France: 1789 - 1871

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EuroDocs > History of France: Primary Documents > 1789 - 1871

Pamphlet by Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyès arguing for the empowerment of common people. English excerpts available here.
(January 1789; French)

Drawing of Bastille when it was seized with a diagram of the floorplan.
(July 14, 1789; English)

Proclamation of Assembly confirming its own status.
(June 17, 1789; English translation)

A digital version of key research resources of the French Revolution.
Major portions include parliamentary archives and images of the revolution.
A collaboration between Stanford University Libraries and the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
(1789-1794; searchable and browseable database of documents [facsimiles and transcriptions] and pictorial images)
Excerpts from letters, diaries, edicts, and other documents of the French Revolution.
(1789-1796; French transcriptions)
Documenting after-effects of the Revolution.
Scroll down to Visages de la Révolution
Part of the Chroniques de France website.
(French transcriptions)
A collection of over 520 pamphlets from the French Revolution.
From the Ball State University Digital Media Repository.
(1779-1815; French facsimiles)
Newspaper of Jean-Paul Marat, example of revolutionary populism, nearly 700 issues.
Search by keywords or browse by month.
(Sept. 1789 - Sept. 1792; French-language transcriptions from the ARTFL Project)
Collection of literary and satirical pamphlets held at Emory University.
(1789-1799; transcriptions)
Documents of the Revolution from the Ministry of Culture's Archim imagebank.
(1789-1802; photo facsimiles)
Contains over 600 documents about events leading up to, during, and after the revolution.
A joint project of George Mason University and City University of New York.
(1789-1796; translations, image facsimiles, maps, and timeline)
Scroll to "The French Revolution" section.
(1789-1804; translations)
Documents from the French Revolution.
(1789-1801; French transcriptions, English translations, facsimiles, and audio)
A project of the Center for History & New Media, George Mason University and the Department of History, University of California, Los Angeles for the American Historical Review.
Contains 42 images from the French Revolution, along with commentary essays and scholarly debates.
(1789-1793; facsimile images, essays)
French National Anthem. Adopted in 1795.
(French with English translation; 1792)

Part of the Carlyle Letters Online assembled by Duke University Press.
(1812-1857; database of searchable transcriptions)

Order of attack on the city of Paris, planned for the night of the 14th to the 15th July 1789.
From the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
(1789; French reproduction)
"And On The Proceedings In Certain Societies In London Relative To That Event In A Letter Intended To Have Been Sent To A Gentleman In Paris."
From Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library.
(1790; English transcription)

  • Cahiers of 1789 (Cahiers de doléances)
Compilation of grievances of the three estates of France ordered by Louis XVI.
Criticize government waste, indirect taxes, church taxes, corruption, and aristocracy hunting rights.
Meant as suggestions for reform.
Cahier of Clergy of Blois and Romorantin
Cahier of Nobility of Blois
Cahier of Third Estate of Versailles
Cahier of Third Estate of Carcassonne
From Hanover Historical Texts Collection.
(1789; English translation)
Refers to reports of destruction, violence, and crime in France.
From Hanover Historical Texts Collection.
(11 August 1789; English translation)
Law subordinating Catholic Church in France under French government.
Bans monastic orders.
From Hanover Historical Texts Collection.
(12 July 1790; English translation)
Diary of Louis Bonneville de Marsangy, a volunteer from 1791.
From the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
(1791; French manuscript)
Address to the King, the Queen, and the Prince of Condé, by Olympe de Gouges.
From the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
(1791; French reproduction)
"Greatly detailed account of the conspiracy between MM. Barnave and Louis XVI against the people, as told by a national guard of Varennes, who accompanied the King and who heard everything".
From the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
(1791; French reproduction)
Arrest of the King and Royal family of France, and decree ordering the dispatch of ten thousand men from the National Guard to bring Mr Bouillé, aid to the Royal family, back to the capital.
From the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
(1791; French facsimile)
Details relating to the arrest of the King and of the Royal family, as reported by an eyewitness.
From the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
(1791; French reproduction)
Response of the Parisians to M. de Bouillé, counter-revolutionary figure and aid to the Royal family who fled after their arrest.
From the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
(1791; French reproduction)
Letter from the officers of M. Bouillé's army to their comrades in France, pleading for the liberation of the King.
From the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
(1791; French reproduction)
Declaration of the Prussian King and the Holy Roman Emperor in support of French aristocracy at the outbreak of the French revolution.
(August 27, 1791; German with English translation)

Proclamation by the Duke of Brunswick threatening harm to French citizens if French royal family is harmed. Helped spur the Revolution.
From Hanover Historical Texts Collection.
(1792; English translation)
Proclamation of the Convention to the Nations (December 1792).
Excerpts from debate transcript (21 September 1792).
From Hanover Historical Texts Collection.
(1792; English translation)
Death warrant presented against King Louis XVI - known as Louis Capet in the last year of his life - by Olympe de Gouges.
From the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
(1792; French facsimile)
The trial of Louis XVI and the revolution of May 31st, as reported in great detail by the correspondence between Blad (deputy at the National Convention) and the municipality of Brest.
Published between 1890-1900.
From the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
(1792-1793; French facsimile)
Will written shortly before his execution.
(December 25, 1792; English)
"Formal declarations of the King and Queen, made before MM. Dandré, Duport and Tronchet, commissioners named to this effect by the National Assembly: with details of everything that happened at that ceremony."
From the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
(28 June 1791; French reproduction)
Secret letter from Marie Antoinette to the Marquis de Bouillé, a counter-revolutionary figure who tried to aid the escape of the Royal family.
From the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
(8 August 1792; French transcription)
"The Confession of Louis XVI to the Reverend Chabot shortly before his execution."
From the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
(1793; French reproduction)
Provided by the Internet Modern History Sourcebook.
(1793; transcription)
"Republican Institutions," by St. Just, an ally of Robespierre.
English excerpts from Hanover Historical Texts Collection.
(1793-1794; French transcription, English translation)

Speech by Maximilien Robespierre justifying extreme measures in the French Revolution. Also available in French.
(February 5, 1794; English translation)

Pair of speeches by Maximilien Robespierre from festival. Also available in French.
(June 8, 1794; English translation)

Accounts by Arthur Young of his travels to France just before the Revolution.
Edited by J.H. Robinson.
From Hanover Historical Texts Collection.
(1787, 1788, and 1789, published 1792; English translation)

(1789; transcription of French original)
(1789; English translation)

Documents from the Avalon Project.
(1791-1800; transcriptions and translations)

From the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
(1799; facsimile book)

Treaty between Napoleonic France and Austria. Austria surrendered territory. Also known as the Treaty of Vienna.
(October 14, 1809; English translation)

"Funeral oration delivered at the expiatory service, celebrated in the Saint-Étienne Cathedral in Auxerre, for Louis XVI and the four other royal victims."
From the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
(21 July 1814; French facsimile)

A collection of primary documents from the Internet Modern History Sourcebook.
(Late 18th to early 19th centuries; transcriptions and translations)

A masterful and growing collection of online documents with search engine from the Fondation Napoléon.
(French language transcriptions)
An online exhibition of The European Library, with rare maps, documents, arts and writings.
Provided by the British, French, and Spanish national libraries.
(1799-1815; French, English and Spanish-language facsimiles and transcriptions, maps, and images)
Over 1,000 webpages of Napoleonic information with collections of digital maps, as well as documents and commentaries.
(Facsimiles and transcriptions)

Treaty between France and Austria during the Napoleonic Wars.
(February 9, 1801; English)

Address given to France's Legislative Body.
From Hanover Historical Texts Collection.
(31 December 1804; English translation)
(20 April 1814; English translation)
Selections from Napoleon's correspondence.
(1797-1815; French and English-language transcriptions)
Regarding the death of Napoleon and the island of St. Helena.
Part of the Avalon Project.
(30 July 1821; English transcription)

Click on "Inventory" then on "Correspondence and Autographs" for large collection of letters of the Napoleonic era.
Part of the Brown Archival & Manuscript Collections Online and the Brown University Library's Center for Digital Initiatives.
(1651-1913, mostly 1789-1821; facsimiles)
A growing digital collection of monographs, serials, maps, prints, and manuscripts on the Napoleonic era.
Browse or search modes are available.
(Facsimiles and transcriptions)

Satirical drawings, cartoons, caricatures of Napoleon and his era.
A part of the University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections.
(1793-1815; facsimiles)
A rich collection of satires and caricature images of Napoleon.
From the Center for Digitial Initiatives, Brown University.
(Facsimiles and English commentary)
Collection of 1,400 prints from British and European publications.
From the period of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars.
Browse by name or title.
(1789-1815; facsimile images)

Treaties, speeches, diplomatic correspondence, etc.
From the Napoleon Series.
(1796-1815; English translations)
From the Napoleon Series.
(1798-1819; English translations)
The civil code that still affects present-day law.
(1804-1810; English translation)
A collection of Napoleonic documents from Histoire du Consulat et du Premier Empire.
(1792-1815; facsimiles with French transcriptions)
French Treaties and Conventions of the Napoleonic era from Histoire du Consulat et du Premier Empire.
(1799-1815; French transcriptions)
Browsable and searchable database of Napoleonic laws from Histoire du Consulat et du Premier Empire.
(1798-1815; French transcriptions)
Collection of previously unpublished manuscripts on Napoleon, including contributions from members of Napoleon's family.
Published in 1907.
From the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
(1786-1791; French facsimile)

The Congress of Vienna, an international assembly called in order to reorganize Europe after the Napoleonic Wars.
Published in 1816.
(1814-1815; French facsimile)

Digital library of Library of Congress in cooperation with the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
A bilingual site offering digitized books, prints, maps and manuscripts on the French presence in North America.
(16th to 19th centuries; facsimiles, transcriptions, and maps)

An exhibition celebrating the 250th birthday of the Marquis de LaFayette.
With primary documents, artifacts, and commentary from Cornell University.
(1757-1834; facsimiles of documents and objects)

Browse facsimiles
Browse transcriptions
(1789-1795; French facsimiles and transcriptions)

Searchable full-text database of the Masson Papers, digitized by McGill University.
(1790-1820; searchable facsimiles with added transcriptions)
Provincial historical documents regarding English and French interests.
Digitized by the National Library of Canada.
(19th to 20th centuries; transcriptions)
Constitutional documents, treaties, and other primary sources regarding English and French interests in Canada.
(1760 to the present; transcriptions)

Treaty between France and England during Napoleonic Wars.
(1802; English)

Digital library of Criminocorpus, Le portail sur l'histoire de la justice, des crimes et des peines.
Focuses on the history of crime in France.
(18th to 20th centuries; manuscripts and transcriptions)

Documentary excerpts on the Restoration and the 1830 Revolution in France.
(1828-1830; French transcriptions)

Proclamation of King Charles X to the people of France.
From the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
(13 June 1830; French facsimile)

Documentary excerpts on the abolition of slavery in France.
(1789-1848; French transcriptions)

Includes proclamation reacting to the overthrow of the Orleanist monarchy, decrees from provisional government to workingmen, Proclamation of Second Republic, and Napolean III's campaign manifesto.
From Hanover Historical Texts Collection.
(1848; English translations)
Documentary excerpts on the 1848 Revolution and the Second Republic.
(1848; French transcriptions)

Declaration of the abolition of slavery in France and all its colonies. Also available in original French.
(April 27, 1848; English translation)

Treaty between France and the union of Sweden and Norway.
(December 17, 1855; English)

Treaty ending the Crimean War.
Agreement between Austria, France, Great Britain, Prussia, Russia, Sardinia, and Turkey about peace, borders, war prisoners, and trade between countries.
Includes agreements about Black Sea and Danube use as well as territorial changes.
Modern Russian translation also available here.
(30 March 1856; Old Russian transcription; modern Russian translation)

The separation of Church and State: speech pronounced to the legislative body during the December 1867 session.
From the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
(3 December 1867; French facsimile)

A searchable database from the Northwestern University Library Digitized Collections.
(1870-1871; photo facsimiles of portraits, political caricatures, and handwritten notes)

Documents from participants in the commune.
(English; 1870-1871)

Documentary excerpts on the the beginnings of the Third Republic.
(1871-1880; French transcriptions)

Constitutional variants reproduced on the Ministry of Culture's Archim imagebank.
To access, click on "Consulter la base."
(1789 to present; photo facsimiles)

Contains the names of Intendants and periods of incumbency in different intendances (French provinces).
From the University of Wisconsin.
Free registration required.
(1661-1790; data files)

Royal monetary edicts and decrees from the mid ninth century until after the French Revolution.
Also a good source for information on the succession of French kings.
Under construction in reverse chronological order. Most recent years available first.
(843-1792; published transcriptions in pdf file)

Archives of the National Assembly.
Contains legislative dossiers, historical accounts, lists of deputies, and much more.
(1789 to present; transcriptions, commentaries, and facsimiles)

Documents from the Avalon Project.
(1778-1843; transcriptions and translations)

Part of the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections.
Especially notable for images of the rebuilding of Paris under Emperor Napoleon III.
(ca. 1855-1870; dual stereoscopic facsimile images)

A Brown University Library Digital Collection.
Online access to pictorial works and texts that provide a window into the cultural, political and social context of 19th century Parisian culture.
(19th century; images and French language textual facsimiles)
Introduction and exploration of Paris during the life of Honoré de Balzac, as described through some of his works.
(19th century; facsimiles and maps)

Online access to around 5 million images, genealogical and iconographic documents, mostly from the 19th century.
Browse through two types of sources in the digital archives:
    Public records of the État civil de Paris
    Plans parcellaires (cadastral maps) of Paris.
(19th century; images and documents)

Scores of contemporary texts, browsable by author, by date or by topic.
A digital archive of Stanford University Libraries.
(1716-1897; scalable French facsimile texts)

Provided by the Rare Book and Manuscript Collections at Cornell University.
Three major digital document collections:
Lafayette Collection
Maurepas Collection
La Forte Collection
(18th to 19th centuries; facsimiles)

A collection of primary documents from the Internet Modern History Sourcebook.
(19th century; transcriptions and translations)

Database of prisoners in French colonial penal colonies.
Provided by Archives nationales d'outre-mer (ANOM).
(1852-1953; searchable database)

Documents and images from the French-speaking world in the 19th century.
Searchable database of the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
(French facsimiles and transcriptions)

A growing collection of documented texts.
(From ancient times through 1914; Latin, Langue d'Oc, Langue d'Oil transcriptions and translations)

The Electronic Library of Lisieux.
With source texts; some archived in zip-format.
(17th to 20th centuries; French transcriptions)

A collection of digitized French scientific books.
(Late 18th to early 20th century; book-length facsimiles)
Digital library on the history of science and technology.
(18th to 20th centuries; French facsimiles of old books and periodicals)
Electronic resources dealing with the history of medicine and dentistry.
Digitization project of the "Bibliothèque interuniversitaire de médecine" Department for the History of Medicine.
(16th to 19th centuries; facsimiles)

Photographic reproductions of constitutions, edicts, treaties, letters, photos, atlases and official seals of relevance to French national and regional history.
Available either by search engine or by thematic "dossiers".
History presented through photographic and artistic images.
Database with thematic and chronological searches possible.
(1789-1939; facsimile images)

Includes primary and secondary documents, provided by Don Mabry.
(Transcriptions, facsimiles, and commentaries, mostly in English)

A set of historical maps from Dr. Ronnie Ellenblum's Historic Cities.

Historical documents and commentary on the former duchy of Savoy.
(1100 to present; French and Latin transcriptions, facsimiles, and commentaries)

The Roubaix Digital Library in the region Nord-Pas-de-Calais aims to concentrate all the local primary sources for the history of the city in one digital library.
Browse by theme, collection or chronological era.
(15th to 20th centuries; Facsimiles, pictures and descriptions)

Also contains a collection of coats of arms for other European countries and principalities.

EuroDocs > History of France: Primary Documents > 1789 - 1871

EuroDocs Creator: Richard Hacken, European Studies Bibliographer,
Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA.
Feel free to get in touch: Hacken @