Special Collections


3 manuscripts, 61 printed books

Books looted from Jewish libraries during the Second World War were deposited with the Mazarine Library. The decisions taken by the selection committee of the Art and Culture Recovery Service on 4 May (second committee) and 14 December 1950 (third committee) concerned successively:

- a lot of 61 printed books, mainly on history, literary history and philology, (19th and 20th centuries), as well as some old books (16th, 17th and 18th centuries);
- a set of three documents, namely, a collection of manuscript harangues and funeral orations (17th or early 18th century), a collection of manuscripts and printed brochures on the Imitatio Christi; a fragment of a 17th-century letter.

Detailed descriptions of these respective deposits were sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 18 August 1950 and 1 February 1951. The books entered the Library's collections in 1959. In 2012, the Mazarine began a systematic search for looted books in its collections. The proposal to give these books a specific tag online was validated by the Library and Archives Committee of the French Institute in its 12 April 2013 session. They are now precisely identified in the digital catalogues and are tagged with the following provenance: "Deposited by the Art Recovery Committee" (example: ms. 4586). They have not yet been reclaimed.