French Revolution

UBC Library’s original collection of French Revolutionary pamphlets were acquired as a collection from Martinus Nijhoff publishing in the Hague in the 1970s. An inventory for the original collection was prepared by Maria Horvath of the UBC Library’s Humanities and Social Sciences Division in 1973. Starting in the summer of 2017, in consultation with the head of the Department of French, Hispanic and Italian Studies, Rare Books and Special Collections began adding to the collection to make it more valuable for teaching and classroom use.

The French Revolution Collection contains a wide variety of original materials that reflected on and contributed to the political transformation that took place between 1789 and 1799. Notable pieces in the collection include La semaine mémorable (The Week to Remember), written in July 1789, a few days after the Bastille was taken, and Constitution de la République Française: proposée au peuple français par la Convention nationale (Constitution of the French Republic: Proposed to the French People by the National Convention), a constitutional document written in 1795 heralding the notion that all human beings have the right to liberty, equality, safety, and ownership, regardless of their origin of birth. Authors include well-known political figures like Maximilien Robespierre, as well as unknown writers who nonetheless contributed significant political commentary.

This collection was digitized with the support of UBC’s Department of French, Hispanic, and Italian Studies, to support advancement of research in 17th and 18th century French studies.