Cornell's Primary Sources on France

Cornell's eighteenth-century French collections.

In 1891, Andrew Dickson White donated his collection of French Revolutionary pamphlets, books, manuscripts, newspapers, and prints to Cornell, laying the foundation for its strength in 18th-century French holdings.

Best known for his role in the American and French Revolutions, Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier de La Fayette (1757-1834) belongs to American and French history alike. His ideals were formed both by the French Enlightenment and his exposure to America’s culture of civic equality. As a result, he viewed himself as a “citizen of two worlds.” This online exhibition was created to mark the 250th anniversary La Fayette's birth. Cornell's collection grew to become the largest of its kind in America, now encompassing more than 11,000 original manuscripts, documents and letters, and associated books, images, and artifacts.