|THE ARCHIVES OF FRANCE
Web site: www.archivesdefrance.culture.gouv.fr/fr/annuaire/index.html
Database of the Archives of France and list of public archives resources
in France. Inventories available at CARAN and CAOM:
Jean Favier (dir.), Les Archives nationales, Etat général
des fonds, v. 3: "Marine et Outre-Mer", Archives nationales,
Anne-Lise Rey-Courtel, Elisabeth Houriez et Philippe Henrat, Les
Archives nationales, Etat des Inventaires, v. 3: "Marine et
Outre-Mer", Archives nationales, Paris, 2000. Odile Krakovitch,
Arrêts, déclarations, édits et ordonnances concernant
les colonies, 1666-1779, inventaire analytique de la série
A, Archives nationales, Paris, 1993. Marie-Antoinette Menier,
Etienne Taillemite et Gilberte de Forges, Inventaire des Archives
coloniales, Correspondance à l’arrivée en provenance de
la Louisiane, 2 vol., Imprimerie nationale, Paris, 1976 and
1983. Etienne Taillemite, Les archives de la Marine conservées
aux Archives nationales, Service historique de la Marine, Vincennes,
Web site: www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/nllefce/fr/
Web site devoted to the history of New France, under the auspices
of the Mission de la Recherche et de la Technologie.
Contains Canadian resources for the history of Louisiana, and gives
the principal research sources and their locations (e.g. archives,
libraries, museums, etc.). Virtual exhibitions of native objects
in the collections of a number of French and Canadian museums.
New France : New Horizons
On French Soil in America
Web site : www.archivescanadafrance.org/
Database containing more than one million images and virtual exhibition of French archives related to the history of Canada.
CARAN : Centre d'accueil et de recherches des archives nationales
[Information and Research Center of the National Archives]
Web site: www.archivesnationales.culture.gouv.fr/chan/
Series C7: Personnel.
355 individual files of ships' officers and administrative staff,
in alphabetical order.
This is completed by the Series E which is kept at the CAOM (personnel
of the former colony, 394 files in alphabetical order).
Series 2 JJ: Associated files by Guillaume de l'Isle
Essential documents, including:
2 JJ 56 (6), extract of a letter from Iberville, June 2, 1699.
2 JJ 56 (19), 3rd voyage of Iberville, 1701.
2 JJ 56 (27), Journal of Bénard de La Harpe, 1718.
Series 3 JJ: Correspondence.
Various correspondence, particularly concerning mapmakers and engineers:
3 JJ 276
C67/4, letter from François Lemaire, mapmaker and chaplain
of Mobile, 1718
C672/3, letter from engineer Pauger to his superior, Le Blond de
La Tour, 1721.
C672/13, Journal of the concession-holder Diron d'Artaguiette, 1722
Series 4 JJ: Ship's logs.
4 JJ 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19: voyages to Louisiana and Florida, 1684-1788.
Series 6 JJ: Maps and Plans - Navy.
6 JJ 38, 61, 75: very many map-related documents and some plans
related to Louisiana. Series 75 in particular contains the invaluable
(and well-known) map sketches drawn by de l'Isle, based on indications
given by explorers.
Series N III - Louisiana: Maps and Plans
Several maps by Dumont de Montigny (in particular of Natchez and
New Orleans, ca. 1740)
CAOM : [French Territorial Archives Center]
Web site: www.archivesnationales.culture.gouv.fr/caom/fr/index.html
Series A: Rulings, declarations, edicts and orders concerning the
Detailed inventory by Odile Krakovitch (see above)
Several scattered documents in A 8 and A 12, as well as:
A 13, f° 27, f° 160, f° 295: Léonard Lafitte,
Bordeaux merchant (1770-1772)
A 22 et A 23: two large bundles which contain the majority of the
royal documents pertaining to Louisiana
Series B: Administrative correspondence from France to Louisiana
See especially B 4, B30, B 32, B 34, B 42bis, B 43, B 49 and
Sub-series C13A (the largest), C13B and C13C: Administrative correspondence
from Louisiana to France
Detailed inventory by Etienne Taillemite (see above)
Sub-series D2C: Troops and civilian personnel.
D2C 41, volunteers for Louisiana, 1754-1803.
D2C 50, officers posted at Louisiana, 1694-1803.
D2C 51-52, companies seconded to Louisiana, 1710-1770.
D2C 53-54, the roles of troops in Louisiana, 1739-1777.
D2C 59, service numbers of officers and civilians in Louisiana,
Series E: Personnel of the former colony.
394 files, alphabetical order.
To be completed at the CARAN, Marine C7: personnel, 355 individual
files of ships' officers and administrative staff, in alphabetical
Sub-series F1A, Colonial archives, in particular:
F1A 11, Louisiana 1703-04.
F1A 12, Louisiana, 1705.
F1A 13, Louisiana, 1706.
F1A 15, Louisiana, 1709.
F1A 16-18, Louisiana, 1710-15.
F1A 23-26, Louisiana, 1723-28.
F1A 30-33, Louisiana 1731-37.
F1A 37-38, 1750-59.
Sub-series F2A, Trading companies, in particular:
F2A 11, the Louisiana Company, 1712.
F2A 12, Company histories, 1742.
Sub-series F2B, Trade with colonies, including:
F2B 12-13, Franco-American trade statistics, 1788-89.
Sub-series F3, Moreau de Saint-Méry Collection.
A very important collection of maps, plans and documents , plans
Documents: particularly F3 24, 25, 241, 242, 243.
Maps and Plans: F3 290, one of the most beautiful iconographic collections
Sub-series F5A, Religious missions.
See F5A 3: Canada and Louisiana, 1667-1782.
Sub-series F5B, passengers
See F5B 34, Louisiana passengers bound for France, 1732-65.
Correspondence, inventories and concessions
Series G1, for Louisiana, see:
G1 464 et G1 465.
Public document repository.
Public registry, Louisiana, 1720-34 (baptisms, marriages, deaths,
various documents) - former call number G1 412.
Colonial fortification archives
The largest iconographic collection for Louisiana
One box of documents about Louisiana: box no. 9
Maps and Plans and classified according to size (A, B or C)
Portfolio no. 95 (North America: maps of Detroit)
Portfolio no. 96 (Louisiana)
Archives départementales de l'Aveyron [Aveyron Departmental
The La Roque-Bouillac family archives.
Several letters from New Orleans (1760s)
Archives départementales de la Corrèze [Corrèze
6 F 467: file on Jean Augustin Pénières who, along with
other Bonapartist refugees, founded Demopolis (Alabama) in 1817.
A book on Pénières: Victor Faure, De la Corrrèze
à la Floride, Jean-Augustin Pénières, conventionnel
et député d’Ussel, 1766-1821 (cote AD Corrèze:
bibl ; 2/1332bis).
||Valette, January 8, 1816,
as a Republican and a Bonapartist, Pénières
is forced into exile following the return of Louis XVIII
Archives départementales de la Gironde [Gironde
Of lesser interest, bundle 7 B 1201 contains two dated letters
from New Orleans.
An exhibition catalogue gives details about Louisiana-related
pieces from the archives: Jean Valette and Jean Cavignac (dir.),
Bordeaux, la Guyane et les États-Unis, 1750-1820, Gironde
Departmental Archives, 1987, art. 142-154.
||A bundle with call number 10 J 49 is
concerned with early 19th century trading between merchant
families in Bordeaux and Louisiana.
Archives départementales de la Vienne
[Vienne Departmental Archives]
||J 157 - Papers from
the family of Pierre Letard de la Bouralière, Counselor
of the Empire at the Court of Poitiers, whose wife, Marie-Anne
Songy, inherited property in Louisiana - (1802-1813)
Marie-Anne Songy kept this property which had belonged to her
deceased mother, and corresponded about the succession with
her stepfather, Jean Poeyfarré, who lived in New Orleans.
Among many documents, there are a number of letters written
in 1802 between the mother and her daughter, written from New
||January 15 1802 (2e folio)
||April 1, 1802 (folios 1 et 2)
Archives départementales des Yvelines [Yvelines
Web site: http://www.cg78.fr/archives/
Le Breton des Chapelles, a Navy record-keeper, is the central person
in this correspondence, which is very interesting due to his role
in the war with the Choctaw Indians.
E 1689, pièce 5
January 31, 1776
Louis XVI makes Le Breton des Chapelles a Knight of Saint Louis.
Call number E 1689 basically consists of Le Breton military papers.
E 1706, pièce 103, f° 1 et 2
New Orleans, May 28, 1771
Letter informing Le Breton of the murder of his son by two black
slaves, written by the father of the widow.
This call number contains dated correspondence from New Orleans
between Le Breton des Chapelles and his son Le Breton Dorgenoy.
This call number contains many documents related to the Louisiana
portion of Le Breton des Chapelles' career.
Pièce 3, Journal of the ordonnateur Salmon, New Orleans,
May 1, 1739
"Journal to serve as Instruction to Lord Le Bretton, Principal
Record-Keeper of the Navy, acting as commissaire of the army which
is marching against the Chickasaws"
|ARCHIVES DU MINISTÈRE DES AFFAIRES
[ARCHIVES OF THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS]
Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Paris) and French diplomatic
Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères
[Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Paris]
The archive's collections include the treaties signed between France
and Spain, between France and England, and between France and the
United States, concerning Louisiana. The geography division also
contains several maps which correspond to point of agreement and/or
discussion that were raised during the preparation of these treaties.
Centre des archives diplomatiques de Nantes
[Diplomatic Archives Center of Nantes]
See Elisabeth de Grimoüard-Caude, Archives du Consulat de
France à La Nouvelle Orléans, série A, inventaire
des volumes 1 à 137 (tapuscrit), Nantes, 1994.
The CADN holds the correspondence and the archives of the French
consulate in New Orleans (Series A), which was very active in the
19th century following the Louisiana Purchase because of the large
number of French, French Creole, Santa Domingan and Acadian residents.
These archives were the subject of a exhibition in 1992; catalogue
: Présence française en Louisiane au XIXe siècle,
Ministère des Affaires étrangères, Centre des Archives
diplomatiques de Nantes, Médiathèque de la Ville de Nantes
éditeur, Nantes, 1992.
|ARCHIVES DU MINISTÈRE DE LA DÉFENSE
[ARCHIVES OF THE MINISTRY OF DEFENSE]
Web site: www.defense.gouv.fr/marine
The Service Historique de la Marine [Navy Historical Service] (SHM)
has collections located throughout France, particularly at Lorientwhich
contains the archives of the Indies Company, and descriptions of
ships headed for Louisianaand at Rochefort, which also contains
descriptions of vessels sailing for Louisiana. Like the SHM, the
Service historique de larmée de terre [Army Historical
Service] (SHAT) is located at the Fort de Vincennes.
Service historique de la marine [Navy Historical Service]
Web site: www.servicehistorique.marine.defense.gouv.fr/
Manuscripts in the Navy Library, Maps and Plans Division:
Among the 71 collections of maps and plans from the former Navy
Hydrographic Service, four of them represent one of the best collections
on Louisiana: nos. 65, 66, 68 and 69.
Archives du port de Rochefort [Archives of the port of Rochefort]
|| 1 R 57 : Trade with
Copy of a letter from the ordonnateur Foucault, New Orleans,
28 October 1763
|| List of Carpenters working in Louisiana in 1737
Service historique de l'armée de terre [Army Historical
Sub-series A1: general correspondence
Box 2592, various documents and copies of correspondence concerning
Collection concerning the war: maps and plans
A collection which contains the following rare or unique items that
urgently require conservation, particularly the first two.
Le Blond de La Tour, Map of the Mississippi delta, ca. 1722
Broutin, Map of New Orleans, 1728
Le Blond de La Tour, Plan of the fort at Biloxi, 1721.
Thierry, Map of New Orleans, 1758 
Dumont de Montigny, Map of New Orleans and its surroundings, ca.
- Waldo G. Leland, Guide to materials for American History in
the Libraries and Archives of Paris, 2 t., Carnegie Institution
of Washington, Washington, 1932 et 1943.
- Nancy Miller Surrey, Calendar of Manuscripts in Paris Archives
and Libraries Relating to the History of the Mississippi Valley
to 1803, 2 t., Carnegie Institute of Washington, Department
of Historical Research, Washington, 1926.
- M. Astorquia, U. Bonnel, G. Dethan et al., Guide des sources
de l'histoire des États-Unis dans les archives françaises,
France-Expansion, Paris, 1976.
- Philippe Olivier, Bibliographie des travaux relatifs aux relations
entre la France et les États-Unis, vol. IV : t. 1 (1 vol.
- Alabama à Wyoming, sauf Louisiane) et t. 2 (2 vol. - Louisiane),
Aux Amateurs de Livres et Klincksieck, Paris, 1990 et 1992.
The most recent bibliography on French Louisiana is by the author
of this website:
Gilles-Antoine Langlois, Des villes pour la Louisiane française,
Théorie et pratique de l'urbanistique coloniale au 18e siècle,
L'Harmattan, coll. Villes et Entreprises, Paris, 2003.
An extract from this book can be found on this site in the Bibliography
Bibliothèque nationale de France [National French Library]
Web site: www.bnf.fr
: Access to the library's online catalog Opale Plus, an iconographic
database (Opaline) and an inventory of the Maps and Plans Department.
See also www.ccfr.bnf.fr
, an engine that searches the online catalogues of the various public
collections in France, whether national, departmental or municipal.
is an online library created by the Bibliothèque nationale
de France: more than 50,000 books in French can be freely consulted.
- Maps and Plans Department Richelieu site
The collections of the Maps and Plans Department are very extensive,
in particular the collections of the former Navy Hydrographic Service,
covering the very long period of exploration and colonial settlement
(ca. 1670-1800), the Danville collection, portfolios 138 and 138bis.
Among the collections, the following rare items should be noted:
Ge C 5014, Map of the new discovery made by the Jesuits in the year
, ca. 1675.
Ge DD 2987 (8782), copy after Franquelin, Map of Louisiana, ca.
SG F 20, Franquelin, Map of the voyages of M. de La Salle, 1684.
Ge C 7883, Le Maire, New map of Louisiana, 1716.
Ge DD 2987 (8826bis), Proposed town plan for New Orleans, ca. 1718.
Rés. Ge C 5115, Beauvilliers, New map of the Western part
of the province of Louisiana, 1720
- Prints Department - Richelieu site
Here you can find a number of engravings, either of Louisiana itself
or of the Indies Company, particularly the Hennin Collection, in
the chronological series Qb/Qb1.
Among other things, the department possesses several remarkable
maps and plans of French Louisiana, call number Vd 21 fol., t. 3.
- French Manuscript Department - Richelieu site
Many memoirs about French Louisiana, including:
8989 : Bénard de La Harpe, Journal du Voyage de la Louisiane
12105 : François Le Maire, Mémoire sur la Louisiane
14163 : Pénicaut, Relation ou Annale véritable de ce
qui s'est passé dans le païs de la Louisiane pendant 22
- Department of Printed Material - Mitterrand site
Original editions of books (late 17th-early 19th century) about
French Louisiana. Most of these can be found in the research library
or in the rare book section.
Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal
Contains several interesting manuscripts about French Louisiana.
Ms 4497: letters to Navy Inspector Soret about the Sainte-Catherine
concession (Natchez), from the 1720s
Ms 3459 : Dumont de Montigny, Poëme inédit
manuscrit, vers 1740, , written by a very interesting adventurer
who spent nearly twenty years in Louisiana.
Bibliothèque centrale du Muséum
national d'histoire naturelle [Library of the Museum of Natural
Many books and documents about the activities of naturalists working
principally in New France and also in Louisiana. Among these the
following manuscripts should be noted:
Ms. 196 (Description of the small tree which yields wax, 1722)
Ms. 765 (Description de several species of North American fresh-water
fish, Lesueur, New Orleans, 1831)
Ms. 948 (Lettre de Bobé sur la Relation de la Louisiane
de Le Maire, ca. 1717)
See also: Museum of Natural History
Bibliothèque de l'Observatoire de Paris-Meudon [Library
of the Paris-Meudon Observatory]
Letters and papers of the astronomers Laval and Baron, who were
sent to Louisiana in 1720 and 1729 respectively.
Laval, compass variations observed during the voyage to Louisiana
Laval's observations of the satellites of Jupiter (Martinique, Santa
Ms B4-9: Letter from Baron to Maraldi, 1728
The library's holdings include a collection of the Histoire et
Mémoires de l'Académie Royale des Sciences. See the
years 1729, 1730 and 1731, which give Baron's reports and Cassini
II's opinion of Baron's work in Louisiana.
Bibliothèque municipale de Grenoble [Grenoble Municipal
Collection of Manuscripts liasse R. 8888/3
Correspondence of the Allard du Plantier family with relatives living
in New Orleans (18th 19th centuries)
Web site: www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/bdd/index.html
The Ministry of Culture's list of cultural databases, including:
- the Joconde database: art and decorative art (drawings, prints,
paintings, sculpture, photographs, objets d'art, etc.) in French
public collections. Material related to Louisiana can be located
by using a subject search as well as via a detailed index.
- the Muséofile database: a list of French museums.
Musée de l'Homme [Museum of Mankind]
Web site: www.culture.fr/culture/nllefce/fr/mh/indexmh.htm
The Musée de l'Homme has one of the finest ethnological collections
in the world relating to the American Indian. The collection was
originally made up of three former collections:
- the City of Versailles Public Library (call number 34.33, 526
- the Museum of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (call number 09.19, 167 pieces),
- the Army Museum (call number 17.3, 89 pieces).
Today, it consists of thousands of pieces from the 18th to 20th
centuries. The highlight of the collection is the one-of-a-kind
group of 23 painted deer hides, most of them from the 18th century.
The collection also includes sacred and ritual objects, jewelry,
musical instruments, clothing, basketry, and various tools.
Despite the efforts of the museum's curators, the collection continues
to be the object of many questions: How can the objects be more
precisely dated, and what tribe did they come from? The majority
of the painted hides are attributed to Indians from the Great Plains
and the northern United States, with no further explanation.
These works and the questions they raise are discussed in Parures
d'histoire, peaux de bisons peintes des Indiens d'Amérique
du Nord, Réunion des Musées nationaux, Paris, 1993.
Musée de la coopération franco-américaine [Museum
of Franco-American Cooperation]
The National Museum of Franco-American Cooperation at Blérancourt
contains documents, paintings, drawings and objects related to early
19th century Louisiana and New Orleans. The Joconde and Muséofile
sites (see above) contain much valuable information about the collections.
Musée de la Marine [Navy Museum]
Web site: www.musee-marine.fr
The Navy Museum in Paris. The library contains files, grouped by
subject and theme, on the explorers and founders of the colony of
Louisiana, as well as information on their ships. There is a large
file on the 1994 discovery in Texas of the wreck of Cavelier de
La Salle's ship, and the construction of a model of it by Jean Boudriot.
Musée du Nouveau Monde [Museum of the New World]
Web site: http://perso.wanadoo.fr/musees-la-rochelle/n-monde/
Museum of the New World at La Rochelle.
Those interested in Louisiana should pay particular attention to
the American Indian collections, as well as several paintings and
A guide written by Thierry Lefrançois, the curator, is available:
Musée du Nouveau Monde, manuel du visiteur et de l'amateur,
Editions des Musées d'Art et d'Histoire, La Rochelle, 1990.
Musée de la Compagnie des Indes [Indies Company Museum]
Indies Company Museum in Lorient.
Although it has only a few elements related to Louisiana, the museum
is devoted to the Indies Company, which managed the colony from
1712 to 1731.
Guidebook: André Garrigues, Musée de la Compagnie des
Indes, guide du visiteur, Société des Amis du Musée
de Lorient, Lorient, 1993.
Musée des Salorges
The collections of the Musée des Salorges were transferred
to the Château de Nantes after the museum was bombed in 1943.
Devoted to the history of the city's port, the collections contain
archives and objects related to the slave trade, of which Nantes
was one of the main centers.
A trading and slavery museum is being planned in Nantes, thanks
to the activities of an association, "Les Anneaux de la Mémoire".
For more information, send an email to email@example.com
Muséum national d'histoire naturelle
[National Museum of Natural History]
The museum's phanerogamic laboratory contains plant illustrations
sent from America (the Jussieu collection), including several sent
from Louisiana. The correspondence between Jussieu and Jean Prat,
a New Orleans doctor, is also here.
The museum also houses seeds from Louisiana and some preserved tortoises.
See also the listing for the museum's
Muséum d'histoire naturelle du Havre [Le Havre Natural
Web site: www.ville-lehavre.fr/museum
The Le Havre Natural History Museum.
This museum contains an exceptional collection of drawings by the
naturalist Lesueur, who traveled across Mississippi and Louisiana
between 1816 and 1837.
See also: Jacqueline Bonnemains, Introduction et Catalogues
in the series "Charles Alexandre Lesueur en Amérique du
Nord, 1816-1837" at the Le Havre Museum, in Annales du Museum
du Havre, Le Havre, 1984 to 2003.
Muséum d'histoire naturelle de Lyon [Lyon Natural History
Web site : www.museum-lyon.org
The Museum today still houses extensive ethnographic
collections. Even though they are mostly concerned with South American
archaeology, the museum's Americas collections contain several objects
Musée d'art africain [Museum of African Art]
Web site: www.lyon-France.com
The Museum of African Art in Lyon was created in 1863 by Les Missions
Africaines. It contains more than 2,000 pieces, some of which are
related to the history of the slave trade, which affected the peoples
from the Gulf of Guinea during the colonization of Louisiana.
|Laboratoires et groupes de recherche en France
Centre d'Etudes Nord-Américaines (CENA)
Web site: www.ehess.fr/centres/cena
Association Française d'Etudes Américaines (AFEA)
Web site: http://etudes.americaines.free.fr/
Centre d'Information et de Recherche sur les Cultures d'Amérique
du Nord (CIRCAN)
Web site: http://alor.univ-montp3.fr/CIRCAN/Present/
Centre de Recherches sur l'Histoire du Monde Atlantique (CRHMA)
Web site: http://www.univ-nantes.fr/jsp/fiche_structure.jsp?STNAV=&RUBNAV
Laboratoire Suds d'Amérique
(Université de Versailles - Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines)
Site : www.sudam.uvsq.fr
Groupe d'Etudes et de Recherche Historiques du Centre Ouest-Atlantique
Web site: http://www.univ-poitiers.fr/rubrique/laboratoires/fiche_labo.asp?labo=26
Association Française d'Etudes Canadiennes (AFEC)
Web site: www.afec33.asso.fr/