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French Pamphlet collection

 Collection 0004-LIT-RARE

This collection documents significant events and periods in French history throughout the 17th-20th centuries. It contains approximately 9,600 pamphlets pertaining to public figures, political events, foreign relations, religion, and conflict. The pamphlets are an invaluable resource for the insight they provide into their contemporary conversations, social climates, and ways of thought.


  • 1620-1966
  • Majority of material found within 1620-1924

Language of Materials

Most of the materials in this collection are written in French. Some pamphlets are written in Latin.

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies or digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with Special Collections and University Archives duplication policy.

Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder.

Archival materials may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during our processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.


9600 Items

Administrative History

The French Pamphlet collection contains material dating from 1606 to 1966 that covers many crucial events and periods in French history. The largest part of the collection, Series I, is made up of over 5,700 pamphlets. Series I is sorted by subject, and includes government publications from the first ten years of the French Revolution, over 1,700 decrees and laws published from 1789 to 1795, and documents France's involvement with the Middle East, centering on the conflict with the Ottoman Empire, 1900-1924, among other topics of interest. Series II is made up of approximately 3,800 pamphlets. Beginning in 1788 with Louis XVI’s call for a national discussion of the Estates General’s agenda, pamphlets became a major form of expression during a period of uninhibited debate in France. Pamphlets and other printed ephemera also became more common on the eve of the Revolution when the old system of royal regulation of printing and bookselling collapsed. In addition to the Revolutionary era, major strengths in the collection include pamphlets produced during the Fronde (1649-1652). The pamphlets in Series II document these important periods of transition.

Processing Information

The inventory for this collection is being revised. Please contact us for access to more detailed information about the material.

Guide to the French Pamphlet collection
In Progress
Processed by Rosalind Seidel.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742