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Finding Aid for the A Collection of French Political Broadsides, 1788-1871
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • History
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: A Collection of French Political Broadsides
    Date (inclusive): 1788-1871
    Collection number: 530
    Extent: 3 oversized boxes
    Abstract: Collection of broadsides, by various regimes, and occasionally popular societies, composed and posted between the years 1793 and 1871.
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Processing Note

    Collection was processed at the item level by Susan Cribbs, a graduate scholar in the Center for Primary Research and Training, 2007.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], A Collection of French Political Broadsides (Collection 530). Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 4232738 


    As all of these broadsides were posted in times of exceptional political and social upheaval, they demonstrate the various governments' perception that this was an important medium by which information could be immediately conveyed to as large of an audience as possible. During the Revolution, broadsides were used, by both the government and the populace, as a tool to identify and unify 'good', patriotic citizens and define and detain 'bad', rebellious citizens. Thus, during the Terror, the broadsides were frequently used to announce exceptional legislation designed to render ever larger groups of people 'suspect' or to encourage fraternity through the celebration of new revolutionary holidays. However, defining patriotic behavior was not the task of the government alone; most of the Revolution-era broadsides are saturated with letters professing loyalty to the government and the nation, which individual citizens, popular societies, cantons, communes, departments, and regions submitted.
    After the Revolution, and most significantly beginning with reign of Napol£on, the broadsides cease to be a means of popular expressions of loyalty and demonstrations of patriotism. From the time of the First Empire through to the fall of the Paris Commune, the broadsides are increasingly devoted to the posting of new legislation, procedures for public celebrations, tax collection and election dates, and for public addresses, which often state the needs of the government for the funding of wars or the hospitalization of soldiers.
    Perhaps the most remarkable theme to emerge from the collection is that these broadsides were an outlet to communicate information to or within cities or departments determined to be in a state of emergency. This is most exemplified in the two major seiges that book-end the collection; much of the National Convention's communications revolve around the twin uprisings of the Vend£e and the seige of Lyon. The broadsides issued from the Convention demonstrate that the Jacobin government, anxious to use Lyon as an example of what happens to cities populated by 'bad' citizens, was quick to decree the destruction of the city. The Lyonnais representatives, however, also used the broadsides, first, to persuade the Lyonnais to cease their rebellion and, second, stall the government's execution of its plans. Similarly, the collection ends with the struggle between the Paris Commune and Thiers' temporarily relocated government. The Parisian-based Central Committee used the broadsides to inform and instruct citizens about what must be done to defend Paris against the national government. Theirs', isolated in Versailles, used the broadsides to post information, within the walls of Paris, regarding the immenent re-capture of the capital.

    Scope and Content

    Collection of broadsides, by various regimes, and occasionally popular societies, composed and posted between the years 1793 and 1871.
    All of the documents included in this collection are broadsides, by various regimes, and occasionally popular societies, composed and posted between the years 1793 and 1871. Material in this collection has been placed into chronological order and has also been separated according to regime. This was seen as an important classificatory system because the political crises endured during each regime was specific to the form of government that was in place. The collection is further separated according to the city from which the broadside originated, since the two primary cities--Paris and Lyon--addressed issues specific to their contingencies. The broadsides issued from Paris trend toward an international, as well as national, consideration of the political and military events occuring, whereas those emanating from Lyon are localized in their subject matter.
    The topics addressed in the broadsides range from acknowledgment of patriotic gifts, acts of treason, public celebrations, and personal sacrifices. Nearly all of the documents disclose newly enacted or revised laws. The vast majority of the documents also report on military strategies, requisitions, conscriptions, theaters, and deaths. There are occasional references to trials, republican or refractory priests, births, and marriages. The documents belonging to the period of the Commune are frequently used to post information regarding the elections of officials.

    Organization and Arrangement

    Arranged in the following series:
    1. National Convention, 1792-1794
    2. Directory, 1796-1797
    3. First Empire, 1805-1814
    4. Restoration and Cent jours, 1815-1829
    5. Louis-Napol£on Bonaparte, 1851
    6. Paris Commune, 1871.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    France --Politics and government --Sources.
    France --History --Louis XVI, 1774-1793 --Sources.
    France --History --Revolution, 1789-1799 --Sources.
    France --History --Wars of the Vend£e, 1793-1832 --Sources.
    France --History --Consulate and First Empire, 1799-1815 --Sources.
    France --History --Restoration, 1814-1830 --Sources.
    France --History --Louis Philip, 1830-1848 --Sources.
    France --History --Second Empire, 1852-1870 --Sources.