Jean-Claude Nardin defended his thesis at the École des Chartes in 1962 on the development of the island of Tobago, published in 1969 as La mise en valeur de l'île de Tobago (1763-1793), and awarded the Gabriel-Monod prize of the Académie des Sciences morales et politiques. Secretary-General of the committee of historic and scientific works from 1965 to 1970, curator at the Mazarine Library from 1973 to 2002, he held various posts in the Société française d'histoire d'Outre-mer (Treasurer from 1965 to 1973 and then Secretary-General from 1973 to 1979), and carried out major research on the French presence in the Antilles and in sub-Saharan Africa in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and on the black slave trade. In 2011, Jean-Claude Nardin wished to give his works and scientific papers to the Mazarine library, a donation accepted in November 2011, which took effect in 2013. Jean-Claude Nardin died january, 4, 2016.
This highly coherent African collection is an interesting counterpoint to the Chatillon collection and complements the Mazarine's resources, both in early works (travel accounts and descriptions from the 17th and 18th centuries, about 500 works) and in scientific documentation (linguistics, history, physical and human geography) from the 19th and 20th centuries on the colonies or slavery (more than 2,000 monographs or brochures). The archives – correspondence, notes and preparatory files for lectures, articles and books – take up a metre of shelf space. Maps, prints, photographs and stamps from the former colonies in French West Africa complete this collection, along with an odd group of colonial novels.