, and treatises. Subjects include literary criticism, biology, history, economics, and philosophy.

Gallica is a database of 70,000 full texts and 80,000 images created by the Bibliotheque Nationale de France, chosen from its own and other collections. It contains copies of works of literature, history, science, philosophy, law, economics, political science. Searching is by author, words in the title, subject, or keyword.

How They Lived: an Annotated Tour of Daily Life Through History in Primary Sources

British Isles Online Primary Resources

This is a guide to the major electronic resources M.S.U. Libraries has bought or is subscribing to about/from the British Isles.  What was going on in France at this time was of interest to the British, and they would be writing in English!  People wrote about it in their newspapers, periodicals, etc.  Links in this guide lead you to that material.  Some of these resources are described just below here.

Finding British Parliamentary Papers, 2007 edition is a guide to using British government documents. The Parliamentary Papers are legislative material produced by or for the British House of Commons and House of Lords. Examining the Brits' reactions to the events of the French Revolution through their government documents would be interesting as would tracking their war with France and Napoleon.

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