Pre-Revolutionary France

Researchers can find information on life in France from the fifteenth through the early eighteenth centuries in Hagley’s holdings. These collections highlight subjects such as landholding and property rights; upward mobility of middling citizens; military tactics and technology; the development of business, trade, and industry; visual and performing arts; and urban growth. Items concerning this period help interpret society and culture in France as well as provide context for industrial growth and revolution.


Items and Collections on Pre-Revolutionary France:

Papers of the du Pont Family, 1588-1785 Although this collection focuses specifically on the du Pont and allied families, it illuminates the complex world of France’s upwardly mobile citizens during this period.

Books such as Paris à Travers les ages: Aspects Successifs des Monuments et Quartiers Historiques de Paris Depuis le XIIIe Siècle Jusqu'à nos Jours (1885) visually document change over time in French cities. This two-volume set includes several series of drawings and maps that show development in Paris from the fifteenth to the late nineteenth centuries. The images are interpreted through detailed text that provides an explanation and historical context for growth.

Denis Diderot’s Encyclopédie, ou Dictionnaire Raisonnédes Sciences, des Arts et des Métiers, par une Société des Gens de Lettres is another valuable source on eighteenth century France. Scholars can use this extensive work to learn about philosophy, the arts, business, and industry of the era.


Other collections and items documenting this period:

16 Plans of Sieges and Battles Celebrated in the History of France (ca. 1573-1710) -- Set of sixteen diagrams and maps of battles important in eighteenth century France.

Engraved portraits of French noblemen and noblewomen of the 17th century, accompanied with sheets with short biographical notes -- Visual and biographical information on early French notables.

The Guttmann Collection on Explosives, Firearms, and Military Science, 1450-1905 -- Includes early French treatises on ordnance and military engineering.

Les Bibliothéques Françoises de La Croix du Maine et de Du Verdier, sieur de Vauprivas (1772-73) -- Multi-volume literary history of France to the sixteenth century.