Web site:
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, Paris, 1980.
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, 1991.

Web site:
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 :
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:

Naval archives
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
3JJ 277
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:
Colonial Archives

Series A: Rulings, declarations, edicts and orders concerning the colonies.
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 B 63

Series C
Sub-series C13A (the largest), C13B and C13C: Administrative correspondence from Louisiana to France
Detailed inventory by Etienne Taillemite (see above)

Series D
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, 1692-1776.

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 order.

Series F
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 et documents.
Documents: particularly F3 24, 25, 241, 242, 243.
Maps and Plans: F3 290, one of the most beautiful iconographic collections of Louisiana
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 Archives]
The La Roque-Bouillac family archives.
Several letters from New Orleans (1760s)

Archives départementales de la Corrèze [Corrèze Departmental Archives]
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 Departmental Archives]

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 Orleans.
January 15 1802 (2e folio)

April 1, 1802 (folios 1 et 2)

Archives départementales des Yvelines [Yvelines Departmental Archives]
Web site:
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.


E 1727
This call number contains dated correspondence from New Orleans between Le Breton des Chapelles and his son Le Breton Dorgenoy.

E 1747
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"


Web site:
Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Paris) and French diplomatic archives (Nantes)

Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères – Paris
[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.


Web site: and
The Service Historique de la Marine [Navy Historical Service] (SHM) has collections located throughout France, particularly at Lorient—which contains the archives of the Indies Company, and descriptions of ships headed for Louisiana—and at Rochefort, which also contains descriptions of vessels sailing for Louisiana. Like the SHM, the Service historique de l’armée de terre [Army Historical Service] (SHAT) is located at the Fort de Vincennes.

Service historique de la marine [Navy Historical Service]
Web site:

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] 1 R 57 : Trade with Louisiana 1735-1750
Copy of a letter from the ordonnateur Foucault, New Orleans, 28 October 1763
(f° 5v°)
[2] List of Carpenters working in Louisiana in 1737
(f° 3)

Service historique de l'armée de terre [Army Historical Service]
Sub-series A1: general correspondence
Box 2592, various documents and copies of correspondence concerning French Louisiana

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 [1755]
Dumont de Montigny, Map of New Orleans and its surroundings, ca. 1730


Source lists:
- 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 section.

Bibliothèque nationale de France [National French Library]
Web site: : Access to the library's online catalog Opale Plus, an iconographic database (Opaline) and an inventory of the Maps and Plans Department. See also , an engine that searches the online catalogues of the various public collections in France, whether national, departmental or municipal. Finally, 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 1672…, ca. 1675.
Ge DD 2987 (8782), copy after Franquelin, Map of Louisiana, ca. 1682.
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 années consécutives

- 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. These include:
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 History]
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.
Ms B5-1
Laval, compass variations observed during the voyage to Louisiana
Ms B5-2
Laval's observations of the satellites of Jupiter (Martinique, Santa Domingo, Louisiana)
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 Library]
Collection of Manuscripts – liasse R. 8888/3
Correspondence of the Allard du Plantier family with relatives living in New Orleans (18th– 19th centuries)

French museums

Web site:
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:
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 pieces),
- 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:
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:
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 objects.
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]
Web site:
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

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 library.

Muséum d'histoire naturelle du Havre [Le Havre Natural History Museum]
Web site:
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 Museum]
Web site :
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 from Louisiana.

Musée d'art africain [Museum of African Art]
Web site:
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:

Association Française d'Etudes Américaines (AFEA)
Web site:

Centre d'Information et de Recherche sur les Cultures d'Amérique du Nord (CIRCAN)
Web site:

Centre de Recherches sur l'Histoire du Monde Atlantique (CRHMA)
Web site:

Laboratoire Suds d'Amérique
(Université de Versailles - Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines)

Site :

Groupe d'Etudes et de Recherche Historiques du Centre Ouest-Atlantique (GERHICO)
Web site:

Association Française d'Etudes Canadiennes (AFEC)
Web site: